Monday, 26 September 2016

"I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to."

So! London happened! On Friday Kyle went down (or up, I guess?) for the London tattoo convention, and on Saturday I headed in, having apologised profusely to Yuki for leaving her (she has abandonment issues). We went into Camden for a good old poke around the market, and I was reminded that I hate Cyberdog and everything associated with it. For those who don't know, Cyberdog is a clothing brand, and their Camden shop is basically a rave where you can buy glow-in-the-dark everything and I hate it. It's hot, they play fucking awful rave music, and I hate it. Kyle loves it, so we always visit when we go to Camden, but it's my least favourite part of visiting.

Anyway! We didn't spend long there in any case, and there's so much else to look at in Camden that I don't really mind visiting too much. And actually, our main mission was to find somewhere to eat before the Scandal gig, so once Kyle had bought a glow-in-the-dark t-shirt, we headed off to scout the local restaurants. We ended up at a grill called Q, having been lured in by the promise of sweet tea and whiskey cocktails.

The food was amazing - the kind of soul food you know is contributing to your eventual heart problems, but is just too good to say no to anyway. I had fried chicken with cornbread waffles and maple butter, and Kyle went for buttermilk chicken with sweet potatoes, and oh my god, I wish I was eating it all again right now.

Heroic amounts of carbs were consumed.

Adequately fuelled for the gig, we headed to Islington, planning to find a pub near the venue and kill some time before the doors opened at 7pm. We got to Islington about 5pm, walked past the O2 Academy and saw the queue was already stretching around the block, so figured we'd better join in. As it turns out, because Kyle has an O2 phone for work, we were allowed to jump the queue a bit, so that's worth knowing if you're going there for a concert, I guess!

I had no idea what to expect from the concert crowd. Scandal are a Japanese band (I hesitate to say girl band, because they're all in their late twenties), and I guess I'd made some assumptions about what sort of fans they might have. Some of those assumptions were correct (there were a lot of single men there, just standing at the back of the hall, staring at the stage, not dancing or interacting with anyone), but by and large, there was a really good vibe.

This was somewhat marred by the merchandise vendor who tried to sell me wrist bands I didn't want, and who then asked Kyle why he was letting a woman make financial decisions in a "haha, but I'm not really joking" kind of way. I didn't quite make a scene, but we both made it clear we weren't amused and I really hope he didn't subject every woman he tried to force wrist bands on to the same treatment.

Inside the venue, we were pounced on by a random girl who ran up to us and yelled, "you live in Milton, don't you?" then proclaimed she recognised Kyle's beard and my hair, and that she had seen us walking to Tescos, which...was weird? But she was nice, and it turns out we did vaguely know her boyfriend, so I managed to master my anxiety over strangers running up to me and acting like we're friends.

The gig itself was great - I didn't really know the music, but it was easy to get into and the band were really fun.


Afterwards, with our new friends in tow, we headed back to Cambridge prepared to be soundly told off by Yuki for going out without her.

She couldn't decide whether she was sad about being alone or delighted we were home, and settled for just spying on us for the rest of the night and all day Sunday to make sure we didn't do it again.

My plan for Sunday was really to just chill out and finish writing Thrown to the Wolves, and hopefully submit it. Instead I just chilled out and lazed around on the sofa all day with a terrible head cold. I'm slightly annoyed with myself for not getting on with it, but to be honest, I think I probably made the right choice, as I don't think I would have been producing my best work in any case. This does mean I'm now unlikely to get Blood Canticles 3 started this month, but since the only person I have to answer to as far as deadlines go is me, I've decided to be lenient with myself. Maybe I haven't been as productive as I was last year writing-wise, but I haven't exactly slacked off either, and I probably need to remind myself that two novels and two novellas, with another one nearly in the bag and two re-published works under my belt for the year is nothing to be sniffed at. And in my defence, I was still pretty full of fried chicken and cornbread waffles.

So the plan for this week is now the same as it was last week - finish and submit Thrown to the Wolves. Since I have almost finished writing it, this is a pretty doable goal. I say that confidently, like I haven't been saying it for two weeks now...but this time I mean it! Watch this space.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Guest Blog - Doris O'Connor and Finally His

What better way to spend a lazy Sunday recovering from a Japanese pop-punk gig in London than by finding out what Doris O'Connor has been up to? And if that's too specific a scenario, then generally speaking, Doris's books promise a good time no matter what you've been up to. So let's hand things over to her!

Thanks so much for having me on your blog with my new release Finally His, my May to December, Rubenesque, BDSM Office romance. This story started as a Friday Flash on my blog, and was one of those flashes that demanded to be written. You can find the original flash here.

