Elizabeth Coldwell's Blog, page 3
October 28, 2016
Captain Jack Turner is trying to make sense of his life and his Army career after being seriously injured in an incident in Afghanistan. When he’s sent up to a remote town in the Arctic Circle to reconnoitre the site of a potential new Army base, he doesn’t expect it to be anything other than a routine mission. Everything changes when he meets Kin, the part-time soldier charged with showing him around the area. Circumstances contrive to throw Jack and Kin closer together than they could have expected, and force them to make a series of life-changing decisions – not least what to do about the intense attraction they feel for each other…
There’s nothing like a good story about men in uniform, but with military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan scaled down and all but over for US and UK forces, writers need to find different backgrounds to keep their Army tales relevant and contemporary. Kiera Andrews does that admirably in Arctic Fire, and has clearly put in plenty of research to make the Army jargon, authentic and the small-town life in Kin’s home town on Nunavet feel real and yet somehow detached from the rest of Canada (which, I suppose, is pretty much how most of us picture the Arctic). Kin’s an outsider, from a community that isn’t accepting of gay men, and there’s also a culture clash between himself and jaded Jack, who’s used to more tolerant attitudes and a faster pace of life. Jack, meanwhile, is both literally and metaphorically scarred by the improvised explosive device that wounded him and killed one of his men, and haunted by his failure to prevent it. When Jack and Kin are trapped by a blizzard and forced to huddle together for warmth (yes, it’s a cliché, but it’s used well here), their initial prickly relationship turns into something more intimate. It’s the old story of opposites attracting, but they’re both believable, rounded characters and their growing lust is nicely handled. Mutual suspicion turns to passion, the protective barriers both men have built around their hearts start to come down, and the resulting sex is hot enough that it ought to melt the ice around them!
This is a quick, engrossing read, and fans of hurt/comfort fiction and those who want a fresh take on Army life are bound to enjoy Artic Fire.
Artic Fire is available from Kindle Unlimited in the US and globally. You can find out more about Keira Andrews on her website. I was given a copy of the book by Indigo Marketing and Design in return for an honest review.
October 26, 2016
Kemberlee Shortland is a very busy lady, running Tirgearr Publishing as well as writing some of its best-selling books, but she found to time pop over to The Naughty Corner and answer a few questions about her new City Nights novella, One Night in New Delhi. She’s also offering a prize to one lucky reader – read the interview to find out how you can win.
Tell us a little about your City Nights story, One Night in New Delhi?
Hannah Maguire and Sudesh Kumar had been lovers in Dublin City, both studying for their degrees in similar areas of Archaeology. What she had treated as a college romance, Hannah realized, as he was leaving Dublin for the job of a lifetime back home in India, was she had lost her heart to him.
Now, five years later, Hannah is working as a textiles specialist in the National Museum in Dublin when she’s invited to the National Museum of India in New Delhi to inspect a new and rare artifact found on an archaeological dig.
The last person she expects to see when she enters the museum is Sudesh. She didn’t know where he was, or even if he was still in India, but soon learns he’s the one who made the discovery, and had been the one encouraging the museum to invite her onto the project.
On meeting, everything they’d shared washes over Hannah—all of the love and passion, and a heart so broken, she still hadn’t recovered. To make things more difficult, it’s Deepavali/Diwali and Sudesh has promises to make it a memorable experience.
Will this one night really be one to remember, or will it send Hannah into a tailspin she might not recover from this time?
Why did you choose New Delhi as the setting for the book?
A few things played into it. I’m always looking for new challenges, and writing about a country I’ve never been to is a pretty good test if ever there was one. Most of my published work is set in Ireland and this was a good opportunity to expand my catalogue … even though my heroine is an Irish girl from Dublin.
India has an amazing and ancient culture so there was a lot to draw on.
As well, I’m friendly with the male cover model, Vikkas Bhardwadj, and had encouraged him to add some traditional costume to his stock photos, which he did.
Around that time, I had watched a fabulous documentary about India, and was also watching Indian Summers.
All the hints kept hitting me in the face until I finally sat down and started typing. I’d been keen on another City Nights story, but wanted to branch outside of Ireland. Voila! One Night in New Delhi.
