Friday, December 11, 2009

D&G

Sadly failing in its efforts to get me to buy the product, but I can't help loving this commercial.


Ten minute tapdance

So, that news I had. Turns out it was two counts of good news. I sold a short story and a novel in the space of ten minutes. And get this one, shakes head in disbelief, I actually had two offers for the novel. I've never had that happen before. It makes me feel all loved and wanted.

As for who I've sold these beasties too, I'm keeping quiet about that until things are properly in the bag. I will say that they're both going to new to me publishers, and I'm all excited about it. Especially over the novel. I'm a novelist at heart. I just can't get as worked up over my short story sales.

More details of what and where I've sold things soon, I promise.

Meanwhile, I'm still deep in the mire that is the Bloody Book. I'm loving it, but I'm struggling to find time to actually write at the minute, and then when I do have the time it's difficult to settle. Instead I seem to be doing online jigsaws and bits of Christmas shopping. Really have to focus. I want to have this book finished by the end of Feb.

Been thinking I might post some seasonal treats. Any requests? Could be snippets from my published stuff or a work in progress, or maybe a fly by from a favourite character. Let me know what you fancy.



Monday, December 07, 2009

Vroooommm

Poor ol neglected blog. I do try to keep you updated, but other things constantly demand my attention, like writing books, and tending my family, and learning to drive, and writing books.

I'm still hard at work on the Bloody book. The proposal has gone off to my agent and will be heading off towards various editors desks before long, but I'm still trying to get a bit more of it on paper before I start on the next proposal. I'm in the groove for this book. Well, as in the groove as I get at the moment. Lots of other things going on that are eating into my writing time. One of those is learning to drive. I had my first lesson on the road this morning. Wasn't too bad, surprisingly, despite me having a bloody awful cold, and it raining. Instructor is lovely. That certainly helps, and he's so positive that I'm going to enjoy driving that I actually did. Have my homework for that to do. Will look very silly sitting in a chair at home practising mirrors, indicator, brakes, but who cares.

Might have a smidgen of news soon on the publishing front too, but I'm not saying anything more until everything is signed, sealed and dotted.

Only a week in, and December is shaping up to be a bit of a rollercoaster ride.

--
Recently watched: Batman Begins,The Dark Knight & Jaws
Currently listening to: Silence
Currently reading: Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Dust Bunnies are Gone

Oh, yay, it's synopsis writing day again. See me sweating every word, see the tears and feel the anguish. The ironing pile of doom is suddenly transformed into a steamy way to tide a few hours. I could listen to music. I could spring clean my desk. Hey, where have all the dust bunnies gone that were lurking under my bed?

Seriously, it's not that bad... Okay, that's a lie. It is that bad. It's worse than bad.

But, I have this





and this


and this to keep me sane.

Right?

Right!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Short Stories


I've been thinking about short stories today, going through the folder of things I haven't yet found a home for. Ask me most times and I'll tell you I hate writing short stories. There's too much work involved for the end reward. They take me such a long time, and I have to part with the characters too quickly. And then, like today I read back what I've written and I realise that even with a just a few thousand words I can pack an emotional punch.

The story I've just read is all about loss and hope. It stars a character I became very attached to. In fact, I went on to write a whole book about him, but the short story shows a different side to him. We see him through someone else's eyes.

It's a story that makes me cry, as many of my short stories do. Maybe that's what is difficult about them. I pour too much emotion into them. I have to give up too much of myself. I find it impossible to write something quick and easy that's just about fancying someone and shagging them senseless. The unfortunate side effect of this is that it makes these stories difficult to sell. Alot of the emphasis of erotica and erotic romance is on the happy side of sex, people enjoying themselves and just revelling in plain old lust, whereas there's often a thread of pain or loss in my stories. I can't help it. I just don't think you can understand real happiness without knowing what its opposite is like. But do people want to read that... I do. I'm just not so sure about everybody else.

--
Recently watched: Crying Freeman
Currently listening to: nowt
Currently reading: Gabriel's Ghost by Linnea Sinclair

Friday, October 23, 2009

Just checking in

I'm so naughty, neglecting my poor blog. In my defence, life had just been plain crap of late, plus I've been ill with a head cold.

Lots of writing developments... well, lots for me.

Enticement is out on submission again.

The Whore is undergoing a metamorphosis. It's in its chrysalis just at the moment.

And I've just unearthed the Bloody Book to start working on that one again. Rather looking forward to it. I've always had a soft spot for Blaze and Asha.

This is the pair, if you recall them from Broken Angel.


Blaze watched Asha close the door and put her back to the wood. She eyed him curiously, with her arms folded across her chest. ‘Is your past really worth risking a man’s life for?’

‘I was quite happy to go myself.’ He refused to feel guilty. Jaku had volunteered to go outside.

Asha dug her teeth into her bottom lip. ‘You know we couldn’t let you do that, even without the Ghost Wind.’

‘Frightened I’ll try to escape?’

The apprehensive flutter of her eyelashes confirmed the truth. He frowned at her, and she pushed away from the door to come to him. ‘If we’d let you out, you’d have been on your bike and away. Don’t try to deny it.’

Blaze rubbed his fingers across his knuckles, but didn’t respond. Until this moment, he hadn’t actually thought of escaping. He hadn’t realised that he needed to. When had she switched roles from his saviour to his jailor? Maybe from the moment he stepped out of the bathroom, and they started discussing the blasted pamphlet.

He snatched it off the table.

Of course, now that he knew he was a prisoner, it dawned on him that her suspicions were right. If he’d reached his bike, he would have run. The pamphlet had told him little enough, and as he couldn’t afford to pay someone to translate it for him, there was little point in keeping it. With nothing to bring him back, yes, he’d have run from the Talon. He was almost tempted to run now, except even if he got away from her, and evaded Palter Rodgers, the gate guard, he still wouldn’t reach the bike and get far enough down the road to outrun the dead.

Nobody got caught in the Ghost Wind and survived. It’s icy grip strangled without mercy. It was clean and cold, the perfect way to murder. There wasn’t a night that went past when some poor unfortunate didn’t find himself at the mercy of the chill windborne horde.
He glanced warily at the tiny skylight above Palter Rodgers’ desk. The wind was already picking up outside, another few minutes and clawed fingers would be rattling the window frames. He spared a glance for Asha. Her features had tightened into the mask-like expression she’d presented when he’d first seen her. She’d withdrawn, was probably hiding her fear for her partner in the only way she knew how.

Blaze resumed his seat, and turned the pamphlet in his hands. The cover was blotched and worn in places, but surprisingly tactile. It had a distinctive smell too, a malty, acidic odour that had little in common with normal leather. He wondered if the others had noticed it too. It was almost…like bacon cooked in cider with a hint of something nefarious. Rat, maybe.

He traced his thumb along the spine and it fell open in his palm at the image of the sigil. From what he recalled, the version on his chest was far cruder than the picture in the book, which was comprised of many delicate swirls.

Blaze looked down at his t-shirt as if he could see the pattern burned onto his skin through the cloth. What was that supposed to mean? That he’d be responsible for waking some ages old demon prince? Not bloody likely. It didn’t make sense after what had happened earlier either. Why attack him? Why not ask for a quiet word? Were the two incidents even connected? There’d been rumours enough about the youkai recently. Maybe they were just hungry. Maybe he’d seemed like an easy mark.

The sigil on his chest burned, bringing with it a sharp flash of pain.

He must have winced, because Asha was suddenly kneeling by his side.

‘How are you feeling?’ She pressed her hand to his brow. The mask replaced with matronly concern. ‘I can give you more painkillers if the effect is wearing off.’

Blaze tightened his grip on the booklet, so the colour bled out of his thumbs. ‘I’m fine,’ he growled. No sooner were the words spoken, than the thrumming in his hindbrain started again. Blinded by the pain, he clasped her arm for support.

