Random thoughts on our impending doom and everyday life, courtesy of a Romance Writer who occasionally feels the need to talk like a Sailor.

Monday, 30 July 2012

The Next Best Thing Challenge... or, 10 quick questions about the book.

I was tagged by the wonderful author Monica Enderle Pierce to do The Next Best Thing Challenge

Here’s how it works:
  • Answer the 10 questions below
  • Spread the fun and tag other writers to participate.
1. What is the title of your book / WIP?
My book is titled, Flesh, and it is the first in a planned three-book series.

2. Where did the idea for this book come from?

I decided to work with the wonderful Louise Cusack as my mentor a few years ago. Doing a project from start to finish seemed like the best idea. I was going to go with something nice safe and sane but that felt like a cop-out and I work best with a challenge, so I decided to go a little crazy. I really wanted to see if I could pull off a Post-Zombie-Apocalypse Ménage Romance. The silence when I first told Louise my idea was deafening but she was soon just as enthused as I was. This was a few years back before ‘The Walking Dead’ was on TV so normal people still didn’t really do zombies. And maybe they still don't... but how boring would it be if we were all normal?

3. What genre would your book fall under?

Post-Apocalyptic Erotic Romance.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Alex O’Loughlin or Ben Browder as Daniel.
Radha Mitchell as Ali.
Garrett Hedlund as Finn.
But feel free to re-cast as you see fit. I’m generous like that.

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

53 days since the Zombie Plague struck, a woman and two men band together to survive in the suburban wastelands.

6. Is your book published or represented?
It’s being released 1st October by Momentum/Pan MacMillan. You can currently buy it here at the pre-release price of $2.99. Please do so. Someone has to enable my Tequila and Smut habit. (Just joking. Hi Mum!)

7. How long did it take you to write it?

On and off for two years. Lots of other nonsense was going on so it dragged out some. Happily the second book is being spanked into order as we speak without half the drama.

8. What other books in your genre would you compare it to?
I know other Romance Writers have dabbled in the Undead recently but I don’t read them. I don’t want to unintentionally be influenced by anyone when it comes to the shambling and carnage type stuff. That being said I hear Joss Ware is great.

9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?

Stephen King horror and apocalypse wise. Lauren Dane and Lorelei James ménage romance wise.

10. Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your book.

Flesh recently won the Fantasy/Futuristic/Sci-Fi round of the Stroke of Midnight and finalled in the North Texas RWA competition. 

And also, no Zombies were hurt, or indeed had sex, during the making of this book. I don't really understand the amount of people who ask me about the Undead having sex. That's plain ick.

When the plague hit, her neighbours turned into mindless, hungry, homicidal maniacs.
Daniel has been a loner his entire life. Then the world empties and he realises that being alone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Finn is a former cop who is desperate for companionship, and willing to do anything it takes to protect the survivors around him.
When the three cross paths they band together; sparks fly, romance blooms in the wasteland and Ali, Daniel and Finn bend to their very human needs in the ruins of civilisation.
Lust, love and trust all come under fire in Flesh as the three band together to survive, hunted through the suburban wastelands.

You can read the first chapter of Flesh by banging the tag right here...

For more information on Monica Enderle Pierce who wrote the wonderful 'Girl Under Glass' a great gritty Alien Invasion story...

For more information on my mentor Fantasy Author Louise Cusack who I can't praise highly enough...

And I is gonna tag some great Aussie Authors who hopefully aren't too busy to partake... 

Lexxie Coupper

Tracey O'Hara 

Mel Teshco
Cari Silverwood

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Six Sentence Sunday...

Welcome back to another Six Sentence Sunday! We're picking up right where we left off last week with our heroine about to walk off the shuttle to meet her newly assigned husband in my Witness Protection/Arranged Marriage in the depths of outer space scenario...

Two quick pieces of wonderous news this week, firstly my cover for Flesh arrived, you can admire it to your right. And secondly Flesh came 1st in the Stroke of Midnight competition's fantasty/futuristic/sci-fi section. So yes, a very cool week all up. Hope yours was just as shiny! 

Louise, not Jo, walked down the shuttle gang-way. Jo was long gone. She was Louise Foster, wife of Gideon, and she could do this.
She took her first step onto the uneven ground, knees liquid and nerves lapsed. Gravel slid beneath her feet and she pitched forward with all balance gone, the ground rushing up to meet her.
And just as suddenly it jolted to a stop.

Friday, 27 July 2012

With a hint of Smut and dash of Debris... I give you Cover Love.

 I'm just going to let that arse groping speak for itself.
Available 1st October 2012.