The couple in your story, Hannah and Sudesh, both have a background in archaeology. Is archaeology a particular interest of yours, and if not, how much research did you do to get the details of their profession correct?
When I was growing up, my mother always told me I could be anything I wanted. I said I wanted to be a writer. As a writer, I can be anything and do anything through my characters. I love archaeology, and now that I think of it, this has come up more than once in my writing. I don’t regret my former career choices, but it’s fun to explore others through my characters. I can be an archaeologist without having to get dirty!
The research was great. Rather than concentrate on the mundane details of being an archaeologist, I focused on the discovery and the history behind it. That’s more interesting than what to call the tools of the trade and throwing things under a microscope.
What are the challenges of writing an interracial romance?
I hadn’t really considered One Night in New Delhi an interracial story. There’s a saying: We’re all brown, just different shades of it. So I don’t necessarily see race, but I do see culture. For this story in particular, I highlighted the culture by showing readers New Delhi through Hannah’s eyes and her experiences … the post-monsoon season heat, tastes and spices of the foods, a slice of history as it pertained to the Silk Road, the Deepavali (aka Diwali) festival and what goes into preparing for that, the Trinity Goddesses, the colors and textures and smells … those things and more make up some of what India is about, not how much melanin is in a person’s DNA. I hope the readers agree this was a good approach.
As well as writing for Tirgearr, you’re also the founder of the publishing house. How do you manage to find time to write as well as doing everything involved with running the company?
Time … what’s that? LOL It was a long time after launching Tirgearr Publishing that I could find time to write. Anyone who’s started any business will understand what a time intensive endeavor that is. We have our traditional midseason and winter breaks, but after years of hard work, and a great group of people working with us, I’m now able to take the time I need for a personal project. I just have to schedule it in, like everything else. Just don’t ask me how many WIPs I have!
What advice do you have for anyone who’s thinking of writing a story for the City Nights series?
First: Read some of the books in the series to see what they’re about.
Second: Read the guidelines.
Third: Pick a city that hasn’t been written about already, and write the story you want to tell.
For those just learning about the City Nights series, each story is set in a city somewhere in the world. All stories are contemporary/current day, and take place over a 24-hour period—each story entitled “One Night in (insert city name)”. The City Nights series is erotic romance—not erotica. Think of it as ramped up Contemporary Romance. The intimacy level has to be on equal par with the romance and the story. They can be any subgenre to erotic romance as long as the story follows the guidelines. The series has several subgenres, including a thriller, some suspense, love at first sight, experimenting partners, one night stands, reacquaintances, even some BDSM and interracial, and we’re always looking for stories which push boundaries. If it’s traditional Contemporary Romance, you’ll find it in the City Nights series. Every story has a HEA (Happy Ever After) or HFN (Happy For Now) ending. And as novellas, they’re quick reads for those who like a shorter read.
What are you reading at the moment?
I don’t usually read fiction while writing because I don’t want it to influence my voice, or the story. However, I do read whatever I need to for research. In the case of One Night in New Delhi, my research was on the city itself, including the Chandni Chowk Market (created by the favorite daughter of the man who built Taj Mahal), the National Museum, and even the transportation system. Also, there was a lot of reading about the Silk Road, including the maritime route; the Deepavali/Diwali festival and the goddess associated with it, and her as one of the Trinity Goddesses; the gem and spice trades; and of course the caste system. I also took a lot of walking tours of the city through YouTube. And to really bring home my experience, copious amounts of curry was consumed!
What is your next writing project?
This goes back to don’t ask me how many WIPs I have LOL I started a new series last year as part of a personal challenge—cozy mysteries. The Sassy O’Brien Mysteries will have just six books in the series. Murder in Mornington was written last July during my midseason break and published in November, just before the winter break and just in time for the holidays. This is a locally set story (I live in Mornington) so it was very popular with the locals who snapped them up to give as Xmas gifts. I’m now working on book two, Corpse in the Colpe, which involves lost treasure and local legend. I’ve got on my research hat.
What is the one thing about you that would surprise people reading this interview?