‘Blaze. I think I ought to check the poultice is working. You don’t look so good.’ Her free hand tugged at the bottom of his damp t-shirt.

‘No!’ He clapped a hand over hers, preventing her from revealing any more of his chest. ‘I’m fine. It’s fine. Just a twinge.’ He managed a pained smile.

She sat back on her haunches and eyed him quizzically, but didn’t let go of his shirt even when he removed his hand from hers. ‘I think we have wildly different concepts of fine. The fake smile isn’t convincing me.’ She tugged again at the black cloth, this time exposing a three-inch band of flesh around his midriff.

‘Really, Asha—leave it!’

She lowered her eyelashes a moment in response, then her brows furrowed and her green eyes bore into him.
‘Don’t be so stupid.’

He stared into the crystal fire of her eyes, and almost backed down. Only the thought of having to try to explain the mark upon his chest and his miraculously healed shoulder blades prevented him.

‘Blaze.’ She leaned into him. So close, he could smell the scent of her body beneath her perfume. ‘You’re hot. Burning up. There’s something wrong with the wound.’ She slid her hand below the fabric and up his side towards his back.

Wild panic fluttered in his chest beside the flaring heat of the pulsing sigil. Her hands felt icy against his skin. To distract her, he did the only thing that came into his head. He kissed her. Hard.

For a moment, he felt her shock: a sharp intake of breath, a clenching of all the muscles in her back. Then instead of pushing him away and slapping him, she was kissing him back.

Her tongue played against the seam of his lips, igniting both passion and terror. He wanted her, had known that almost the moment he’d woken. Perhaps before that, but she was out of his league. Talon—you didn’t mess. This was wrong. There’d be payback. She was his jailor. The thought just excited him more. Unable to stop himself, Blaze pressed his tongue into her mouth. His moans mingled with hers. The globes of her bottom fitted neatly into his hands as she straddled his lap and rocked against the bulge of his cock. Like splashes of heaven, her kisses rained upon his face. He felt disorientated, shivery, but the earlier pain dwindled to a pinpoint. It flared again, white-hot when she squeezed his nipple, but in a good way, a way that made his cock thicken and buck.

Her underwear rasped against the zip of his trousers as she writhed upon his lap, urging him to loose his cock with the rock of her hips. Both her hands were beneath his shirt. They roved across his freshly healed skin, which tingled with each touch. Where the skin had been cold, now it was hot, as if the heat of her soul was seeping into him wherever their bodies made contact. No way was this natural.

Blaze looked at her in wonder. A slender line of perspiration peppered her brow. There was glazed sheen to her eyes. ‘Asha!’ He put his hand out to stop her, but didn’t push. He wasn’t sure if she was even aware of his resistance. She was gazing at him as though he was out of focus. ‘Asha, there’s something wrong. The poison you drew…’ Would it be this slow acting? He hadn’t a clue about youkai poisons beyond what she’d told him, but he didn’t think this was simply down to lust. ‘I think we have to stop.’

Blaze stretched away from her, and took refuge in the depths of the sofa, but it was no use. It simply put him in a more vulnerable position.

Asha tore at the waistband of his leather jeans. The fly gave, revealing his rapidly hardening cock. It bucked as if begging attention. Blaze gulped down a deep breath while he watched Asha lick her lips. Then her mouth closed, soft and eager, over the ruddy helm, and he was hers. He couldn’t stop her. The pleasure was so intense, he could do little more than groan and clench his fists. In his mind, he knotted his fingers in her hair, held her still so he could watch his cock slide in and out as he fucked her mouth with quick deep strokes and watched her lipstick smear. Her tongue teased the sensitive eye. He was going to walk away with black lip prints all along the shaft. Just that thought was enough to draw him that bit closer to coming. ‘Asha, please…’ His control was fraying, his reservations melting away.

The sigil on his chest flared white-hot again and seemed to writhe in time with their motion. It hurt, but her lullaby of poisonous kisses somehow overrode everything, and turned his words of denial in to gasps of surrender.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Location, location...

I have book issues at the moment. No, not with my current wip for a change, but with the book I'm reading, or at least attempting to read. What's the problem? Actually, I don't know if there is a problem. It's probably a very good book. I'm fairly confident I'm going to enjoy it, else I wouldn't have bought it in the first place. The thing is, so far I haven't got past the first line.

It's not that it's a bad opening line. In fact, it's not really the opening line at all. It's the date and location info before the opening line. This book, which is a Regency historical is set in Durham. I haven't read far enough to find out if that Durham is referring to the city of Durham, which is what I'd assume from the location being given as Durham, or whether we're talking about County Durham (County Palatine of Durham, if we're going to be correct for the era).

So, what's the issue here? Well, I suppose it's me, my expectations and past experiences.

While not an expert on County Durham, I did live there for ten years, and I have lots of childhood memories of the place, and the last Regency-set book I read by a US author that was set in County Durham made some horrendous mistakes. Hence, I'm bracing myself for more unintentional trips here. It's unfair of me, but I can't shake the expectation. I just wish that choice had been for another location, say Wessex or Somerset, or Kent. Somewhere that isn't the North-east of England, and is preferably nowhere too close to my current location.

I guess it's just harder to suspend belief when there are little nuances to bug you.

Does anyone else have this sort of location problem, or is it just me?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

SLN USA


To celebrate the release of Sexy Little Numbers in the US and other territories, I thought I'd share a little snippet from my story Hard at Work which appears in the collection. Quite possibly the last ever anthology from Black Lace.

SEXY LITTLE NUMBERS: BEST WOMEN'S EROTIC FROM BLACK LACE 1
Published by Virgin, Black Lace
ISBN # 978-0352345387

August, 2009

"Sexy Little Numbers" is a choice cut of all new and original erotic stories and the latest addition to Black Lace's immensely popular series of erotica collections. This longer collection will contain even more variety and a greater range of female sexual desire than ever before. It will be the first of an annual collection of the best general erotica stories written by women. Fun, irreverent and deliciously decadent, "Sexy Little Numbers" will combine humour and attitude with wildly imaginative writing from all over the world. This will be the most entertaining erotic fiction for women to be found anywhere in the world.

Excerpt from Hard at Work

He smells primarily of coffee and aftershave, although a hint of dry cleaning fluid still clings to his trousers, which I insist he folds and lays crease free on top of his desk. I’m pleased to see he kicks off his socks and shoes along with his slacks, aesthetics are important and I like seeing men’s feet. They’re such fragile things compared to the rest of them. Even when they’re whopping great size thirteens, like Barry’s.

He settles again in the leather chair, his toned thighs wide spread either side of me. When I rest my hands lightly upon his knees, and both his thighs and his cock twitch in greeting, my heart does a little somersault too, though I hope I keep it hidden. For months, I’ve disguised how intensely I feel about this man, concealing my high colour beneath layers of carefully applied foundation and blush. I hardly dare meet his eyes now; for fear that he’ll see just how big a fraud I am. All this no nonsense secretary lark is an act borne of desperation. The first day we spent together, I was so overawed, I turned into a stilted, super efficient zombie, but it got me through and kept me in a role that had previously seen a very high turnover of staff despite the swish private office and a nice compensation package. The whole office spoke of Mr John’s as some sort of demented demon, likely to kick you into the street for picking your nose on work time. I realised pretty quickly, that it’s just an act for him too. A way of playing with the big boys and getting some respect when he’s almost half their age.

That doesn’t change the fact that I’m out of my depth here. I’m not a dominatrix, just an ordinary secretary, and my knowledge and experience of these sorts of devices is virtually non-existent. I bought in online, thinking it pretty, never expecting to find a man to encase within its steel and leather grip. I never for a moment thought I’d be fastening it around my boss, though he looks beautiful, clasped within the rings. The sight of the tiny lock dangling from the fastenings fills my stomach with butterflies.

Mine, all mine.