I had such fun writing Richard and Jolie's story, and I hope readers will love these two as much as I do.


A nice hot, forbidden fling with her boss…what can possibly go wrong?

Jolie Pierson has lusted after her hot as hades boss forever, so when he finally takes notice of her, she can’t help but melt at his dominance. Besides, it would be rude to not give him a present on his birthday.

Richard Tomlin never dates the women at his office. However, when he realizes the sinfully curvy red head he’s been struggling to keep his hands off for ages is submissive…the gloves are off. This woman makes him forget all the rules and brings out his primitive instincts—to take, to devour, to mark her as his until everyone knows she belongs to him.

Jolie was ready to accept just one night of hot kinky sex, but when Richard pulls the boss card the very next morning, everything changes—she’s finally his.

Be Warned: BDSM, anal sex, sex toys, spanking, rimming

18 +Excerpt:

“I’m going to unlock the door and go into the kitchen to grab some things that I need. While I do that, I want you to make your way upstairs and wait for me in my bedroom. First door on your left when you get to the landing. Present for me in the middle of the room. Do not take anything off.”

He surprised her by that missive, he could tell because she briefly looked up him.

“I want to be the one to undress you, little one.”

“Oh.” Her breathy whisper of a reply made him groan, and he yanked the door open to get out of his car. The cool night air hit his face, and Richard closed his eyes and took several deep breaths to get in the right head space for this, and to most importantly get his raging libido under control. Otherwise he would pounce on her like a madman the minute he got her through that front door. While a quick hard fuck against his front door held a certain appeal, he wanted to take his time with her.

To show her how good they could be together and to leave her utterly scrambled and begging him to come. Only then would he seek his own release.

Mind made up he strode to the door, the click clack of her heels on the stones of his driveway a reassuring affirmation that she was following him. Having opened the door, and disabled the alarm, he switched on the lights and gestured up the stairs.

“Up you go, nice and slow and swing those hips for me as you climb the stairs.”

“Yes, Sir.”

Jolie dropped her gaze to the floor and proceeded to take the steps one at a time.

“Slower than that, girl. Pull your skirt higher, so that I can see the pussy I will be claiming soon.”

Jolie complied with trembling hands, and his throat went dry as her gorgeous, ample thighs came into view. Skin liberally sprinkled with freckles called him to taste, to touch, and he stepped up after her halting her slow movement upstairs.

“Bend over and get on your knees. Spread your thighs wide for me.” It was sweet torture to see her comply, and when her satin and lace covered cunt came into view, Richard stroked his heavy erection through his trousers.

“Wider, girl, that’s it.”

The pink crotch of her pretty, lacy knickers was much darker than the surrounding fabric, and he murmured his approval when she slid the dress further up her hips to pool around her waist. Putting his hands on the indent on her waist, he skimmed them lower, over the flare of her hips, until he reached the juncture of her thighs.

“I love your curves, little one. So much supple flesh to hold, squeeze, and mark as mine.”

Jolie whimpered her need, when he inhaled against her wet crotch, and nudged the hard little bundle at the top of her slit through the fabric with his nose.

“Oh, please.” Her breathless plea made him repeat that move time and time again, until her thighs trembled, and she pushed back against him.

“So responsive and wet for your Sir. Tell, me, my sweet, I could fuck you right here on the stairs, couldn’t I?”

“God, yes, please, Sir.”

She moaned her disappointment when he withdrew, and Richard chuckled into the soft skin of her inner thigh. He licked a path up to one fleshy ass cheek, only half covered by the satin of her underwear, and bit down hard.

A cock hardening groan came from his girl when he licked that sting away, and his dick jerked in his trousers, seeing the half-moon bite left behind on her fair skin. The scent of her sweet musk increased tenfold, and it was beyond satisfying to realize that this was as big a turn-on for her as it was for him.
He retraced the wet path his tongue had left behind, and then licked up her other butt cheek. Her whole body jerked when he bit down on that side too, and then grasped the underwear and bunched it up until it dug into her slit. Her puffy lips, separated by the twisted line of material, were the biggest turn-on yet, and Jolie groaned when he rubbed the fabric back and forth.

“Oh, God, please, Sir. I need to come.”

Richard slapped one ass cheek and stepped up the movement between her thighs. It was beyond satisfying to see the flesh wobble and redden under his hands, so he did it again, until his girl was a panting, quivering mess in front of him. Her inner thighs were wet with her arousal, and she clamped her legs around his head, when he licked that sweet musk away. One sharp twist and flick of his wrist meant the delicate fabric of her knickers gave way, and Jolie gasped, and relaxed her viselike grip on his head.