I’m not sure. I know everything about myself, none of which is a surprise anymore LOL I used to play a game where I’d throw out a few things and ask people to pick the odd one out. Let’s try it here and see if any of your readers can pick the correct one that doesn’t belong:
I was raised by grease monkeys and used to be pretty handy with a wrench.
I eat sausages with strawberry jam.
My first ever real job was babysitting sea otters.
There are 53 WIPs in my files.
I do my best story plotting while cycling.
Everyone put your answer in the comments below. I’ll award one of my books (winner’s choice) to each person who gets the answer correct
October 9, 2016
Passing on a quick request from the lovely Lisabet Sarai. In response to the devastation of Haiti by Hurricane Matthew, she’s posted a charity Sunday Snog, and for everyone who leaves a comment on the post, she’ll donate a dollar to Oxfam America’s hurricane relief fund. She’ll also be giving away a copy of Rough Weather, the book the snog comes from (and which just so happens to have a Haitian hero…) to one lucky commenter.
You can enjoy the snog, leave a comment and possibly win a prize, as well as help out people who really need it, on Lisabet’s blog.
October 6, 2016
Bounty hunter Rufus is on the trail of Jobi Wade, one of the most dangerous – and cunning – men in the galaxy. But when Rufus finds Jobi in the wreckage of an unmanned space ship, his reaction isn’t quite the one he’d expected…
Turning a corner, I came across a sight that stopped me in my tracks. A man, who appeared to be somewhere in his late twenties, had been chained to the corridor wall, hands above his head. He was shirtless, and his pants had been reduced to little more than filthy rags. Dirt and sweat streaked his bare chest, and his head lolled forward, eyes closed. He was so still I assumed he was unconscious, or worse.
Moving close to him, I pressed a tentative finger to his neck, searching for a pulse. Instantly, his eyelids shot open. Only one man I knew of had eyes of that distinctive violet hue, coupled with dark hair that fell in tangled corkscrews to his shoulders. Jobi Wade.
“Ssh… Don’t try to move,” I cautioned him, as he struggled in his bonds. I had a water bottle at my hip. I unscrewed it and pressed it to his lips, watching as he drank thirstily. His mouth was puffy and bruised, as though he had taken a backhander there. Despite myself, I couldn’t help but be struck by his fierce beauty. The scent of his sweat mingled with something more earthy, unmistakably male and deeply arousing. There was a scar running across the left side of his chest, close to his heart. I longed to run my tongue along it while he told me the story of how he had come by such a wound. Abel, if he werehere, would have seen in the tender way I stroked the hair out of Jobi’s eyes the seeds of something which could easily spiral out of control. I only saw a man in need of my help.
“Hey, you’re safe now,” I told him. “I’m Rufus. Can you tell me what happened?”
“It—” His voice cracked. He spat out dust and phlegm, tried again. “It happened so quickly. We didn’t even pick the ship up on the monitors before it was on top of us. They started firing before we had time to react. There were only a handful of them, but…” He glanced round, as if properly registering his surroundings for the first time. “Have you seen them? Have you seen anyone?”
I shook my head. His full lower lip was trembling as he told his tale, and I fought the urge to take it between my teeth and nibble gently. Why was I reacting in this way to a man I’d sworn to hunt down and help bring to trial? Good men and women were dead because of the things Jobi Wade had done, and here I was, itching to soothe away his hurt. Maybe it was the strange circumstances in which I’d found him, but I doubted it. Wherever we’d met, I knew I would still be so powerfully attracted to him.
Trickster is available from NineStar Press.
September 28, 2016
Jan Graham is my guest at the Naughty Corner, with plenty to share about her Tirgearr City Nights erotic novella, One Night in Sydney, which launches today.
Nice to have you here, Jan. Tell us a little about your City Nights story, One Night in Sydney?
Well, to state the obvious, it’s set in Sydney, Australia. Lol. The story starts with Abby and Kane meeting on a plane while they travel to the city, both for very different reason. As the story unfolds readers discover that the couple have more in common than just an overnight fling. As time passes, tension and high emotions come into play with both Abby and Kane faced with choices they never anticipated having to make.
Out of all the major cities in Australia, why did you choose Sydney as the setting for the book?