I dangle the key from my fingertip, the knowledge that I can ask whatever I want of him makes me curiously light-headed, but strangely, I can’t think of a single demand. Actually, that’s not entirely true, it’s just that all my senses are attuned to him, and quite unconcerned by material gains. I long to see him naked. Will the rest of his body live up to the promise of his hard cock and solid thighs? They in themselves are an unanticipated surprise.

Barry tugs uneasily at his collar, clearly seeking to ease his sense of confinement as I look upon him, but I don’t allow his discomfort to hurry me. I take my time, admiring the shape of his cock, the slight curve in the shaft and the deep magenta of the flared head. I’ve not seen that many. But Barry’s is nice. As I lean closer and touch the springy tuft of dark curls at its base I catch the scent of him, a perfume not too dissimilar to that of my own: rich and gamey.

‘Say, please,’ I insist, and he groans. My tongue flicks out over my bottom lip, and I shuffle myself nearer to the tip of his cock. He’s been so obedient. He really does deserve a treat.

‘Please, Miss Stevens.’ He begs so beautifully, eyes down cast, just peeping up at me occasionally to gauge my responses ‘Please take it off.’ There’s a hint of a growl alongside his plea that makes me want to laugh. It’s the same grumble of disapproval he uses as a fearsome motivational tool amongst the workforce. He’s so used to being in charge, of snapping orders and having people jump.

I don’t jump. We’re playing by my rules today, not his. Tantalizingly, I trace a finger along his cock from the base to the tip subconsciously counting the five steel rings. It gives me time to master my own eagerness. ‘I’m not sure that’s such a good idea, Barry.’ I hold the tiny padlock between my finger and thumb. ‘You’re very excited, and I don’t want you losing control of yourself.’ Really, I’m just too aware of how delicate the balance of power between us is. Without the restraints, our game is merely an ordinary torrid office affair, the sort that involves fucking upright balanced against the photocopier, or sneakingly groping one another within the claustrophobic confines of the stationary cupboard. This is too good for that, and we both know it.

Barry’s pulse shows in his temple as he sucks in a heavy breath. He lifts his hips slightly—wanting, straining.

‘Well, if you’re sure you’ve been good.’

‘Yes,’ he hisses.

I seek deceit in his eyes, but there is none. My mouth forms a wide O as I lean forward, hands splayed across the tops of his broad thighs supporting my descent.

‘Wait! Perhaps we should take a look at what you’ve been working on first.’ I rise up a little and tap a few keys on his computer. The fuzzy black and white security feed bleeds onto the screen, showing a camera pointed at my empty desk.‘That’s hardly being good, now is it?’

‘I had you minimized,’ he says with a wry shrug, which startles a peal of laughter from me.

Fingers concealing my mouth, I ask: ‘Do you honestly thinking admitting to that is going to appease me?’

He sags a little at the shoulders in response. ‘I’ll take whatever punishment you think fit.’

‘Oh, will you?’ Much to his bewilderment, I unfasten the tiny padlock and remove the leather and steel restraint.

‘You’re not going?’ he whispers, a trace of dejection woven around the words.

‘Going? I’m going to suck you, Barry. But I expect you to show some self-control. I don’t like guy’s coming in my mouth. If you managed to keep yourself in check, then I’ll give you a reward. If not, our little game is over.’ One tiny glimpse at the row of buttons on my starched white shirt is enough for him to start nodding. His sign of agreement fades, and his hands tighten on the arms of the chair as I once again tilt forward as if to taste him.
‘Take off your shirt and tie.’

At the last moment, I swerve away, provoking a groan of complaint. Still, Barry does as instructed with ego stroking quickness. Unlike his trousers, his shirt is flung upon the floor. I tut at his sloppiness, but really I disregard the rumpled shirt, my interest already focussed upon his body. My jaw falls slack. Shocked by how pleasing his physique turns out to be. Not even his glorious thighs prepared me for what I’m now staring at. Awed, I pass a hand across his naked chest. ‘You’ve been hiding this well.’

Barry inclines his head. ‘No one’s ever asked to see it.’

Dear God, we’re all fools in this office. I’ve lusted over this man for months and I never suspected he looked like this beneath his work-soiled shirt and dodgy end of line suit. I make him turn before me, so that I can see every beautiful line of his body. He has the sort of abs make-up artist’s paint onto models before a photo shoot, and the arse of a tennis supremo. His nipples are two pale pinpoints, only a tiny shade darker than the surrounding skin, while between them a light smattering of hair covers his chest. Below his naval the hairs thicken and mingle with the wiry curls that hug his groin. As I turn him before me, he seems so vulnerable despite his obvious masculine strength that I almost forget my role as stern mistress and crush him to my breast eager to offer comfort.

Luckily, Barry is not so lost in the moment. His full sensual lips part a fraction, and his breaths burst over me in slow faltering gasps. I touch him gently, tracing two fingers over the ridge of his hip, before finally touching his cock with just the tip of my tongue. His fists clench upon the chair arms as my fingers dance over the ridges of his shaft. The knuckles whiten when that delicate exploration reaches the fuzzy weight of his balls. With whiskey-coloured eyes he wordless begs, wanting and arching up off the chair to plead for more. In desperation, he bites his lip, and that’s when I take him deep in my mouth.

Still, even as I suck him, I demand as much in return as I give. I dig my fingernails into the hard globes of his rear and enjoy the supple spring of flesh beneath my fingertips. Tomorrow, I don’t doubt he’ll have bruises.

Finished, not quite.

You know that proposal that I finished last weekend (not the one just gone the one before that), well, it turns out it wasn't finished after all, hence I'm still at it. I realised that I need some earlier scenes from the alternative viewpoint characters, otherwise they seem to leap out of nowhere around chapter eight.

Other thing I've realised - okay, I already knew it, but it's finally sunk in - I don't really know what this book is in terms of genre. It's erotic, but it's not erotica. There's not nearly enough sex for that. It has a romance running through it, but it breaks way too many romance genre rules to be actuallyRomance, which I guess makes it a Historical with erotic romance elements.

I am loving this book for all my compliants about it. It's dark and gritty, but it's an adventure story, and I think it probably has more in common with Urban Fantasy than traditional Georgian era romance, not that there are any paranormal elements. It's just the feel of it.

Anyway, so I've left one set of characters in limbo with waving their stockings about, and I'm trying to write a viewpoint character with secrets that I don't want to give away, and another viewpoint character who I want to squeeze, but who isn't terribly nice. Oh, and then I have to work out where these extra scenes are going.

Pity my poor crit partners, who having waded through what I sent them the other week will soon have random extra scenes thrown at them.

Oh, it's fun being a writer.

--
Recently watched: Flashforward
Currently listening to: nowt
Currently reading: Just finished Penumbra 18 by Keri Arthur

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Nominations


Pure Folly has been nominated in the historical category of the Rainbow Awards over at Elisa Rolle's site. All votes appreciated, especially if you've actually read the book.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Blank Page Blues

Over the weekend, I finished drafting the book proposal I've been working on for what seems like aeons. I'm pleased with it, but we'll see what my crit partners think of it before I send it on to my agent. Anyway, as a result of this triumph, I'm now faced with a blank word document. I have a vague idea about what I want to write, it's just the getting started and working through all that annoying getting to know you stuff again.

Seriously, I love it, but it is hard work for a Monday morning. I've no title, just a few character names to start from and worst of all, no pressing deadline.

Keep an eye on that sidebar and see how I do. If it's not going up, kick me.

-----
Recently watched: The Tudors (end of series 3)
Currently listening to: nowt
Currently reading: Generation 18 by Keri Arthur

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ouch!


Thought I'd take a moment to mention just how much I hate wasps today.

Hate 'em!

I want to mash them all into one big waspy mulch and then dance up and down on it. Maybe I could dowse them in liquid nitrogen, or stick them in a centrifuge and spin 'em until their nasty stingy insides fall out.

Ahem!