Richard smacked her ass one last time and ran his fingers through her wet puffy labia, which caused her to shudder anew. Her pussy hole clenched in rhythmic moves, telling him how close she was to release, one he had no wish to give her yet. Every clench expelled more of her juices, and he groaned under his breath when he withdrew his fingers and licked them clean.

Sweet, with a slightly salty taste, his girl tasted divine. He grinned at her when he caught her watching him from under hooded lids. With her body shivering and covered in the fine sheen of arousal, her dress bunched around her waist, and the mass of her red hair spread over his stairs, she looked good enough to eat. A woman on the edge. It wouldn’t take much for her to go over, but he also instinctively knew that she wouldn’t allow herself to do without his say-so, as confirmed by her next breathy words.

“Please, Sir, may I come?”


About Doris:

Doris is a writer of sensual, sassy, and sexy tales involving alpha heroes to die for, and heroines who give as good as they get.  From contemporary to paranormal, Time Travel, Sci-fi, BDSM, F/F, M/M, and Ménage, haunting love stories are guaranteed.

Happily married for the last twenty-five years, she lives with her husband and their brood of nine in a far too small house filled with love, laughter, and chaos.

Stalk her in these places         
 Reader Group Tumblr Twitter Facebook Pinterest Evernight Publishing

Friday, 23 September 2016

Ethan's Makeover Continues...

Recently I unveiled a new cover for DEMONIZED (coming back soon, definitely!), and Ragnarok treated me to a new cover for UNDERTOW, and all things being equal, I decided it was only fair to give the Ethan Banning short stories their own update.

I already have all the covers picked out, but I'm spacing out the purchases because, well, things cost stuff. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may already have seen the new covers for UNGRATEFUL DEAD and STAKEOUT, and I have updated the Ethan Banning page here on the blog too. However, I didn't ~officially~ unveil either one, so here they both are!

Aren't they awesome? The two I have picked out for ICE, ICE BABY and GONE TO THE DOGS follow the "hand" theme, and I can't wait to get them sorted out. The Ethan Banning shorts can be read in any order, but all come chronologically before DEMONIZED, so if you're after a quick Ethan fix and want a glimpse of his life when he was just a regular loser and not a demon-possessed loser, these are the stories for you!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Wednesday Snippet - Thrown To The Wolves

You know, I don't think I've actually said that the short werewolfy romance I'm working on at the moment is called Thrown To The Wolves. But it is, so there we go. I'm aiming to have it wrapped up and submitted this week, and by my reckoning I'm about 4k away from that goal, which is very doable, even allowing for the fact that I'm out Friday night and in London on Saturday. That's two social occasions in a row, which for me is pretty bold. We're going to see Scandal at the O2 Academy on Saturday night, which should be loads of fun. If all goes according to plan, I'll have Thrown To The Wolves ready to submit on Sunday, then I can spend the rest of the day sessioning Lucha Underground and mentally plotting Blood Canticles 3 some more.

Anyway! Enough talk. Here's a snippet from Thrown To The Wolves.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Guest Blog - Libby Bishop brings the thunder!

The word "Friday" comes from the Old English meaning "day of Frige," after the Germanic goddess, Frigg. So it seems appropriate that my guest today is bringing us a Norse-themed romance...although we're leaning more towards Thor than Frigg here. I suspect that won't be a problem for anyone! Take it away, Libby...

Her hunt for a murderer is his way home.
Rune is the grandson of Thor, and just as strong. Exiled to the realm of Earth for nearly killing his brother–it was a little misunderstanding– he has to find a way to redeem himself so he can get back to Asgard. And when he lands—literally—in the bed of a fiery redhead with an FBI badge, he realizes that she may be the key to going home. But helping Liv hunt a killer has one big consequence—chemistry. He can’t keep his hands off her, and there’s no way they can ever be together.
Six years ago, FBI Special Agent Liv Winter’s best friend was murdered. Since then, she’s taken a two-week vacation around the anniversary of the death to try and solve the case. She’s used every available resource. Yet, her friend’s killer is still on the loose. She refuses to give up—willing to do almost anything to bring the person to justice.
Apparently, almost anything includes trusting a god. And while she might need Rune’s help with her case, there’s no way she’ll ever trust him with her heart.
Read on for an excerpt!

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Your Adventure Ends Here

I'm not quite sure where I picked up my first Fighting Fantasy book. Possibly my older brother had some. My school library definitely had some, but I think I found those once I was already fully hooked. Second-hand bookshops around Cambridge often had them too, but again, I hunted those down after becoming addicted. Either way, all I know is that some time in my early teens, I discovered Fighting Fantasy game books and my life was changed forever.