I chose Sydney for a couple of reason. Firstly, I’m very familiar with Sydney and what the city has to offer visitors. I live about two hours away from Sydney so have spent a bit of time there, especially in my younger years. Secondly, I wanted to incorporate a festival or event of some sort into the story and Sydney has a great event called Vivid. Basically artists set up light and art displays all over the city, images are projected onto some of the major attractions like the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. There are also street performers and concerts organised during the two-week long festival. It’s amazing to see.
The couple in your story, Abigail and Kane, meet on a plane. Have you ever had any interesting experiences while flying?
I have actually. On a flight to Melbourne about ten years ago I drew the attention of a football team, yes the whole team. I spent the flight fending off advances and offers to join the mile-high club. Some of the offers were tempting but I declined on all counts. I did leave the plane with offers to join the group at the Spring Racing Carnival and lots of phone numbers. I was very flattered…lol.
If you were going to spend 24 hours with a hot stranger, which city would you choose to do it in, and why?
I’d probably choose Edinburgh. I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland and there’d be a good chance my hot stranger might be even sexier than I imagined if he was wearing a kilt. You can’t beat a man in a kilt. J
You write erotic fiction in a variety of genres. Which is your favourite to write?
I love writing erotic romantic suspense. The challenge of weaving a suspenseful story together fires up my imagination. Of course they take longer to write due to the length of the book and the added research needed to devise a credible plot. It’s all worth it though.
Is there any genre you actively avoid writing, or that doesn’t interest you as a reader?
I wouldn’t write historical romance. I don’t mind reading it but to write anything historical doesn’t tweak my interest at all.
A lot of your work has BDSM themes. What interests you about the BDSM dynamic?
I’ve been involved in the BDSM scene for about fifteen years so I have a personal interest in how the practice is portrayed. When I write a story that has BDSM elements I try to make them reflect reality. The BDSM isn’t the story, it’s only a part of it because one or more of the characters is a Dom or a sub, for example.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m currently reading Dark Promises by Christine Feehan. I love paranormal romances and in particular vampires so Christine ticks all my paranormal boxes.
September 25, 2016
The lovely K D Grace is my guest today, talking about her new dark paranormal release, In The Flesh. Welcome back, K D.
Every novelist knows there’s magic in a story well told. Every reader knows this too. A good book is so much more than the sum of its words, and yet somehow armed with just twenty-six letters and the words and combinations of words we can make from them, we have the possibility of creating whole new worlds and peopling them with fascinating, terrifying, dynamic wonderful characters who do incredible, sometimes terrifying things. How can that not be magic?
Susan is a writer, so she’s very aware of the magic of the written word, but she’s a story-teller with something extra – something extra she knows nothing about until the power of the written word – her written words – nearly destroys everything she loves. In Susan’s case, while ‘sticks and stones may break your bones…’ words can do a helluva lot more damage than she could have ever imagined.
It was exciting for me to write a story in which the power to create and destroy, to love and to lust could somehow be embodied in the word magic every writer toys with and creates with on a daily basis. Making that ability into to something gone horribly wrong, something twisted and manipulated to dark and sinister purposes was such deliciously evil fun. The thing about words is that they can’t be unspoken. That’s something we forget, living in the world of sound bites and video clips. In a world of cut and paste and delete, it’s easy to undo what we’ve written, but what if it wasn’t? What if what we created took on a life of its own beyond the written page, and our only weapon for undoing those words was that same 26-letter alphabet and the words it creates? In the Flesh is dark paranormal romance in which words have been used to a terrifying end, and Susan may well be one of the scariest, yet bravest characters I’ve ever written. Enjoy the excerpt and don’t forget to leave a comment for the giveaway.
Giveaway: To promote the release of In The Flesh, I’m giving away a $30/£20 Amazon gift voucher. Check out the Rafflecopter link at the end of this post for your chances to win!
