Saturday, 17 September 2011

I'm gone already

That's it, I'm off on holiday. Back on October 10th ... with pictures of this sort of thing, hopefully!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

That's Kindle of them

So, The King's Viper is available on Kindle now! Here it is:
Amazon US : Amazon UK

Wooohooo! Another platform, a bigger market, easier to find on the internet, and all my novels are together on Amazon, which is lovely for me. (I'm one of those people who likes to have their DVDs arranged in thematic order, sorry.)

But (*whispers*) it's still cheaper direct from the publisher.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Red Velvet and Absinthe - Out now!

Today is the official release date for Red Velvet and Absinthe: paranormal erotic romance, edited by Mitzi Szereto. I haven't received my contributor copy yet, which is immensely frustrating because this is an anthology I SO want to read!

"Red Velvet and Absinthe offers readers a collection of unique and original stories that conjure up the atmospheric and romantic spirit of the Gothic masters (and mistresses) but take things a bit further by adding to the brew a generous dosage of eroticism. Lie back and listen to the wind howling outside your window as you read these stories in the flickering light of a candle. . ."

So if you buy it today you'll be able to read my story before me - how about that? ;-)

My story? It's called Cover Him With Darkness and I just love it; I'm so pleased it was chosen for this anthology! It's pretty creepy, and the ending is a real knife-edge. It's set in Albania, where Milja - daughter of an Orthodox priest - grows up with the family secret: a prisoner whom she must guard, as all her family have done for centuries. Is he Prometheus? Or perhaps Loki? Or something worse? Nobody knows. But he must never be released ... not even by a young woman who falls in love.

I'm going to break with my usual practice and give you an excerpt from the start of the story, because I don't want to give away what happens:

Cover Him With Darkness

The first time I saw him fettered there in the dark, I wept.

I was seven years old. My father led me by the hand down the steps behind the church altar, through a passage hewn into the mountainside. I’d never been permitted through that door before. Inside, there were niches cut into the rock walls, and near the church they were filled with painted and gilded icons of the saints and of Our Lord, but further back those gave way to statuettes of blank-eyed pagan gods, growing cruder in execution and less human in appearance as we walked on. I clung to Father’s hand and cringed from the darkness. Finally we came out into a roofless chamber, where the walls leaned inward a hundred feet over our heads and the floor was nothing but a mass of loosely tumbled boulders. I looked up, blinking at the light that seemed blinding, though in fact this was a dim and shadowed place. I could see a wisp of cloud against the seam of blue, and the black speck of a mountain eagle soaring across the gap. 

There he lay upon a great tilted slab of limestone, his wrists and ankles bound by twisted leather ropes whose further ends seemed to be set into the rock itself. It was hard to say whether the slab had been always been underground or had fallen long ago from the mountain above; our country is, after all, much prone to earthquakes. Dirt washed down with the rain had stained him grey, but I could make out the muscled lines of his bare arms and legs and the bars of his ribs. There was an old altar cloth draped across his lower torso; only much later did I realize that Father had done that, to spare his small daughter the man’s nakedness.

"Here, Milja,” said my father, pushing me forward. “It is time you knew. This is the charge of our family. This is what we guard day and night. It is our holy duty never to let him be found, or to escape.”

I was only little: he looked huge to me. Huge and filthy and all but naked. I stared at the thongs, as thick as my skinny wrist, knotted cruelly tight about his broader ones. They stretched his arms above his head so that one hand could not touch the other, and others held his ankles apart. I felt a terrible ache gather in my chest. I pressed backward, into Father’s black robes.

“Who is he?” I whispered.

“He is a very bad man.”

That was when the prisoner moved for the first time. He rolled his head and turned his face toward us. I saw the whites of his eyes gleam in his grey face. Even at seven, I could read the suffering and the despair burning there. I squirmed in Father’s grip.

“I think he is hurt,” I whimpered. “The ropes are hurting him.”

“Milja,” said Father, dropping to his knees and putting his arm around me. “Don’t be fooled - this is not a human being. It just looks like one. Our family have guarded him here since the first people came to these mountains. Before the Communists. Before the Turks. Before the Romans, even. He has always been here. He is a prisoner of God.”

“What did he do?”

“I don’t know, little chick.”

That was when I began to cry.

Buy at Amazon US : Amazon UK

Red Velvet and Absinthe Blog

Monday, 12 September 2011

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Where did I put those Yellow Fever cards?

We've started on our malaria tablets. Ah ... the vile, vile taste of holiday anticipation ...

Friday, 9 September 2011

Just Good Friends

Well, I feel like a proud Grandmother! Or maybe the carrier of a virulent disease, depending on how you look at it ...

