Thursday, 25 June 2015

Mega(lodon) News

Last Wednesday morning I crawled reluctantly out of bed after a pitiful amount of sleep feeling crotchety, exhausted, and under-appreciated by the Universe. And then I checked my phone for news headlines, as I always do first thing in the morning, and discovered that maybe the Universe isn't laughing at me after all.

The news? Steve Alten's 1997 bestseller, MEG, has been greenlit for production.

This...this probably doesn't matter to most people. But oh my goodness, it matters SO MUCH to me! I read MEG the year it was released. I read it a billion times (approximately). This was a hugely formative book for me. Before MEG, I was definitely a kid who was into dinosaurs and monsters anyway. After MEG I was a kid who was obsessed with sea monsters specifically.

Simply explained, MEG is about a 60 foot shark that eats everything she comes across, including one helicopter. It's a thriller and in some respects it's a fairly generic one. World weary hero/only living expert on megs? Check. Feisty love interest? Check! (They have zero chemistry, but who cares about romance when giant sharks are eating our helicopters anyway). Bitter bad guys? Check! Giant shark? CHECK, CHECK, CHECK. I mean, nothing else in this book matters. I loved learning about this prehistoric badass (the book opens with a meg eating a t-rex), and I adored the idea of an ocean full of secrets (in case you hadn't noticed).

I can't remember when I first heard about the possibility of a MEG film, but it was certainly long enough ago that Hollywood tried and failed at this kind of thing several times. Disney, originally attached to the project, dropped it after the unimpressive performance of DEEP BLUE SEA, allegedly. At one point I even assumed DEEP BLUE SEA was the MEG adaptation.

And then we got MEGA-SHARK VERSUS GIANT OCTOPUS in 2009 (which I also thought might be a really loose adaptation of MEG, because I never give up, dammit), which is frankly awful and also the greatest film ever made.

And then we got SHARKNADO, which is also awful and just...awful. No megalodons in that one, but shark films are undeniably back on the menu, even if they are just...awful.

And let's face it - we need a good shark film. JAWS created the summer blockbuster. It also created a lot of terrible myths about great white sharks (but if you want to help correct that, consider checking out The Shark Trust), but that's for another, much longer post. But since JAWS...has there really been a creature feature to live up to it? Not for me.

I desperately want MEG to get made and be awesome. As soon as I read the news article, I went and bought the original book for my Kindle and discovered a slew of sequels I'd never heard of. I re-read MEG in two days and fell in love all over again. The megalodon is just sheer perfection, frankly. She's giant, voracious, unpredictable, and she eats helicopters. The humans are probably fine too, but fuck the humans. You make creature feature films for the creatures.

And we're at a stage where a sixty foot albino shark is going to be no challenge for special effects teams, I think it's safe to say. Plus there's the bonus of JURASSIC WORLD being huge and amazing fun, which hopefully will crack the door open for more "big angry monster eats tiny people" films.

AND if the film gets made and is successful, we can have the sequel with two megalodons called Mary Kate and Ashley.

Think about that.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Wednesday Snippet - Oath Breaker

It's that time of the week again! I've crossed the 10k barrier on Oath Breaker, which is really when the story starts to feel solid and real for me - like it's too late to scrap it and start over! Here's a little bit from this weekend. I wrote this whilst my friends watched Poultrygeist in my living room, which I don't recommend as a film, but do recommend as a thing to put on that you'd rather do anything other than watch.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Guest blog (and a giveaway!) with Elodie Parkes

A Dom for Patti, June 16 release from Evernight Publishing

When a fleeting encounter with a handsome stranger ignites Patti’s repressed loneliness, she has to admit she longs for the love of a sensual Dom.

Luck is on her side when she goes out for the evening, and meets delicious Cameron in The Club—but is he all that he appears to be?

Cameron’s overwhelming attraction to Patti is tested when she inexplicably fails to show up for a date—just what is going on and will they ever get together?

An erotic romance, with Dom/sub and spanking elements—a contemporary, magical love story.