When Susan Innes comes to visit her friend, Annie Rivers, in Chapel House, the deconsecrated church that Annie is renovating into a home, she discovers her outgoing friend changed, reclusive, secretive, and completely enthralled by a mysterious lover, whose presence is always felt, but never seen, a lover whom she claims is god. As her holiday turns into a nightmare, Susan must come to grips with the fact that her friend’s lover is neither imaginary nor is he human, and even worse, he’s turned his wandering eye on Susan, and he won’t be denied his prize. If Susan is to fight an inhuman stalker intent on having her as his own, she’ll need a little inhuman help.
Excerpt: Susan’s Secret Writings:
I wasn’t alone in the dark. I knew that the first time I entered the crypt at Chapel House. I could feel a presence there, almost as though someone stood just behind me, about to reach out and touch me. The shiver over my skin was not so much from fear, though certainly there was an element of fear, as it was from longing, bone-deep longing. I could barely breathe for it, I could barely stand under the weight of it, and I couldn’t imagine how such an ache, such a hunger could exist inside my flesh and not tear me apart. I was astonished that Annie seemed completely unaware of anything out of the ordinary, and to be quite honest, I wasn’t anxious to share it with her.
She continued to chatter on about her plans to make Chapel House over with a state of the art kitchen—she who didn’t cook, and a master suite that would rival the finest hotels in London. Strange that I could listen with one part of my brain and comment on her ideas for an open plan living space, for a library in the choir loft, for a wet room in the sacristy, while with another part of my brain I felt like every cell of my body was responding to whatever it was, whoever it was that I was certain waited there in the darkness, just beyond the beam of Annie’s Maglite.
The departmentalizing of Annie’s plans and the feel of the presence in the darkness became much more difficult when I felt the closeness of a warm, hard body against my back and the humid nip of a kiss on the nape of my neck. I explained away my little gasp of surprise to Annie by saying I’d almost lost my footing. I should have been frightened. I should have been terrified, and believe me, I was. But by the time I felt a large hand splayed low against my belly, by the time I was certain of the maleness pressed hard and low just above my butt, I was far more intrigued than I was frightened. Even if terror had won out, I don’t think I could have forced myself to move as the hand in the darkness migrated to cup my breasts and thumb my nipples, first one, then the other, and the slow grind and undulation from behind became more demanding.
“The roses, they smell lovely.” I managed a breathless response to Annie’s ramblings about plans for the overgrown mess of a garden. “You might want to consider a scent garden.”
She laughed. “I can’t smell anything, but then you were always the one with the sensitive nose. Of course I’ll make sure there are lots of roses.” She knew they were my favorite, but I couldn’t imagine her not smelling them; the scent was nearly overwhelming in the tight space of the crypt. To my surprise, as she rambled on about a patio with a Jacuzzi, the smell of roses was subsumed in my own scent and the humid, piquant scent of a man well aroused. The hand on my breast began a slow, torturous descent, and I wanted nothing more than for Annie to keep talking, keep planning, anything to keep her from dragging me away from this place, at least for a few more minutes.
I asked about the Jacuzzi, hoping that would give me another minute. By the time she got started about the sites she’d looked up online and the builders she’d talked to, I was rocking back against the hardness, craning my neck to yield as much bare skin as possible to teeth and tongue and lips all soft and warm and wet and sharp and hard and demanding. Oh,
I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible, but looking back, I wonder how the hell Annie couldn’t see? How could she have missed it? But she rattled on and on about some builder just up the road near Keswick who was supposed to be really good, some guy named Michael. Like I gave a fuck.
The study suddenly felt stuffy and overheated, and Michael’s grip on my hand convulsed. His jaw tightened, but he didn’t look at me.
Magda paid little attention to either my discomfort or Michael’s. She just kept on reading.
He was cute, Annie said. That led to observations about this Michael’s broad shoulders and nice arse and speculation as to whether or not he would be any good in bed, and was it wise to seduce him before he put in her Jacuzzi or wait till after and seduce him in it. All the while I nodded and pretended to be interested.
I was thankful for the extra time, but Christ, how could she not notice me standing there, legs apart, rocking back and forth and shifting from foot to foot like I had ants in my knickers? In truth, what I wanted in my knickers surely couldn’t actually be there, and yet I felt it, fucking hell, how I felt it! I swear, I could feel muscle and sinew. Hell, I could feel the actual shape of an erection as though we were both naked, as though all he need do, this dark being who surely was just my imagination, was bend me over and open me, me struggling to keep my breathing quiet, me struggling to focus enough attention on my friend that she wouldn’t suspect I was about to come. Oh yes, I was terrified. I would have, should have, run, if I hadn’t been so intrigued, so turned on. I just wanted one more second, and then another and another.