I got stung. It hurts. Wasp lived tell its mates. And to make matters worse Fifi & the Flowertots was all about how wonderful wasps are this morning.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Arisen

My laptop is not dead. Oh no, it really isn't. Reports of its demise were premature, it was just sozzled, and having finally dried out, it's now up and running beautifully again, and I've forgiven it for inflicting hours of despair and hand wringing upon me.

Ah, my beautiful laptop. I love you. Don't go away again. I promise not to fall asleep and spill drinks over your nice sleek black lines again. How about we celebrate your rebirth with a picture or two?



-----
Recently watched: Lots of Battlestar Galactica
Currently listening to: nowt
Currently reading: Just finished Memory Zero by Keri Arthur

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sob

I've killed my laptop. It beeps feebly when I try to turn it on. Fell asleep with it on my knee and managed to tip coffee all over it. Hard drive is probably safe and can be extracted, but I think I've fried the chip. :(

Please send love.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Soooo tired.

Busy weekend, and I'm feeling it. Spent Saturday ogling the locals, sharing gossip, and discussing projects with Janine Ashbless and Charlotte Stein. Then did a theme park on Sunday! Consequently my concentration levels have been a bit off today. It's only quarter to nine and I'm ready for bed. This is unheard of for me. I'm a total night owl most of the time.

I'm still fighting with the Whore, mostly tweaking and trying to decide whether to slow the pace of things down a bit. My gut instincts are telling me to insert a few scenes or possibly a full chapter between two points in the narrative, but that will mean minimal nookie. That said, I'm not really sure that's what this book is about anyway.

`

Friday, September 11, 2009

#2

Where is my copy of Filament 2? I wants it now.

*sigh*

Only a couple of hundred books on by TBR pile and I'm in dire need of reading material.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Vacant

I realise I've been a bit vacant recently. I'm going to blame the school holidays, and hence the family being home, but really there's a bit more to it than that. Three days left until school starts again. This makes me happy and sad in equal measures. No more long mornings spent writing in bed while the rest of the household are still asleep, because I'll have to be up at the crack of dawn to do the school run. On the other hand, I will get a whole five hours of the place to myself during the day.

The start of September means it's also time to crack on with my various projects. I've not been idle over the summer, progress has been made, but not at particularly speedy rate. I've written six chapters of The Whore, and I have a vague working outline that I need to beat into synopsis shape. I've also found two great new crit partners.

Crit partners mean time away from my own writing to concentrate on helping improve theirs, but the benefits of decent feedback on my own work makes it worth it. That and I'm enjoying reading their stories which aren't books/genres I'd normally pick up.

But back to the wips.

This is where I'm at:

The Whore 22K, outline - polish to go to agent.

The Bloody Book 22K, - also needs polishing to go to agent.

Gee George (no George's in this story, only a Paris, an Alexander, a Sophie and an Egremont) - a vague twinkling in my brain that needs fleshing out.

Darleston - Outline, and hardly any words.

AGW3 - half an outline and hardly any words.

The plan:

1. WRITE A DAMN SYNOPSIS FOR THE WHORE.
2. Do not waste time tweaking the chapters into oblivion.
3. WRITE THE DAMN SYNOPSIS.
4. Make sense of Gee George. Seriously, how long does it take to write 15K?
5. WRITE ANOTHER SYNOPSIS.
6. Do not bug out and do the ironing instead.

Wish me luck...

--
Recently watched: Mooonraker
Currently listening to: Nothing, I value silence.
Currently reading: Just finished Silent on the Moors by Deanna Raybourn. Nothing else is yelling at me to read it yet.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

I've been interviewed.


You can read all about me, over at Fallen Angel Reviews. Just click here to head straight there.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bolsover

Nice jaunt to Bolsover Castle last week. Impressive, but too large and unfortified to ever be a real favourite of mine. I'm definitely more sold on the more bijou castles such as Orford and Stokesay. However, Bolsover did yield a few surprising treasures, such as the depictions of lesbianism on the walls of one chamber, and numerous other bawdy pictures such as the one below.



The really crowning glory, though, was the Venus fountain.



Which on first appearances is a fairly impressive, if ordinary fountain, that is until you get up close and can see what's going on below ground... Let's just say this fellow was accompanied and his fellows were equally upstanding. There were swans involved too...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Changing forms

So, I've been thinking today and writing. I reckon I could easily have churned out a good 2000 words by now instead of the 500 I've actually written. The thing is, those words while functional, wouldn't have got across what I wanted to say in quite the way I wanted to say it, whereas the ones I've settled for, mostly do.

Desperate Measures (or LMW as I'm now going to refer to it) has lost most of it's erotic roots and has transformed into something else entirely... something less flighty, with more depth. It's less about sex, and more about character, I think, but who knows where it's really headed. It could take a U turn at any moment.

Off north tomorrow to visit family.

--
Recently watched: Night Watch
Currently listening to: The Levellers
Currently reading: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wicked Lady


I took time out from writing on Thursday night to take in a bit of culture. I'm lucky enough to live fairly close to a theatre, so I off I went to see The Wicked Lady, which is about the diabolical Lady Skelton. While not exactly a likeable character, you can't help feeling sorry for her, stuck with a totally boring husband and a set of in laws who are dead but just haven't realised it yet! Seriously, who can blame her for taking to highway robbery for a bit of fun, or for falling for a dashing charmer...

Anyway, the outing also served as a piece of research for Desperate Measures.

Desperate Measures, which has a totally new title that I love, but ain't sharing yet. I've started rewriting it from scratch, altering the language and the way it slots together. I hope it's working. It's certainly grabbing my interest far more than it was in the past. Have to say that it's more historical and less erotic at the moment, although that element does still remain in parts. Can you tell I've started to enjoy it? I actually like the heroine. I may even stay in her pov for the whole book--now there's a novel thought!

*****
Recently watched: The Wicked Lady
Currently listening to: Final Fantasy music
Currently reading: Dark Needs at Night's Edge by Kresley Cole. The previous novel I started Lord John and the Private Matter unfortunately met with an accident involving a small child and a large amount of water.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sadness


I have an invitation to a wake. Need to work out if I can get there. It makes me sad. However, the previous Black Lace party I attended was great fun. Need to make plans...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

On hold


Work is very definitely on hold this week. I wish I could say that's because I'm having a well earned break, but actually, it's simply because life keeps throwing obstacles in the way. I've spent most of the week dashing to appointments, in appointments or organising future appointments, and I'm sure there are several important things I'm supposed to have done that I haven't. Hopefully, next week will be better, but I'm not holding my breath because the school holidays are about to begin.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Moving on

So, after last week's shock announcement, I've been busy reassessing my situation and figuring out where to go next. Actually, it hasn't been all that difficult, as all that's really happened is that I have to step up phase one of my world domination plan LOL.

Stuff achieved, so far...

* Changed Enticement (aka the DC) from UK single quotes to US double quotes. This is tedious beyond belief, and takes hours and hours on a 300 pages manuscript.
* Sent it off to agent, along with synopsis and two loosely related short stories.
* Filed Tax Return (relatively painless).
* Had the vaguest smidgen of an idea about four linked Regency set shorts/novellas.
* Have despaired over Desperate Measures (which now has a different title).
* Have despaired over other things too, but largely I find that to be counter-productive and I'm trying to kick the habit.
*Have not eaten any chocolate muffins.

Recently watched: Torchwood
Currently listening to: Silence
Currently reading: Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourne

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Thursday, July 02, 2009

More Pressies in the Post

Sexy Little Numbers has just arrived! And appears as below to have a strange white border. This collection contains my "nice little office romance" Hard at Work, as well as stories by lots of other brilliant folk.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Surprise Packages


This is what the postman brought yesterday. I could comment at length about the cover and the fact that I would never in a million years pick up this book as it clearly appears to be targeted at men, but, sigh... Anyway, after a perusal of the stories inside it appears to be a German translation of the Sex...in Public anthology.