Interview with Cameron
1. If you were a dessert, what would you be?
Chocolate ice cream cake with a drizzle of coffee liqueur

2. What is it like being a personal trainer?
I enjoy seeing people achieve their goals and becoming happier with themselves. I travel with them sometimes, if they’re a movie star or model trying to get back into shape, and that can be fun.

3. What do you do when you need to blow off steam?
I own a fitness center with my brother so I work out and sometimes I’ll take off on a rock-climbing spree.

4. What do you look for in a woman?
Gentleness, intelligence, a sense of humor, sexiness, courage, beautiful eloquent eyes

5. What’s your favorite sex toy?
Mmm, let me think for a moment … okay well all kinds of vibrators and lubes are great because I can give my lady more pleasure

6. The blurb for A Dom for Patti mentions spanking, can we expect some in the story and do you enjoy spanking?
(Laughs) I’ve never been spanked per se, although Patti has dared to slap me on the ass as I pass naked, which I loved and had to kiss her loads to reassure her it was okay. I spank her because it makes her wet, but I don’t put my strength behind it. I do it for her to give her pleasure not to hurt. Frankly, I’d be devastated if I hurt her. I cherish her—she’s mine and we both know it, but that means I take care of her.

7. Tell us a little about Patti.
She works in fashion. She’s pretty, small, slender, and fits over my shoulder. (Smiles) She’s sexy, clever, interesting, luscious … let’s stop this before I start craving her kiss.

8. So, this is a love story?
It sure is. It’s hot, sexy, and there’s a journey, but it’s all worth it.

About Elodie Parkes
Elodie Parkes is a British author writing romance, erotic, contemporary, and often with a twist of mystery, paranormal, fantasy, or suspense. Her books are always steamy. Her tag is, Cool stories: Hot love scenes.

Elodie lives in Canterbury with her two dogs. She works in an antique shop by day and writes at night, loving the cloak of silent darkness that descends on the rural countryside around her home.
She has also released titles as an individual indie author.

Elodie only ever wears boots. (Yes, even in summer) She has three bachelor degrees because she couldn’t make up her mind what she wanted to do, and even then she got two Grad Dips in different subjects, naughty Elodie.

Elodie loves:
Music (her nickname at work is Melody Elodie because she’s often singing), the countryside, the ocean, animals, gorgeous men, technology, art, stockings and garter belts, movies, and potatoes, in any order. Elodie is addicted to black leather jackets, and faded jeans, and owns so many she’s ashamed to count them.

Read on for an excerpt and a giveaway!

Friday, 19 June 2015

Guest Blog - Time for a Shakedown with Michelle Roth!

Private detectives and dognappings? This book is clearly perfect for me! Let's find out a bit more. Take it away, Michelle...

Hi there, everyone! I'm Michelle Roth and I'm here to introduce my latest release, Shakedown. Diamond and Diamond is a bit of a departure from anything that I've written thus far. My previous works have all been ultra-realistic contemporary romance. Shakedown still has the sexy, steamy elements just like any other erotic romance, but it also incorporates a bit of suspense and mystery as well. I certainly hope you enjoy!

Private Detective Mike Diamond is the low man on the totem pole. More often than not he finds himself investigating insurance fraud or cheating spouses. When he's assigned a dog-napping case, he is on the brink of refusing until he meets the client. One look at her changes everything.

When the police refuse to investigate her case, Cassidy Werner turns to Diamond and Diamond Private Investigators. Despite the bad first impression he's given her, Cassidy still hires Mike to help her find her prize Tibetan Mastiff. As she gets to know him, she realizes that he's not only dedicated to getting Roddy back for her, but also a pretty great guy.

Right after she receives a ransom demand, things begin to heat up between them. Will Mike be able to crack the case and save her dog? And if he can, does that mean that he gets the girl too?

Read on for an excerpt!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Wednesday Snippet - Oath Breaker

I thought now I'd officially started work on the sequel to BLOOD WITCH, it might be nice to start sharing snippets again (as long as I keep them non-spoilery). So I think this is a safe place to start.