In desperation that shocks me even now as I write this in the dark silence of Annie’s flat, I grabbed onto a wrist that I swear was as solid and warm as my own and guided the caress, the tease, the fondling of fingers and palm down my belly toward where I really needed it to be.
Annie yammered on about this Michael, all the things she’d heard about him, all the things she wanted to do to him—at least I think she did. My God, my whole body felt alive, every cell, every molecule. I could damn near feel the coursing of my own blood through my veins. You have no idea what an exhilarating combination fear and arousal make. I lost track of what Annie was saying, and the air was filled with the scent of sex. I could smell him, actually smell this phantom man, who was as near release as I was, and I was sure, as my knees gave beneath me, I felt the warm wet of his orgasm against my lower back. And then for an instant everything around me was silk and darkness, so perfect, so ecstatic. But just beyond that warm tight space, I knew. I knew as well as I know my own breath, I was terrified, and what I felt was like no terror I’d ever known before and, holy God in heaven, I want to feel it again.
And then I was shivering on my knees against the stone floor in the crypt at Chapel House.
“Susan? Susan, you’re scaring me.” Annie’s worried face invaded my field of vision before she half-blinded me with her Maglite. “Are you all right? What the hell happened?”
“Sorry, I got a little lightheaded there. Probably just blood sugar. I missed lunch,” I lied, stumbling quickly to my feet, making a quick swipe at the back of my skirt, surprised to find it was dry. Glancing over my shoulder into the narrow beam of the Maglite, I saw only the empty darkness of the crypt and the tunnel that led back to the rusted barred door. But I was certain someone was there, someone I hungered for way more than I hungered for food. And I was equally certain that I would have Him.
Buy In the Flesh Here:
About K D Grace
Voted ETO Best Erotic Author of 2014, and a proud member of The Brit Babes, K D Grace believes Freud was right. In the end, it really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody’s happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about?
When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening. When she’s not gardening, she’s walking. She walks her stories, and she’s serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She also enjoys martial arts, reading, watching the birds and anything that gets her outdoors.
K D has erotica published with Totally Bound, SourceBooks, Xcite Books, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, Sweetmeats Press and others.
K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, Fulfilling the Contract, To Rome with Lust, and The Pet Shop. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Witches trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available.
Find K D Here:
Release blitz hosted by Writer Marketing Services .
September 20, 2016
Giorgia Manfredi has been groomed to work in the family’s hotel on the shores of Lake Garda, and has never really experienced a life outside its walls. When she’s the victim of an attempted mugging, she wants to thank Danny Davies, the mysterious man who returned her bag. Danny has secrets he’d rather Giorgia didn’t know about, and so he runs into the shadows where he feels more comfortable. As the fortunes of the Manfredis and the Davies grow increasingly entwined and the differences between Danny and Giorgia come sharply into focus, can a boy from the wrong side of the tracks really find happiness with a girl who’s never known anything but luxury?
Running Man is the third book in Jennifer Young’s Lake Garda series, and while this story concentrates on Giorgia where the previous books, A Portrait of My Love and Coming Home, have featured her older sister, Leona, you really need to read Coming Home first, as Running Man deals with the fall-out from the big revelations in that book and so contains plot spoilers. Taken in isolation, Running Man is an enjoyable and twisty thriller that has fun with the well-worn trope of opposites attracting. Danny is smitten with Giorgia at first sight, and the attraction is strong and mutual, but there’s a rival for her affections in her fellow hotel employee, Matt. However, Matt’s intentions may not be as honorable as they seem. He’s in danger of losing his beloved boat, the Rosaria, because he’s overstretched himself financially to pay for her, so getting involved with a wealthy heiress could be the answer to all his problems. Throw Danny’s brother and petty crook, Will, into the mix, and things become darker and even more complicated…
For fans of sweet romance, and readers who are keen to find out how the events of Coming Home have resolved themselves, this is the perfect light read. Danny and Giorgia have realistic problems to overcome, rather than the artificial conflicts that are so often used to keep a couple apart, and their romance is played out against a backdrop of compelling family tensions. Running Man feels like a natural conclusion to the Lake Garda series, but given the Manfredis’ sprawling family structure, who’s to say new relatives couldn’t be introduced for future books.