When the plague hit, her neighbours turned into mindless, hungry, homicidal maniacs.
Daniel has been a loner his entire life. Then the world empties and he realises that being alone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Finn is a former cop who is desperate for companionship, and willing to do anything it takes to protect the survivors around him.
When the three cross paths they band together; sparks fly, romance blooms in the wasteland and Ali, Daniel and Finn bend to their very human needs in the ruins of civilisation.
Lust, love and trust all come under fire in Flesh as the three band together to survive, hunted through the suburban wastelands.

Monday, 23 July 2012

A look at Three Wishes by Jenny Schwartz...

Cali is one of the fabled djinni with funky glass bottle and all. Remove the stopper and three wishes are yours. But watch out because the girl is not happy, hence her nickname ‘the Bringer of Death’. She likes nothing better than to watch greedy men folk be squashed by their own evil and avarice. Andrew is a guardian angel out to save Cali’s latest master, arms dealer David Saqr. When the two face off sparks fly. Cali trusts no one and Andrew has long since shutdown his heart. Cali wants to kill David and Andrew is committed to saving him. Who will win?

Three Wishes is a lovely fun tale told by Australian Romance Writer Jenny Schwartz. It’s a dream weaving experience with a healthy pinch of heat. Ms Schwartz has a grand way with words and the story is easy to lose yourself in. The hero is big and strong and sexy, and the heroine is sweet beneath her brittle exterior. They’ve both been knocking around for a long time and have that jaded side to them, which only makes their fall into love all the more exciting. What's nice is how Andrew’s desire to save Cali and show her that hope exists brings about a turning point in his own life, waking him up to the potential of his existence when love is at stake. And Cali’s latest master, David the arms dealer, has some nicely hidden layers making the possibility of his redemption believable. But will he or won’t he? You’ll have to read it to find out. Did I mention there’s also some nice world building included with Cali and her bottle? Three Wishes is a great fun love story and you can buy it here…

This has been another Australian Women Writers 2012 Challenge. Please bang on the button to your right to learn more about this great endeavour.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Six Sentence Sunday...

Welcome to another Six Sentence Sunday. I've decided it's time to take a break from the Mexican Stand-off and do some Sci-Fi. This one is from The Colonists Wife which I've been polishing. It's a Witness Protection-Arranged Marriage-at an Off-Planet Mine in the year 2088. Fair enough to say our girl, Louise, is in for one hell of an adventure…

 Wives went last.
The ship shuddered and groaned again beneath her feet like some big metal beast shaking itself off. Louise stood to the side of the cargo bay doors and let all the important company people disembark first down the gang-way. People strode alongside the small transports that rolled out, raising plumes of grey dust when they hit the surface. The whole thing was handled with military like precision until finally only she was left, standing there forgotten.
It was time to meet her husband. 

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Bloggers Beware: You CAN get Sued for using Pics on your blog

 If you have a blog I heartily suggest you read this... Roni Loren is a wonderful Romance Writer with a wonderful blog I thoroughly enjoy. A blog that featured pictures much like me and all my friends use obtained off Google Images...

As much as I love my pretty boy pics I'll now be removing all images and getting snap happy with my phone. What will you be doing?

Friday, 20 July 2012

A look at Ruthie Knox... Ride With Me & About Last Night

So we haven’t done a book review for a little while and Romance Books being a particular passion I figure it’s time for us to dive back in. Today we’re going to look at Ruthie Knox who has two books out and why I happen to think she’s so wonderful. She writes sexy contemporary with a dash of humour for Random House/Loveswept.

First up we have ‘Ride With Me’ which takes us on a journey all the way across the US on two wheels. Lexie Marshall has long dreamt of tackling the TransAmerica Trail but a woman riding on her own isn’t such a great idea safety wise. She places an ad for a cycling buddy and winds up with Tom Geiger. A sexy as all hell loner with an attitude like you wouldn’t believe. Tom doesn’t want to ride with nobody but his sister has set him up and now he’s honor bound to stick with Lexie until he can find her a replacement. And so we begin.
I heard about this book on another blog (sorry, I can’t remember where) discussing amongst other things masturbation and the prevailing attitudes of the shame attached to said act. This book stood out as an example where a woman took her desire for pleasure into her own two hands with no bad aftertaste. Lexie might be a tad embarrassed Tom heard her happy alone time but she’s not suffering any lingering guilt over having done it. Go girl! That was sufficient to get me interested and what I found was a great story. Lexie is a strong character. She’s a fundamentally happy person who likes to play by the rules but in no way does she aggravate. And she’s the perfect spoil to bounce off broody loner Tom with his muscles and his t-shirts and his old cargo pants. You’re going to fall in love with Tom, guaranteed. Hot and broody with morals is full of win.  Please note, I’m not particularly interested in cycling but that didn’t slow me down in the least. I even learnt a little. Ms Knox has a fantastic writing style. She is fun and easy to read but there’s depth to her stories too. Her characters are layered creatures and you could well imagine knowing them as friends. There’s a certain charm to them you can’t help but appreciate.