I still find translations strangely weird if fascinating. I mean, how come I've written a story or book that I can't read?

Not much doing on the writing front as there's too much real life interference going on at the moment. Also, I've been on a massive cleaning frenzy. Most of the house looks pretty good, just the bedroom still to tackle, which I have to admit is a complete pigsty. Might sort my desk and filing cabinet out today while I'm percolating ideas.

*****
Recently watched: Nowt
Currently listening to: Birds singing. I think they're nesting in the bush in the garden.
Currently reading: Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourne

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Fantasy Writer (Quiz)

Have to say I'm mighty amused by this result. I have no idea who China Mieville is, but the write up makes his books sound interesting. The fact that I'm 76% more violent than the rest of the sample group is actually not surprising based on the context of the questions.

Your result for Which fantasy writer are you? ...

China Miéville (b. 1972)

27 High-Brow, 7 Violent, -19 Experimental and -1 Cynical!

China Miéville (b. 1972)

Congratulations! You are High-Brow, Violent, Traditional and Romantic! These concepts are defined below.

China Miéville writes in the British fantasy tradition of authors like Mervyn Peake and Michael Moorcock, a tradition which is a little darker than the Tolkien kind, but Miéville is also a great renewer, as he has taken care to challenge, for example, race-related (or, to be exact, species-related) stereotypes in fantasy. His great breakthrough came with the award-winning novel Perdido Street Station (2000), which is set in the sprawling city of New Crobuzon in the secondary world Bas-Lag. Apart from its urban setting, Perdido Street Station also differ from Tolkien-style fantasy by taking place in an era reminiscent of the Victorian age rather than the typical quasi-medieval setting of so-called high fantasy. This means that Miéville has the opportunity to explore his socialist beliefs in a fantasy environment, even if both Perdido Street Station and its two sequels also feature monsters, adventures and such.

Setting his book in a rather dictatorical society and occasionally spinning his sories around resistance against an oppressive government means that Miéville's books sometimes contain rather horrible violence, made all the scarier because it's often conducted legally by a ruling government. This also makes the boks rather romantic; although the struggle is difficult, the struggle continues and whether you are a socialist like Miéville or not, it's easy to sympathize with the message that the world can be changed for the better. It should also be pointed out that although Miéville is often inventive and has a love for spicing up his prose with archaic words, his books are, narratively speaking, traditional adventure stories. Actually, Miéville has made a point of taking genres such as the pirate story and the Western story and retelling them in a fantasy environment.

Still, Miéville has brought fantasy to new literary heights and can be said to represent hope for the genre's future.

You are also a lot like Michael Moorcock.

If you want something more gentle, try Susan Cooper.

If you'd like a challenge, try your exact opposite, Orson Scott Card.

Your score

Compared to other takers

  • 95/100 You scored 27 on High-Brow, higher than 95% of your peers.
  • 76/100 You scored 7 on Violent, higher than 76% of your peers.
  • 8/100 You scored -19 on Experimental, higher than 8% of your peers.
  • 18/100 You scored -1 on Cynical, higher than 18% of your peers.

This is how to interpret your score: Your attitudes have been measured on four different scales, called 1) High-Brow vs. Low-Brow, 2) Violent vs. Peaceful, 3) Experimental vs. Traditional and 4) Cynical vs. Romantic. Imagine that when you were born, you were in a state of innocence, a tabula rasa who would have scored zero on each scale. Since then, a number of circumstances (including genetical, cultural and environmental factors) have pushed you towards either end of these scales. If you're at 45 or -45 you would be almost entirely cynical, low-brow or whatever. The closer to zero you are, the less extreme your attitude. However, you should always be more of either (eg more romantic than cynical). Please note that even though High-Brow, Violent, Experimental and Cynical have positive numbers (1 through 45) and their opposites negative numbers (-1 through -45), this doesn't mean that either quality is better. All attitudes have their positive and negative sides, as explained below.

High-Brow vs. Low-Brow

You received 27 points, making you more High-Brow than Low-Brow. Being high-browed in this context refers to being more fascinated with the sort of art that critics and scholars tend to favour, rather than the best-selling kind. At their best, high-brows are cultured, able to appreciate the finer nuances of literature and not content with simplifications. At their worst they are, well, snobs.

Violent vs. Peaceful

You received 7 points, making you more Violent than Peaceful. Please note that violent in this context does not mean that you, personally, are prone to violence. This scale is a measurement of a) if you are tolerant to violence in fiction and b) whether you see violence as a means that can be used to achieve a good end. If you are, and you do, then you are violent as defined here. At their best, violent people are the heroes who don't hesitate to stop the villain threatening innocents by means of a good kick. At their worst, they are the villains themselves.

Experimental vs. Traditional

You received -19 points, making you more Traditional than Experimental. Your position on this scale indicates if you're more likely to seek out the new and unexpected or if you are more comfortable with the familiar, especially in regards to culture. Note that traditional as defined here does not equal conservative, in the political sense. At their best, traditional people don't change winning concepts, favouring storytelling over empty poses. At their worst, they are somewhat narrow-minded.

Cynical vs. Romantic

You received -1 points, making you more Romantic than Cynical. Your position on this scale indicates if you are more likely to be wary, suspicious and skeptical to people around you and the world at large, or if you are more likely to believe in grand schemes, happy endings and the basic goodness of humankind. It is by far the most vaguely defined scale, which is why you'll find the sentence "you are also a lot like x" above. If you feel that your position on this scale is wrong, then you are probably more like author x. At their best, romantic people are optimistic, willing to work for a good cause and inspiring to their peers. At their worst, they are easily fooled and too easily lead.

Author picture by the talented artist "Molosovsky". Visit http://www.flickr.com/people/25360041@N06/ for more!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Gothic Temple




I'm being a very bad blogger at the moment, but real life just keeps getting in the way and upsetting my work patterns. Hopefully, it's relatively back to normal this week and I can concentrate on getting a few of the tasks on my desk done/started/or out of the way.

Meanwhile, as I'm deciding which piece of work to tackle first, I thought I'd share a few images of the Gothic Temple at Stowe. This folly is the building I used as a basis for the folly in Pure Folly. Obviously, I made a few modifications, but the structure is basically the same. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Yay! Kiddies are back at school. The sun is shining and the house is nice and cool. I have peace and quiet and a large board full of post it notes. I'm finally starting to piece together the plot to Darleston's book (Wish it had a title.) from all the snippets of scenes that have been tumbling about in my head for ages.

And it's fun. I love Darleston. He totally grew on me while I was working through Fortuna, so I'm rather looking forward to spending months in his company.

The other members of the cast are shaping up nicely too. I'm especially liking the heroine. She's an odd one. Her husband has just summed her up nicely for me. Thank you, Lyle. Villians still need a bit of work though. They're still squabbling about who gets to be the Daddy Villian and who gets royally shafted.

Best of all, I now know why Darleston having a hair cut was so important. Although, there is still the small issue of a certain mark upon his person... hopefully, he'll let me in on the secret en route.

Right, back to it.

*****
Recently watched: Ashes to Ashes
Currently listening to: Interpol
Currently reading: Simply Sinful by Kate Pearce

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Maison Madelynne



Feeling a teeny bit guilty at the moment, because I haven't written anything for a week. It's half-term, so kids and Mr Madelynne are home, and we're decorating! Hence, no writing output from me. The problem is, I know I should be writing. Hell, I have half a million things I really ought to be getting on with, but motivation is at an all time low. Maybe it's the lack of chocolate in the household.

Need to tackle a threesome story next.
Then do some revisions on Enticement.
Then write a proposal
and polish up some older stuff
and then... well, you get the idea.