September 14, 2016
Silver Desire, the collection of stories about 50-plus women that proves passionate sex doesn’t end when the menopause starts, is now available. Edited by the inimitable Zak Jane Keir, the book features stories by a number of top authors from the UK and US, including Jillian Boyd, F. Leonora Solomon, Spencer Dryden, Pepper Valentine, Madeline Moore and more. My own story in the anthology, Age Appropriate, tells of a woman making her first trip abroad alone, and discovering the perfect tour guide to show her around the beautiful city of Milan. Here’s a short extract:
He was looking at her. The first time, she hadn’t been sure she was the focus of his attention, but he’d glanced over a few times now—too many for it to be a coincidence, Molly decided. When their eyes met, she blushed and quickly looked down at the rim of her coffee cup.
It shouldn’t have surprised her, the fact she was so clearly an object of desire for a man barely half her age. She’d never been the focus of so much male attention as she had since she’d arrived in Milan, yesterday. Men, young and old, alone or with their wives, watched her pass with open admiration. One or two had even whistled, or uttered some compliment she didn’t understand. Back home in Lincoln, she could walk down the high street, ignored, invisible. British men seemed fitted with some kind of radar designed to home in only on the young and skinny. Once you hit the wrong side of fifty, they didn’t want to know.
And this rush of interest had nothing to do, she sensed, with the new choppy, chinlength haircut she’d had, or the clothes she’d bought for her holiday. Clothes the fashion feature on breakfast television had described as “age appropriate”—longline cardigans, loose, floral tops, a well-cut, flattering pair of black jeans. No, she could have been sitting here in a sloppy old tracksuit and the men would still have stared.
The guy at the table near the counter rose to his feet. Was he coming over to her? What would she do if he did? What would she say, given that her command of Italian didn’t extend much beyond “please”, “thank you” and “how much is it?” Molly’s heart thumped hard in her chest. He was beautiful, with those dark, liquid eyes, full lips and messy black curls. Too beautiful for her.
Silver Desire is on sale at Amazon UK and Amazon US. The official launch party is at Sh! in Hoxton Square this Friday night (September 16th) from 6 o’clock. We’ll be reading extracts from the stories and there should be snacks and a glass of something nice to accompany the fun. You can find out more on the Sh! blog. Hope to see you there.
August 30, 2016
My guest today is Christine Blackthorn, who has not only written an unusual and engrossing paranormal novel, but has some very interesting thoughts on BDSM. Welcome to the Naughty Corner, Christine.
This post is the result of reading too much BDSM erotica and blog posts. Oh, and actually a real life conversation. It is also not a new sentiment – I have said so before. The summary of my point is easy – and really hard: you always have the responsibility of choice. No one can take that from you. No one is allowed to take that from you. You choose to submit and you choose to submit to whomever it is who holds the reigns.
You cannot get around the responsibility to choose – or the right to choose.
Every time you get tied up, every time you get flogged, every time you are punished, every time you serve — you make that choice. It’s a silent choice, you made that choice when you trusted the man or woman you gave your submission to. But it is still a choice. It gives you rights and duties.
You have the right that the other person acts with your best interest in mind — and the duty to do the same. The other is not a mind reader. The other is not perfect. He/She has accepted the responsibility when you play, or in the times you serve Him/Her, but, at the same time, you have the responsibility to talk to Him/Her.
If it is something old or new, somewhere in this there has to be the time, and the courage, to discuss what you do — even do some research together. There will come moments when you are asked to do something you are uncomfortable with, frightens you. There will be moments when you do it anyway because He/She asks you to. That is great — but it is still your choice. And there might be moments in which you are asked to do something, to endure something, you definitely cannot. It is your responsibility to tell the other what you feel and think. That is your duty.