I'm off to resist the temptation to start an actual Fort Rosser Fortean Twitter account...

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Guest blog - Enter The Forever Forest with Gayle Cranfield!

This one looks good! Steampunk, suspense, amnesia, unicorn pajamas...Count me in! Let's see what it's all about...

The Forever Forest

A series of unusual, and unexplained murders in Bath, England, pushes Detective Sergeant Rebecca Leigh and Psychic Investigator, Gabriel Lewis, to work together.

They discover a link to a new Steam Punk nightclub, The Wolf's Den, where owner Darius Wolf, when interviewed, disorientates Rebecca. On exciting the club, Rebecca collapses, seemingly intoxicated, leaving Gabriel no choice but to take her to his home.

She has no memory of meeting Wolf, but attraction between Rebecca and Gabriel reaches boiling point as she discovers Gabriel is not as he seems. The timid psychic is a Dominant in the bedroom and turns her world upside down, as the normally strong willed Detective realizes what has been missing in her past relationships, the submission Gabriel requires from her.

Darius, now obsessed with Rebecca, gains access to her dreams when she is kidnapped by him, leaving Gabriel having to find a passage into Rebecca's dreams and save her from The Forever Forest.

Read on for an excerpt!

Monday, 8 June 2015

"Ideas won't keep. Something must be done about them."

Alfred North Whitehead

So it's been a busy few days since BLOOD WITCH was released. I'm excited/delighted/proud/humbled to say it's an All Romance Ebooks bestseller as of today (check out that shiny silver star! Proof!), and that it broke into a few Amazon Top 100 lists for its categories last week! Unf. I can't even tell you how much that means to me. I love this book. I love that I managed to make it exactly what I wanted - a dark and bloody urban fantasy with strong female friendships, queer characters, murder, demons, and room for a sequel or two.

While all that was going on, I finished up my current Amber Morgan WIP and submitted it over the weekend. I'm pretty nervous about this one - I loved writing it, but it's a whole new genre for me and I have no idea if it's good or not. I mean...I like it. I like it so much, I already have at least three more stories planned, but I won't deny I'm after some outside validation...And I don't want to start a sequel until I've had that.

So what's next? The possibilities seem endless! I have a fun idea for a new Ethan Banning short. I also have a re-imagined idea for a selkie story I started a while back and abandoned when I realised I was basically re-treading THE BEAST OF BIRCH HILL with it. Now I have a much better idea that stays true to the seed I started with, and I love selkies, and that story is calling me loudly.

But the sequel to BLOOD WITCH is, too. I have a title, I have a plot, I have so much awful crap to throw at Lola and I'm really excited by that, but I don't quite have a starting point yet. I feel like I'm standing on the threshold to that story, but that I'm not quite prepared to go through the door yet. And there's still Nightmare Moon, my best beloved, which I haven't forgotten about.

So I may just meander for a bit and see which idea tugs me hardest. That's always the most fun way to work for me.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Guest Blog - Doris O'Connor is bringing us some Panther Magic!

It's always a pleasure to have Doris here! I'll let her fill you in on all the details of her newest release - PANTHER MAGIC. Take it away, Doris...

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today with my new release, Panther Magic, book five of The Projects series.

You know that old saying… A picture speaks a thousand words. Never is that truer than when your muse is a very visual creature like mine is. Hot men get her going every time, and this story is no exception. I had no intention of writing this story in fact, until, my search for a Mancandy birthday pic for a friend let me to these two hunks.

Incidentally, if anyone knows who these two are, please let me know in the comments
Where was I? Oh yes… My friend loved the pic, and some light hearted banter occurred. Was she going to have one or two…. Separately or at the same time…

Her husband chirped up saying it sounded like one of my books, and just like that Zeb and Aran Harris jumped into my head, and wouldn’t leave me alone until I told their story.
And, trust me, having not one but two Alpha, Panther Shifter, Doms in my head, I did as I was told—fast!