Speaking of threesomes... Actually, no. Let's not. I feel a major rant coming on and you don't want to read about how annoyed I get by all the ménage stories out there that feature two identical cardboard men, whose only differentiating features are there eye/hair colour. Personality-- what's that? Either, they are loving and caring and want to treat her like a spoilt princess and wrap her in cotton wool, cause they are big and strong and caring, and big, and caring and strong and cardboard. OR They are arrogant over the top stalker twerps from another dimension, who are only capable of having sex together, cause they are.. *gay*... I mean, so into her. Nope, didn't think you were interested in reading about that.

Instead, lets end on a more positive note. I've discovered that there's already a review of Pure Folly out there in blog land. Yipee! Thanks to Elisa Rolle. You can read the review here.

****
Recently watched: Various Tom Baker era Dr Who episodes (please guys/girls learn how to run.)
Currently listening to: Silence
Currently reading: Various Spice Briefs.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pure Folly Sneak Peak

Ahead of the release date on Monday, I thought I'd share a little sneak preview of Pure Folly.

In this scene, Jude and Alastair have just stumbled upon a book of erotic artwork.

Enjoy.

*****
Jude set the lantern upon the desk and blew the dust from a leather-bound tome. The spine cracked as he opened it, but the pages within remained sound save for some minor discolouration due to age. “It appears to be a journal. An artist’s journal.” He flicked through the pages. “It’s all men. Every last page. Best not look too closely.”

“I’m not afraid of a few drawings.” Alastair gave a snort. No, he was simply desperate to see them. Aware of the heat in his cheeks, he bowed low over the desk, until he realised it must appear to Jude that he was studying the obscene drawings.

In a sense he was. The hard masculine beauty portrayed upon the pages called to him, stoked a specific need he’d tried so hard to deny. He wanted to look. Jude had skimmed only the first few vellum leaves. Alastair longed to hug the book to his chest then make a long, slow journey through the pages, taking his time to pour over the details of abdomens and chests, cocks both aroused and flaccid, details of expressions, and of large hands, and naked toes.

Jude held the book open, stopping on a depiction of two men. The first lay hunched over a table, his naked bottom raised high so that the musculature showed. His breeches hung crumpled around the top of his spurred boots. A sword lay discarded upon the floor as he held his buttocks apart so that the second man could direct his rampant staff betwixt them.

Alastair dug his teeth into the tip of his tongue and kept his mouth firmly closed. There was no hint of fear in the expressions of the men, no awareness of their perversity, only love—which made it truly captivating.

“Disgusting or fascinating?” Jude asked. His hazel-green eyes shone as he met Alastair’s gaze.

“We ought to destroy it!” Fear made Alastair blurt. As if he truly wanted to see the pages curl and shrivel into ash. He wanted this book as a primer. Wanted the time to soak up every lovingly rendered image, to study them, and vicariously enjoy their passion as he tossed himself while gazing upon them.

Jude’s raucous laughter pulled him firmly into the present. “Destroy it? What for? Lord Romilly is long dead, and nobody save us even knows it exists. If you don’t care for it, leave it buried here. Or are you too afraid of the potential for corruption? Do the images tempt you, Alastair?”

“No,” he barked, seeking refuge away from the book. But there was no escaping the images, short of smashing every piece of pottery and whitewashing the walls. “Of course, you’re right, we’ll just leave it here and not mention it. The family needn’t be troubled by it. There’s no sense in creating a scandal.”

“No, no sense in causing an upset,” Jude echoed.

Alastair turned away from the desk. He had to leave this room, as much as he wanted what was within it. He’d return sometime—alone. Hell if he hadn’t just discovered a reason to visit this godforsaken tomb. He’d have to take care not to raise eyebrows over that.

Uncomfortable, he shuffled further from the desk. His loins were thrumming with need again, no doubt in the same way other men reacted to lewd depictions of women. However, alongside the arousal lay a bitter ache.

He didn’t want to live his life mooning over pictures. He wanted Jude, flesh and blood, with plenty of sweaty physical contact. If there’d ever been a time to broach the subject, this was it. But while his friend seemed accepting, the risk of revulsion was still too great.

“Alastair…”

“I’m going to sleep,” he mumbled. Running away seemed the safest action.

Copyright 2009 Madelynne Ellis.

*****
Recently watched: Not a Sausage
Currently listening to: Silence
Currently reading: Between Books

Friday, May 22, 2009

A night off!

Finished the revisions on Fortuna this afternoon, and sent them off to agent, so I reckon I deserve an evening off from this writing lark, before I start on the revisions for Enticement, and plotting the next book.

In other news, I've succumbed to Twitter. Although, I can't honestly claim to have been sucked into its hold all that much. Mostly, I find it useful to skim for news of what's going on in the world of books.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Battling on

Still battling with Fortuna rewrites. I've done a fair amount of trimming and some re-ordering and that was the easy bit. The more difficult bit is juggling one particular sub-plot to its conclusion where it intersects with the main plot. It needs to be in there, because it's the reason why Giles acts the way he does, but it's giving me a headache trying to find exactly the right place for working it out. I think I've found it, but... I still have my doubts. Maybe that's because I'm so used to having it in its original location.

Meanwhile, I've also been giving Darleston's story more thought. I think I have the backdrop sorted out now, and the supporting cast. Oh, and I'm immeasurably fond of the love interests. Yep, that's meant to be a plural :)

Oh, and only a week to go until Pure Folly is released. Yay! I'm excited. There's already a snippet over on my website, but I might post a sneak peak here as well.

-----
Recently watched: Eurovision
Currently listening to: Cradle of Filth/Green Day
Currently reading: The Lover by Robin Schone

Friday, May 15, 2009

Alive, actually

Knee deep in rewrites, not actually dead. Although, Fortuna may kill me yet. Thank God for Blu Tack and sticky labels. What the hell did people say before some genius invented "wow" in the 1920s? Hates lack of wows. Alternatives--what alternatives--they suck.

*****
Recently watched: Ashes to Ashes (Season 2)
Currently listening to: the plot goblin
Currently reading: The Lover by Robin Schone

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

...sniffles...

I have the cold from hell. Fuzzy head, blocked nose, soar throat, headache, and joints I didn't realise I had are aching. I guess I should be grateful I managed to finish the DC before it hit. Preliminary reports from beta readers suggest it's not so dreaded as the title might suggest.

Anyway, I now seem to have a heap of stuff to do and a brain incapable of doing any of it:

Let's see.

* Dreaded Contemporary revisions (on hold for a week or so until I gain some distance from it)
* Awaiting feedback on historical from agent.
* Take fresh look at Desperate Measures and see if there's anything of merit there. Suspect it requires a new synopsis to reflect the major departure from the original I want to incorporate. If only I knew what the major departure was!
* Start writing new Historical. Yay!
* Prod self until I can face attempting another short story (various calls and invitations outstanding). Hmm...
* Consider ignoring all of the above and writing m/m novella to entertain myself instead
* Better yet, go back to bed for the next two hours.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Two Counts of Huzzah


Firstly, Blogger have unlocked my account again so I can actually post. Thank you, Blogger :)

Second, I finally have an agent. I've agreed to have Melissa Jeglinski at the Knight Agency represent me. Melissa is a former Harlequin Editor and I'm thrilled to be working with her, although, I have to say this having an agent lark is taking a while to sink in.

Anyway, she's casting her eyes over a certain project dear to my heart at the moment, before it gets sent into the big wide world... so watch this space for any news.

On a less happy note. My sub for the Black Lace, Affair call didn't make the cut, so I'm in search of a new home for it. It's a bit of an odd story, more focused on the emotional journey of the characters than the erotic aspects (although they are present) so I'm not sure where it'll find a home. We'll see...

Friday, May 01, 2009

The End of the Dreaded Contemporary.

It's done!

I've finished the dreaded bugger. I can't begin to describe what an accomplishment that feels like. Don't get me wrong. I don't dislike this book, I'm even slowly, slowly, slowly starting to think it might not be that bad, but it feels like I've been buried in it for ages.

It is still 2009, right?