At the time I was pretty much exclusively reading all the high fantasy I could get my hands on, so the idea of a book full of fantasy elements (dungeons! Warlocks! Dragons!) wherein I could be the star was just a magical thing. I didn't know anything about role playing and I definitely didn't bother with the whole "roll the dice and track your stats" elements of the books, but I played wholeheartedly nonetheless. I fought ice witches and warlocks on Firetop Mountain. I battled the armies of the undead. I explored the island of the lizard king. I died many times.

Many, many times. But always I found victory eventually. Whether it was by having the right magical dagger or knowing the answer to the gryphon's riddle, whether it was facing down giant scorpions or Satanic priests, I always triumphed in the end.

Well, almost always. One book defeated me. I played it solo, I played it with a friend, I played it as a teen and in my twenties, I went through two copies, and I still never conquered...

The Creature of Havoc.

This book is hard, you guys. You play said creature, working to find out why you became a creature and avenge yourself, or transform yourself back maybe. I don't remember. Maybe both. I don't know because I never fucking completed it because it's super fucking hard and I died all the fucking time. I died in a furnace. I died of poison. I died of being cut open by a witch. I ate my best friend and then wandered back into the furnace and died again. I died everywhere, in every way possible, and no matter how often I replayed and (yes) cheated, I never beat the book.

I feel like this is something I should be over at age 33, but I'm not. I hadn't thought about this book in years until Amazon recommended me a Fighting Fantasy adult colouring book (which I am absolutely buying, thanks Amazon), and then all the old bitterness and trauma came flooding back. And it turns out second-hand copies of Creature of Havoc are really cheap, so I determined to conquer the unconquerable.

After all, it's been a good eight or so years since my last attempt. I've grown as a person. I've played DnD. I'm no longer liable to throw the book across the room in a screaming fit if I get stuck in the furnace again. I can do this. I owe it to myself, and my beloved adventuring companion, Skelly* to do this.

I will do this. I will defeat the Creature of Havoc.

Or...not, because I will be the creature. Anyway. It's definitely going to happen this time. I've got a good feeling about it.

*I didn't kill Skelly. She's not the best friend referred to above. She's fine, okay? She's fine.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

When in doubt...werewolves

If there's one thing you probably already know about me, it's that I love writing about werewolves. In fact, I just love werewolves. So, having just finished a really tough-to-write book about werewolves, I decided to go for a palate cleanser and write a short story about werewolves.

To summarise: werewolves.

Well, actually, I did the edits for my next Amber Morgan release first, but then I moved onto this story, which will definitely stay as a short story and not turn into a novel at all. I'm aiming to have it all wrapped up within the next two weeks, and then it'll be on to Blood Canticles 3. Huzzahs! Just to prove this is definitely a werewolf story, here's a snippet.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Guest Blog - Mackenzie Williams and Her Temporary Boss

Not Mackenzie's temporary boss. Well, sort of. Anyway! Mackenzie is here today with her new release, HER TEMPORARY BOSS, and she's naturally a better choice to talk about it than me, so away we go!

Morgan White is in the middle of a rough patch in her life as she begins her new job. She has just broken things off with her fiancé after finding out about his unfaithful ways. As she starts her temporary job at Slade Incorporated, she feels unworthy of love.
Connor Slade is not your typical boss. He isn't just looking for someone with great secretarial skills. Can Morgan be what he wants her to be? Will this man destroy her or save her?
Read on for an excerpt!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Barb V Nancy: Why not both?

***Contains spoilers for Stranger Things!***

So like most of the world (it feels), I watched Stranger Things when it launched in July and I loved it. I love the 80s vibe, I love the story, the characters, the themes, the potential future plot threads...Everything. I've loved the fan theories about the show and I was really excited when season two was confirmed earlier this week. I can't wait to see where the story goes next, and what the fallout from season one will be for everyone. I'm not a huge TV watcher, so for something to really capture my imagination like this is a big deal for me. I get invested and excited and passionate, and I want to seek out opinions and information and theories and just really immerse myself in it all.

And I've done that with Stranger Things, and in doing so found something that irked me at first. And the more I've thought about it, the more it's gone from being irksome to aggravating.

It's Barb and Nancy.