On to the second book, ‘About Last Night’. Cath Talarico turned her life around two years back, no more bad girl stunts for her. So waking up hung-over in Nev Chamberlain’s bed does not make her happy. The guy is rich and uptight and worlds of wrong for an edgy, tattooed freshly-reformed troublemaker.  But Nev has an artistic side waiting to break loose. He’s more than just another banker in a sharp black suit. And he wants Cath. Bad. Bless him. What was great about this story apart from smoking hot sex was the emotion. Ms Knox has written a fantastic tale of opposites attract and of lost souls finding their way. I read this book in one sitting cause I just had to know what happened. Writerly wise, if you want to get down into the nitty gritty of knowing how to inject intensity into your sex scenes then definitely pick this one up. It’s perfect. The emotion... read it and you'll see what I mean. But if you’re just after a tangled but satisfying love story with steam, then pick it up too. Go on. They’re great stories and they also happen to be very reasonably priced. You won’t regret it. Here’s the link to Ruthie Knox’s site right here and now…

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Lust for life... or, what's the fascination with sex, people?

She's seriously under dressed for the weather.
Erotica has been around since some fool in a fur drew stick figures going at it on a cave wall. It’s pretty much always been in existence. There are a few staples that unite all us animals as one. Oxygen, water, food and f*cking or an interest in same. Even people who don’t do it have an opinion so it’s one of those great essentials to our existence. Whether it be photography, writing, movies or whatever, we’ve long felt the need to poke sticks at the subject and see what stuck its head out to rawr at us. And it’s such a crazily personal and intimate thing.  Theres a certain ‘ick’ factor involved when any body fluids get going. It can be embarrassing and wonderful and a hundred and one other things…

Nothing plays on the mind quite like sex does. Even prudish types are still apparently obsessed with it. Nietzsche made the point that in order to be celibate like a monk you needed to have sex permanently on the brain or you simply wouldn’t care that much. You needed to be someone who thought about sex and felt that sex was important enough to define yourself by its lack. It can often be seen to be more character defining for those who care passionately about whatever other people are doing when it comes to ‘it’. The prudes put a lot of effort into nay-saying and waggling fingers at folk.

Then there are the people into sexualities alternative to ‘straight’ heterosexual practices. Whether you be gay or into kink or whatever (And no I couldn’t care a less what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom so don’t give me sh*t about labeling anyone alternative. Want me to jump and down and object to getting labeled ‘straight’? Huh? Do ya? Cause it’s not that great a word…). But none of this explains the interest in something like Erotica so let’s get moving right along…

Are people attracted to Erotica because they like sex? Interesting and even weird sex, as compelling as it can be? But what they maybe aren’t attracted to, in real-life at least, is the baggage attached to same. Erotica gives us the thrill without the spill (Heh… spill. Oh don’t be so sordid. Grow up.). None of the drama and carry on that can follow a good roll in the hay. No call me maybe or awkward moments with others afterwards (hopefully). And how about the Happy Ever After factor prevalent in Romancelandia? Erotic Romance gives us a world where people can have their cake and eat it too (Eat. Eat! Heh.). Emotionally secure in the knowledge that a good times feeling waits right around the corner, no matter how tumultuous the preceding bed sport and relationship wrangling might have been. So you have all of the juice of an exciting time in the sack without any of the mess.

And doesn’t the act of sex speak of a deeper more physical connection and understanding between our hero and heroine? To our messed up little psyches it’s a tentative promise of sorts. It’s a definite well trodden step upon the path to true love and often its absence can be rather darn telling. Or that might just be me. I don’t cope well with sweet. Stuff that ends at the bedroom door niggles me.

The Fisherman's Wife again with her porny tentacles. I'm sorry. I think it's funny.
You can also just be curious. Buttoned down types not oozing much of anything can really tickle your imagination. Remember ‘Zack and Miri Make a Porno’? How’s about when Zack says how even people you hate can be sort of oddly fascinating when going about the sexual act. What are people really like when no one is meant to be watching and their mind is most definitely on other matters?

In conclusion maybe it’s simpler than all this. For many people maybe it’s simply fun to be horny. It’s a way of coming alive. Get’s the blood rushing and all that. So there’s a chat about sex and erotica and stuff. With or without a happy ending, what do you think of watching someone else let it all hang out?

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Six Sentence Sunday...