Scarily, I have an idea for the Dreaded Contemporary 2. Nope, not a follow-on, but set in the same village and featuring characters that crop up in the background of the current DC. But, we'll see. First off I've a short story to write, and a couple of ideas to beat into shape, and then I'm hoping to plunge into writing a historical or going back to the Blood Book. Although, maybe I'll find time to write a m/m novella sometime soon too.

Huzzah... Huzzah... Hurray...

Celebratory picture time


*****
Recently watched: Ashes to Ashes (Season 2)
Currently listening to: Screaming police sirens
Currently reading: Transgressions by Erastes

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Demolition for the under sixes

There are moments when I truly wonder why we had kids, and then there are occasions like this morning when their unique view on the world makes me appreciate them all over again.

Witness my son's impassioned yelling this morning when the Disney tracks they'd been listening to on the CD player finished, and it switched to the next disc.

"Mum, Dad, this music might knock the whole house down!"

What, you may ask was this music with the power of a demolition ball?

Um, Welcome to the Jungle, by Guns and Roses. It's a great track, but not, I think, particularly known for causing cracks to appear in walls, and hardly his first exposure to metal.

Oh, what fun it is to be six.

The rest of the day I've been making a determined effort to finish off the Dreaded Contemporary once and for all. I'm still not quite there, but I have written 4.4K and the final scene. There are just a few bits of chapter twelve to complete now and then I'm done (for the first draft at any rate). I think I'll write a nice (by which I mean dirty) historical next. I think I hear Lord Darleston calling to me. Although, I probably ought to make some headway on a few of the Black Lace short story calls first.

--
Recently watched: Ashes to Ashes (Season 2)
Currently listening to: Storm by Gackt
Currently reading: Transgressions by Erastes

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sad tidings

We had to say goodbye to Pumpkin today. Poor love had a second stroke. I thought I'd share one last picture of her to say goodbye. This is from a year ago when we first brought her home with her sister.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Snippety snip

Bye bye word count. I've lost 2.5K today and that's only so far in my attempt to bring the Dreaded Contemporary back in line. I've switched a bit of background around in order to lessen the impact on the main plot. It was threatening to take over the whole ending and was definitely getting in the way of the smexing. Bad, plot line.

Anyway, despite the cull, I'm feeling more positive, even if I still don't have clue what I'm doing. Hopefully, things should slot together in the remaining word count and make for a satisfying end. (Hunts for original notes, before sub-plot interference manifested.) Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Post Holiday Wibbles

The Dreaded Contemporary is still really bloody dreaded. When will it ever end, I wonder? I seem to have written myself into a corner, and I don't know how to wriggle my way out, although I do have a teeny smidgen of a clue... but it might be nothing. I was so-o hoping that a weeks holiday would miraculously iron out all the problems.

Re: holiday. Twas fun, bimbling about the countryside, riding on a steam train, and throwing pebbles into the sea. We had a great day out at BeWILDerwood, climbing trees, going on boats and zip wires and generally tearing around like overgrown children. Not sure if the kiddies or Mr Madelynne and I enjoyed it most.

Also met the delightful, Erastes for dinner last Thursday and she gave me a copy of her just released m/m romance Transgressions. Had a lovely time talking about our forthcoming projects and the state of publishing in regards to m/m. It's amazing how fast four hours can past when you're chatting. Oh, and naughty writers that we are, we managed to scare everyone else out of the restaurant with our conversation.

Pumpkin is looking a bit less skinny. She seems to be on the mend from the bacterial infection, but I wouldn't go so far as to say she's doing well. Post stroke, the poor love can barely walk, and has a rather alarming head tilt. I fear another trip to the vet is in order some time soon.

I may have some other news soon... but I'm not saying anything yet for fear of jinxing it.

Oh, and finally and actual release date for Pure Folly - 25th May. The blurb and everything is up on the TEB site now. Click on the pic in the sidebar to see it.

---
Recently watched: Heroes
Currently listening to: The Levellers
Currently reading: Transgressions by Erastes

Back from Holiday

... and totally shattered. More when I've had a chance to recuperate.

Recently watched: Warlords
Currently listening to: The Stone Roses
Currently reading: Transgressions by Erastes

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Pumpkin update



Pumpkin is home again. She's still a very frail rabbit, but is much improved on what she was, and loves taking her medicine. This is good, as she has about five different ones, plus special food that we have to syringe feed to her several times a day. I also have to cut her food up really small, as she's struggling to hold things properly.

On the plus side, she's been out for a hop around the garden, with her sister, who is being very attentive and gave her a good lick clean before they settled down to some sunbathing together. That makes a nice change to them squabbling.

Book writing productivity - not so great. The Dreaded Contemporary doesn't want to end, no matter how much I wish it would.

Oh, and I posted a little snippet of Pure Folly over at my website

*****
Recently watched: Quantum of Solace
Currently listening to: Silence
Currently reading: Dark Enchantment by Janine Ashbless.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Poorly Bunny


Spare a few thoughts for Pumpkin rabbit today, the poor mite is still very poorly, but has picked up quite a bit according to the vet. She has a horrid bacterial infection that's affected her gut and her lungs, and has had a stroke on top of that. We're picking her up tomorrow, so I'll be nursing her at home then. Poor thing, she's still a young rabbit too.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

S-L-O-W!

Nothing seems to be moving at the moment. I'm near the end of the Dreaded Contemporary. It should be plain sailing orchestrating the wrap up - only it's not. And life continues to be busy. Weekend family gathering was good fun, but very tiring with all the travelling involved. Today I'm off to the vet's in a few minutes with Pumpkin rabbit. Poor love is really under the weather. She's barely eating, has lost tons of weight and fell out of the hutch this morning when I opened the door. Hope they can make her feel better.

--
Recently watched: CSI
Currently listening to: Drilling next door.
Currently reading: Dark Enchantment by Janine Ashbless.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

All at Once


Ever noticed how everything comes at once? There's been no movement on the Dreaded Contemporary today, and there was preciously little yesterday, because I've had proofs to read, a manuscript to tidy, a blurb to write and lots of horrible admin stuff to deal with. I still have a bunch of contest entries to contend with and some crits to do, and we're away this weekend at a family gathering. My dreams of having the DC finished before I'm off on my Easter hols is looking slim.

However, on the plus side. Look what I've just been sent. Yep, that image up there, that is my delicious new book cover. How gorgeous have they made Alastair! I mean, he is, but that pic just proves it. It's due out in May folks... not long to wait at all.

--
Recently watched: Resident Evil: Degeneration
Currently listening to: Rain
Currently reading: Nothing, am addicted to playing Professor Layton & the Curious Village instead.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dreaded update


75% done! That can't be right. I'm sure I've only just got going. No idea how I'm going to wrap the plot up in the remaining word count...sigh... it's going to run over again, and then I'm going to have to take the scissors to the early parts just so that I can bring the word count down to a reasonable level.

The Dreaded Contemporary, as you may have figured is progressing... be it slowly. I had major writing block last week and really couldn't get into the swing of it. I think actually getting the thing accepted knocked me off balance and it's taken a while to get my stride back. Things seem to be picking up this morning 1.3K so far and it's just after lunch. Plus, Mr Madelynne came to the rescue (as I knew he would if I just got around to asking him) with a suitable lust object for one of the supporting cast.

Right... back to my game of truth or dare.

--
Recently watched: Watchmen
Currently listening to: noisy traffic and random drilling
Currently reading: Heaven Sent by Jet Mykles

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Wounded... aw, the pain!


I'm reading contest entries at the moment... I have to confess that while I still love reading erotica/erotic romance I'm damned hard to impress. These days it has to be something really darn evocative to make me sit up and pay attention, and most of what I'm seeing just isn't.