I’ve learned long ago, never to argue with my characters, especially the Doms. No, sirreee, this little subbie does as she’s told in those circumstances.
You can’t say the same about the heroine of this story, Kate. Experienced submissive she might be, but as those in the lifestyle will know, that certainly doesn’t equal doormat, and Kate is one feisty human.

Kate does not believe in magic, and using animals in their act is just cruel, and she’s not afraid to put that point across. In the end—of course—resistance is futile.
She can’t resist the combined dominance of Arran and Zeb, and when they do get together they ignite the pages.

Prepare to laugh, cry, and fear for them all, when that dreaded council gets involved…

There’s no such thing as magic…
Kate doesn’t believe in it, let alone the panther sort Arran and Zeb Harris are famous for. Using animals in their act is just downright cruel. If only she could convince her libido of that. Instead she seems to have fallen head over heels in lust with those sex-on-legs twin brothers. Getting laid will cure this, surely?
When panther shifters Arran and Zeb scent their mate, they know they’ll have a fight on their hands. The delectable human morsel might be submissive, but Kate has spirit, never mind the small matter she has no idea shifters exist.
They want her submission freely given and not forced upon her by the mysterious mating bond. However, when their panthers kill while rescuing Kate, that bond might well be the only thing to keep them alive.
It’s up to Kate to save her Sirs.

Read on for a (mature!) excerpt and a giveaway!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Buy! Buy! Buy!

Yes, BLOOD WITCH is in the wild and available for your e-reader right this very second. Where, you ask?

All Romance Ebooks
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Get it while it's hot!*

*It will always be hot.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Witches, Wolves, and the Ties Between

So in case I hadn't mentioned it yet, BLOOD WITCH is out tomorrow! *showers everyone with glitter* And tomorrow I'll do the usual business of throwing buy links in your faces and being over-excited, but today I thought I'd share an interesting factoid about BLOOD WITCH.

BLOOD WITCH exists because of a book read by a character in another series of mine.

Yes, this gets meta.

I mentioned when I finished the first draft of BLOOD WITCH that an early scene where Lola, our fearless heroine, goes to visit her ex-girlfriend was originally part of an urban fantasy parody I was writing. Lola's ex, Rowan, owns and runs a high-scale BDSM club which just so happens to be the scene of the murder that kicks off all the trouble in BLOOD WITCH. This club is called the Red Lotus and I lifted the club, and the murder for that matter, from this parody.

So what was the deal with the parody? Ugh, long story short, I was going through a bout of anxiety over my writing and decided I'd just find something silly and fun to work on until it was resolved. I'd not long finished writing BLOOD HUNT (my second Urban Wolf novel), and one of the things I'd really enjoyed about that was working in references to Ayla's favourite series of books.

The Katrina Pagan series is a very OTT urban fantasy series that exists only in the Urban Wolf world. Ayla loves them, Shannon teases her for loving them. They are meant to be a riff on the genre, exaggerating the tropes and poking fun at the themes. So when I was in a funk and wanted something utterly ludicrous to work on, I thought...why not an actual Katrina Pagan story? It could be as stupid and embarrassing as I liked, it would never have to see the light of day, and it might shake me out of the funk.

I wrote about 1000 words of ridiculous cliched shenanigans and then, I guess, something distracting came along, like a new series of MasterChef, and I forgot about Katrina. Until some time in 2014 when I was salvaging my old, nearly-dead laptop for files I wanted to keep. On a whim, I opened up the Katrina file and found I kinda liked that opening scene with a bloody murder at a sex club. It was too good to waste, but I no longer had any desire to write a stupid, embarrassing story.

And then I found something else - a few pages from a notebook, where a witch is being questioned by the police over a murder she didn't commit.

And then...alchemy.

Well, not immediately. It took me several months (with a massive gap in between) before I got past the first three chapters of BLOOD WITCH. But I had it, or at least the opening. I had Lola.

So because of a fictional book my fictional werewolf read in one of my actual novels, tomorrow you get to read a brand new actual novella from me! A novella with witches! Demons! Murder! And strangely no werewolves!

Have some glitter.