Welcome to another Six Sentence Sunday. Our Mexican Stand-off in Post-Zombie-Apocalypse land continues between our heroine and the tall dark and handsome Englishman. To re-cap, she just asked for his name and he expressed his incredulity that they were going to play ‘get to know you’ whilst pointing guns at each other... like dating was meant to be easy.

Not long now till they have to band together for the greater good but not quite yet. Have a great Sunday and enjoy. Thank you kindly as always for any comments.

     It was a kill or be killed world these days and pretty or no, she’d shoot him if she had to. “Figure we have time since neither of us is willing to give in.”
     “True,” he said.  
     His gaze slid up her rifle and onto her, lingering on the circlet of flying blackbirds tattooed around her wrist before moving on. Good thing she’d worn her baggy jacket. There was no need to be giving him any ideas when her stupid body had schemes aplenty, heating further beneath his perusal in a wholly pleasant manner this time.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Romance Writers of the Apocalypse Friday 13th Party! Let the End Begin!

Forgive the radio silence. I'm over at the Romance Writers of the Apocalypse discussing post-apocalyptic dating concerns and giving away sh*t. Pop on over and check it out... 

Monday, 9 July 2012

31 Flavors of Kink by Leia Shaw & Cari Silverwood...

This is the story of a happily married couple named Sidney and Nick. They have a nice little house and they both have jobs. They’re content even if their sex life isn’t rocking due to an awful event from earlier in Sid’s life. The woman has a few issues that make ‘normal’ sex uncomfortable and even occasionally painful for her. Conjugal relations being absent for months at a time is not unknown. But what she’s not telling her husband about is her interest in and appetite for certain erotic books. Certain books that involve elements of BDSM. Nick is a nice normal guy and she’s scared what his reaction to her interest in edgier and perhaps pain involving play might be.

Now, on the cover of this book it says based on a true story which puts a wholly different perspective on things in mine eyes. This book is brave and honest and I applaud it. What would it take for a woman (with or without Sidney’s earlier unhappy history) to actually discuss kink with her long time partner in an open and honest manner? Maybe that’s what the whole 50 Shades shebang is bringing out into the open along with an awareness of how a little shopping at your local hardware can benefit you. Sidney is a very normal woman with very normal and understandable fears. She messes things up and fights with her husband. She gets drunk and says the wrong thing (though I would never do this). And she can’t do a striptease to save herself. I believe that putting the spanking and bondage and sex toy play in an everyday setting can only be a good thing. It’s easy to relate to the hopes and fears of these people and their struggle to understand the place of play in their sex life.

Now I’m going into something which is slight SPOILER territory so stop now knowing I endorse the book totally. Be free. Flap your wings. Read and learn and love a little. Go forth, buy vibrators and enjoy them with my blessing.

Okay, the point that I also wanted to discuss is where Sidney tells her on-line fetish friends of her growing experiments with her husband regarding BDSM. Some are supportive and some are not. Whilst it’s true some of her activities could be viewed as topping from the bottom it did still astonish me that people could be so you’re doing it wrong. You’re fake and horrible and blah, blah, blah. Sidney longs for this sort of sex play for her own reasons and for the most part her husband is extremely supportive. And let’s pop our thinking caps on here for a minute. Very few men would scold and scowl when asked to spank and cuff and f*ck their wife, I think. Especially when they've been heartily encouraged by their wife to do so. Deep down in the basement of their soul. Go on. Admit it. Alright, so it’s not for everyone but if your partner who you loved and adored wanted it for whatever reason then stepping up to the plate wasn’t going to be the worst thing you ever had to do. Was it? No. Not even remotely. And maybe it took Nick some time to get a handle on the situation but Sid was by no means wrong to try to bring this interest in BDSM into their relationship as opposed to say remaining very unhappy or getting a divorce. It thoroughly p*ssed me off that people on the BDSM forum lambasted her for doing it wrong.

Yes, let me repeat that statement. Apparently, she was doing it wrong. Because there’s only one way for a couple to power exchange that is valid. Because people aren’t allowed to come to their own kinkery f*ckery happy place their own sweet way with all the safe, sane and consensual accounted for. Because experimenting and growing and learning and sh*t are big no-no’s. Come on. Relax. Please. There are degree's to everything and no one right or wrong (again, with all safe, sane and consensual boxes ticked). Support and encouragement go a lot further towards helping people find their intimate happy than slapping labels on them and throwing rules at them ever did. Small minded bullying and bullsh*t really ruffles my feathers. I kind of wonder how much of this sort of behaviour we're going to see in the future with the growing emergence of interest in the life-style care of 50 Shades. Please, can't we just be happy that people are learning they have options?

So that’s me and my soap box done. I liked the book. I thoroughly recommend it. See you in the comments…