A few months ago a reader called Jennifer Denys wrote to me saying she'd been so keen to get her hands on my In Appreciation of Their Cox that she'd done her first ever download ... and that after that things had snowballed. She'd found a load of erotic romance she loved, and now she'd written one of her own. So I encouraged her and pointed her in the direction of the ERWA submissions page (Seriously, if you want to publish erotica or erotic romance, that is the webpage you need to start at) and wished her luck.

And this week, Jennifer Denys' first novella, Just Good Friends, has been e-published by Siren! She sent me a copy! Here's the 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.

This is a light-hearted, sweet, romantic story about a couple of book-loving friends with a mutual love of Sci-Fi (yay! nerdsex!). Jessie's buttoned-down in some ways, but their openness to exploration and to each other is heartwarming. The characters come across as really likeable people well suited to each other. A whole bunch of real books are used as inspiration for their games and I spotted In Appreciation of their Cox at the end of Chapter Five :-D

I'm just delighted and honoured to have helped inspire a new author. So go on - buy a copy. But be careful, you may catch the bug and end up writing one of your own :-)

Jennifer's author webpageJust Good friends

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Line up, line up!

So, despite this being the year I swore to write a novel and leave the short stories alone, I'm not doing at all badly on the anthology front. My dirty dirty petplay story Being His Bitch has just been accepted for Bound by Lust, a collection of BDSM love stories edited by the unbelievably talented Shanna Germain, to be published by Cleis Press. I am SO proud to have my story chosen by Shanna!

Here's the full line-up:

And here's the full line-up for Irresistible, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, which features my sweet sex-in-the-great-outdoors story Repaint the Night:

  • Twice Shy - Heidi Champa
  • Safe for Work - A.M. Hartnett
  • Repaint the Night - Janine Ashbless
  • Same As It Ever Was - Cole Riley
  • Out of Control - Karenna Colcroft
  • Warrior - Kate Pearce
  • Hypocrites - Alyssa Turner
  • The Pact - Elizabeth Coldwell
  • Exposing Calvin - Rachel Kramer Bussel
  • Six Eyes, Two Ears - Kris Adams
  • Renewal - Delilah Night
  • The Netherlands - Justine Elyot (Fancy meeting you here, Justine!)
  • Predatory Tree - Craig J. Sorensen (Ooh, he's got a J this time!)
  • The Mitzvah - Tiffany Reisz
  • After The Massage - Kay Jaybee
  • Pink Satin Purse - Donna George Storey

That's two stories about loving couples in a row. People will start to say I'm going soft!

... Until they find out what I'm writing at the moment, that is, heh heh heh.
After a break of about a month I'm back on with Named and Shamed, which is all about fairies and is NOT NICE AT ALL. It is getting filthier and more insane by the page. I am loving loving loving writing this book.

But I'm a bit scared of it.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Troll Hunter

(Ignore the ad for Priest if it shows up first ...)

I am just childishly excited about this one!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Wax on ... wax off ... werewolf

Yes, I know it's hardly cutting edge, but I've been taking my boxed DVD set of True Blood Season 3 round to a friend's so we can catch up together and wallow in the eyecandy and the madness. (She's a Bill fan, don't ask me why.)

Episode 3 and in walks a new character: Alcide the werewolf. Wow. I think my eyeballs nearly fell out. He has, no denying, one of those everybody-in-the-room-stops-what-they're-doing-and-stares bodies. It feel churlish to raise even the faintest complaint.

But ... where's his body-hair? I mean, he's not a kid. He should have chest hair. And this is totally setting aside any issues about him being a werewolf and therefore (arguably) displaying appropriate animalistic features. Real men get hairier with age. I didn't know that at twenty, but I know it now. If you're an eighteen-year-old guy, having a chest like a freshly-moulded Ken doll looks fine.

But, unless you're Scandinavian -

- if you're bald across the pecs by thirty-plus it looks bloody odd. Or at the very least, clearly and obviously artificial. Our werewolf must make regular visits to his sister's beauty salon.

Ah ... I sense my lurking cultural conditioning. Men shouldn't preen is my underlying prejudice. It may be one that's getting more and more old fashioned. In February this year I was sitting in a jacuzzi with two Dutch guys rather younger than me, one a representative of Her Majesty's Navy and the other an armed motorcycle cop (I'm not boasting here ... Oh hell yes, I am. Heh heh.). Now, they were both heavily in favour of manscaping. Men should lose their body-hair, they agreed. 

I wondered if my preference for guys who looked more natural was because I was British, not Continental.

"Yes, maybe," came the answer. "But also, your age."