The thing is, it's not specifically bad writing. It's just lacking... magic. And by magic, I mean that special quality that makes you route for the characters and remember them long after the story is complete. Mostly what I'm seeing is minimal build up, conflict that has nothing to do with the erotic content of the story and instant attraction & you're the love of my life, lets do the humpy bumpy, but we're not normally like this (honest) we are wholesome and pure, and will soon be setting up home with kiddies, a dog and a nice picket fence.... bleurk!

Now, I don't mind sex on the first page. I don't mind reading about folks picking up strangers and having awesome sex and a relationship developing from that, but it's got to believable for the characters and there has to be passion involved somewhere... The following does not (as a general rule) a good story make...

I'm a really good girl, but I'm horny and the guy who is eyeing me up is hot. Oh, lookie, the big arrogant stalkerish twerp has just grabbed my arse before introductions have even occurred (stalker cause freaky-deaky, he already knows my name). Two seconds later and he has his hands in my knickers and is copping a good feel. Oooh! That's interesting, I've never done anal sex, but he's already got a finger up my arse, and we haven't even exchanged names yet. But hey, that's all right, because he's thinking about how un-easy I am, and how he really needs to introduce me to his mum. Cue twelve chapters of random sex scenes with a minuscule plot about rescuing the heroine from herself/aliens/vampires/foreigners/insert other... (and probably does on a number of occasions in a variety of locations.)

Am I jaded...? Yup!

Please folks... use all five senses, give me an actual description of the setting, and character descriptions that are more than eyes (check), hair (check), hot (checkety-check), cock (oh, boy is he hung...check!)

Oh, and has there been a blanket ban on kissing while I wasn't looking? I mean it's kinda nice, and it does generally occur before you get to the sex...maybe...please...pretty please, with cherries on top, and a flake if you like.

I'm going to go skulk back under my rock now.

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Recently watched: Indiana Jones & the Crystal wotsit
Currently listening to: Nothing, my head is too hurtie.
Currently reading: Tongue in Cheek by Fiona Walker, and about a dozen other things.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Contemporary Update.


Black Lace have accepted the Dreaded Contemporary for their 2010 line-up. Yay! A sale...a sale! Naturally I'm in happy skippy land as a result... watch out, the wasteland of "they've made a big mistake and I can't write for toffee" will undoubtedly follow just as soon as I come down from the current high. But for the moment.... double...nah, triple...yay!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

What's this I see?

Could it be a Spanish translation of Phantasmagoria that I didn't know about?

Ah, the joys of the internet. It's a nice cover though. I do like the colours and my name looks fantastic in that font. Wants...

Hm, wonder how long it'll take for them to get around to sending me a copy.

And I know nobody else will understand, but I find it very amusing that I appear to have been published by Afrodisia!

Feeling smiley now, which is good as I have to venture out into the rain.

Monday, March 02, 2009

She conquers

Ha, I told him there'd be no more messing and it paid off. The scene is written (again). It may not be perfect, but it'll do for now. Of course, he had to throw a few spanners in the works, and immediately scarpered to do who knows what. Still-- forward progress!

Oh, and that sale I mentioned. I've sold Hard at Work, a little story about an office romance, to Black Lace for their Sexy Little Numbers anthology. Huzzah!

Still no word on anything else, though :-|

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Dreaded Contemporary


I've hit a point in the Dreaded Contemporary where I can't seem to get it right. I swear, I must have written this scene ten times over by now. It's been in and out of the book, moved to different places, dismissed, reinstated and IT IS STILL NOT RIGHT! Although, I think each successive attempt brings it a little closer to how it should be.

It's pissing me off, I can tell ya. The thing is, while I quite like the DC, I don't want to spend the next six months working on it. I'd much rather it was only the next six weeks. Then I'd like to set it aside and attack something else while DC marinades on a shelf ready for edits. If only I could get this scene finished. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

And just to make this stumbling block a little bit harder, I've contest judging to contend with and the Romance Divas mentor program officially started today! Oh, and my knee still hurts! (Stupid knee! Kills knee.) All I need now is for Vaughan to show up and start demanding attention. (Hm, I shall have to waylay him with cunning distractions :-))

So, back to the DC... (Stop farting about, Kit, and get on with the smexing, will you. Then I can write the nice big drum roll scene in the next chapter.)

Wish me luck.

Sometimes I hate the figments of my imagination.

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Recently watched: Mongol & Being Human (particularly liked Mitchell in that black shirt)
Currently listening to: Cradle of Filth
Currently reading: Tongue in Cheek by Fiona Walker

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Huzzah!

I'm made 50K on the Dreaded Contemporary, and I've sold something. More on that soon.

On the downside, my knee's killing me.

Monday, February 23, 2009

In just a few more hours...


Half-term will be over and the house will be peaceful again. I'll be able to write. I won't spend the whole day picking up things other people have left in random places around the house. I'll not have anyone constantly shadowing me complaining that they're hungry, and most importantly, I might actually be able to write for longer than five minutes.

I'd love to report loads of progress on my numerous projects, but aside from a bit of research into the origins of the Djinn and Evie having her nails done nothing much has happened. You can probably blame Kit for that. He's waltzed off somewhere and forgot to leave a forwarding address. Thing is, I'm not even sure if he has waltzed off, or if he's just cozied up next to the Aga in his farmhouse trying to persuade himself that he's not Lucifer incarnate, which of course, he's not. Stupid bugger!

--
Recently watched: The Chronicles of Riddick (again) & Being Human
Currently listening to: Noisy washing machine, with a very annoying squeak.
Currently reading: Tongue in Cheek by Fiona Walker

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ch...ch...ch...ch...ch...ch...changes!


Life is set for some major upheavals over the coming months, which have rather thrown me for six. I'm sure I'll get used to the potential (potential because nothing is set) changes in time, but at present I have some serious jitters. I guess it's a good job I have my fantasy worlds to fall back upon. It's nice to have complete control over something, even if it is only the imaginary characters that inhabit my head.

I've reached what I like to think of as the dark heart of the story in the Dreaded Contemporary. The point where everything starts going to pieces and there are too many things at stake. Maybe, that's a good place to be considering my current emotional state. It's certainly somewhere to channel all the energy.

Meanwhile, I'm busy attempting to map out what else I'd like to work on this year. There's a whole string of novellas/short novels mostly of the m/m variety that are growing idea wise, including a sort of prelude to AGW3 about Vaughan.

--
Recently watched: Fuurin Kazan ep 36 & 37
Currently listening to: Green Day & Cradle of Filth
Currently reading: Red Angel volume 2 by Makoto Tateno

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

You want visuals!


I should be working, goddamnit, cause if I don't I swear my brain will implode due to the mass of characters congregated in my brain, each desperate to spill their stories onto the page. I'm trying to form them into orderly queues but they keep shuffling about and sneaking in extra friends.

Ahem... However, getting back to the point of this post. BevQB has issued a sort of challenge regarding the appearances of the characters in AGW etc, and has even posted a few of her own. Check them out here.

Well, I don't have any set inspirational celeb pics to post as the definitive versions, but I have cobbled together a few images that have certain resonance with some of the characters, including a few teasing glimpses of what Bella might look like.

Here we go...

Starting with Bella: Note that riding habit (on the right).

Oh, and the original AGW cover isn't too bad a representation, only with less chin.

Next up, Vaughan.
Oh, and I'm very taken with this one cribbed from Bev.

Now this next one is actually of Vaughan's Phantasmagoria costume (ie Vaughan as Sebastian), rather than the man himself. (Note the width of that hat.)

Which I guess, brings us on to Lucerne. Who is mostly this

with a smidge of this

and a dash of vulnerability.

So, that's the main cast. Here are a few of the bit players:

Henry Tristan


Wakefield


The Darleston twins. Actually, this is how I imagine Lord Darleston, rather than Neddy, which only makes sense if you've read Fortuna, and of course, nobody has. So, that's clear as day, as per usual.

And the final image is actually of de Maresi's coat. Let me know what you think. Do any of them even vaguely match up with the images you got from the books?