If they then ignore you and harm you, they have not fulfilled their own responsibility. They chose to betray you — and that is never ok.
The choice is always with both of you, just as abuse can go both ways. If as a submissive you do not talk, are not honest, do not take responsibility for your choice, you harm the person who accepted your trust. It is not fair, it is not ok — and no fantasy can get you over that.
You are an adult. You can choose to do what you want, you can choose to submit, you can choose to be hurt and loving it, you can choose to give up control over every decision of your life — safe one decision. You cannot choose not to choose. And you cannot choose not to talk about it with the person you chose to trust for however long you decided to play — a few hours or a lifetime.
A Variety of Chains excerpt
Slowly, he lowered more and more of his weight to rest on her until she could feel his hard and still clothed limbs against her nakedness. His arousal was unmistakable as it rested in the embrace of her body, only separated from her skin by the fabric of his trousers. His hand stroked down, over her hip to her knee, before he hooked a hand underneath it and brought it up to his waist, opening her further to him.
She wanted to blame the hour, so close to the fourteenth, for the wetness soaking his trousers, but knew that would not be entirely honest. Her body was wet with arousal and spasms of pleasure were tightening her womb. He started to roll his hips, stroking the fabric over a part of her that she had not realised could become so sensitive. With each stroke of his body against hers, something tensed in her a little more. His lips started to play with hers again, teasingly stroking over them and then nipping her with lightning speed. She needed something she did not know she needed, and with every second it seemed to come closer. The sound ripped from her throat was between a moan and a sob – and it stopped him in his tracks.
His brow came to rest against hers on a moan. “There is nothing I want more than to continue this so that when I ask you again if you have ever had an orgasm, you are in no doubt at all, but unfortunately now is not the time. Now is too close to midnight, and it would be careless of me to lose control.”
Kathryn McClusky is an ErGer – a rare and highly prized individual in the supernatural world.
She has spent her life running and hiding, but circumstances have changed and the only way to protect her family is to hand herself over to the Vampire Lord of London to face slavery or death.
Lucian Neben runs his London court with a stern but fair hand, but political pressures are building from both the human and fey worlds, and taking possession of an ErGer would cement his position of power.
Kathryn is vulnerable and broken almost beyond repair, but she holds in her hands the one treasure Lucian desperately wants – the possibility of home and family.
Can he teach her to open herself up; to choose to life, and him, before reality forces him to take her freedom?
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In “real” life, I am an academic with degrees in Political Science, Economics, Philosophy and Law and an insatiable desire to confound, baffle and disconcert my students. Someone once suggested to me the reason for my stories lay in the desire to offset the tedium and rationality of academic life. He wasn’t an academic or he would have known better. It is best to use research against tedium, students to offset the rationality and an unlimited supply of stressballs for the faculty meetings. The stories? Well, they are just for me – like a mental manicure.
I also write a blog on Feminism and Erotica – come talk to me:
Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/christine-blackthorn/
Enter the giveaway at http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8b9ec5be166/?
August 24, 2016
Like a little bit of rock and role with your dom/sub power play? Well, Power Chords, my MM BDSM rock star novella (such a nice combination of words, don’t you think?) will be available to pre-order from Pride Publishing at the end of September.
Here’s the blurb, to whet your appetite:
Music is his life – submission is his desire
As part of the hottest rock band on the planet, Code Black, Dax Carter and Jordan Black have it all. Their music is driven by their love-hate relationship, and their fans love the conflict they create on stage. It doesn’t help that there’s a simmering attraction between them that Dax refuses to acknowledge because he’s conflicted about being bisexual. Jordan fantasises about submitting to Dax, who has all the attributes of his perfect master.
Under pressure to write the songs for their new album, their manager hires an isolated cabin so Dax and Jordan can have perfect quiet to create. Cooped up together, their creative and personal tension comes to a head. What starts as a fist fight turns into something much more erotic. Has Dax finally realised what Jordan wants from him, and how will Jordan react when he is forced to obey all of Dax’s desires? Can their relationship in and out of the band ever be the same again?
To visit the book’s page on the Pride Publishing site, you can click on the nifty little graphic below, and get ready to rock…