So, let's start with who Barb and Nancy are. Nancy is the older sister of Mike Wheeler (one of the show's key protagonists). She's shown to be a serious student entering that weird liminal teenage stage where boys are kinda interesting, brothers are kinda annoying, and parents are kinda restrictive. Barb is her best friend, the quintessentially bookish, awkward kid who maybe isn't developing the same way Nancy is, and is starting to sense a strain in their friendship because of it. They're both well-drawn, relatable characters. And they are friends. Best friends, who share secrets and look out for each other - not always in the best way, but hey, they're teenagers. If you never made a bad decision as a teenager, please applaud yourself now. Maybe they wouldn't be best friends forever in real life, but in the confined space of this TV series, they are.

So why are memes like this everywhere?

Huh? What's up with that, apart from the misplaced apostrophe? What's wrong with Nancy? What did Nancy do to deserve to end up as the default "bad one" in that pairing?

Well, let's see where Barb and Nancy go from the status quo they start out in as Stranger Things begins.

Nancy is being courted by Steve Harrington. On the surface he's the stereotypical bad boy: arrogant, bullish, and only interested in getting into Nancy's pants. He's popular, cool, attractive, etc, etc. You know this guy. He's every new adult/young adult hero ever. Barb worries that Nancy's tentative relationship with Steve will threaten their friendship, and (in my opinion) she worries that Steve will hurt Nancy. So there's tension there, not helped by the fact that Nancy is definitely receptive to Steve.

I get that. I was a Barb at school - bookish, awkward, introverted, and with a tendency to compensate for what I saw as my personality faults by being outlandish and weird in social situations. I fiercely prized my friendships because I didn't have many, and I was hurt when they fell apart. I so get Barb.

In episode two, Nancy and Barb go to a party at Steve's, where the rift between them (caused by Barb's discomfort and Nancy's failure to understand it, among other things) is obvious. It's clear Nancy and Steve are headed for sexy times, and it's clear Barb hates this, and I could write a million words on why I think that is, but the bottom line is this: Barb is uncomfortable and Nancy tells her to go home.

Barb doesn't. Barb sits by Steve's pool, probably worrying about Nancy and the fact that they've lied about where they are that night, and possibly wondering what's wrong with her that Nancy prefers Steve and his douchey friends to her all of a sudden. (I was Barb. I'm pretty sure this is what she was thinking, and Barb, there was nothing wrong with you).

Anyway. Barb then gets dragged into a parallel dimension by a hideous monster. This is where Barb and I diverge.

And you know what? Once Nancy realises Barb is gone, she devotes every ounce of herself to finding her friend. She puts that fledgling relationship with Steve aside, teams up with potential-stalker Jonathan Byers, and she gets shit done. She pieces together clues nobody else found. She finds Barb's abandoned car. She gets out in the monster-infested woods and looks for Barb. She follows a trail of blood through a portal in a tree and finds herself in another dimension. She escapes a monster. She heroes up, kits herself out with a ton of army surplus gear and resolves to go kill that monster.

My friendships were important to me, but I don't think I would have taken on an actual monster over any of them.

Nancy did. Nancy's great. So where is the Barb V Nancy dynamic coming from? Is Nancy getting hate because she has a boyfriend and has sex with him? For prioritising that first sexual encounter over her friend's comfort levels? Sure, that wasn't the most thoughtful moment of her life, but again...if you never made a thoughtless choice as a teenager, applaud yourself now.

Maybe it's just that more people watching saw themselves in Barb than in Nancy. And I get that - representation is important and people want to see themselves in our media. But you can relate to Character A without throwing Character B under the bus, and I think you should definitely not be pitting Characters A and B against each other if they're both girls. You know what memes I'm not seeing? "In a world full of Steves/Jonathans, be a Jonathan/Steve." Because men aren't pitted against each other in quite the same way that women are. They just aren't. You might be asked to pick between Captain American and Iron Man, but it's not going to be worded in such a way that you feel bad about your choice. In Civil War, Steve and Tony were presented as ideologically at odds, but neither was presented as The Bad Pick. Fan wars will rage forever over whether you should be Team Cap or Team Stark, but Nancy and Barb? That's boiled down to this:

Nancy is a slut because she has a boyfriend and Barb is superior because she doesn't? I don't know. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but that's what it seems to boil down to. And the fact that Nancy searches desperately for her friend, and puts her life on the line, is ignored because it's more fun to make girls fight than have them fight for each other. That's tiresome.

We can have both, you know. We can have girls on TV who are bookish and still finding themselves, and we can have girls who are ready for boyfriends and sex. We can have bookish girls who are ready for sex, even. We can have girls who are introspective and would really rather not go to the stupid fucking party, and girls who are social butterflies and want to get out there. We can have girls who are serious students and can swing a mean baseball bat when required. We can have girls who support each other even when they disagree with each other. We can have Barbs and Nancys, and both are valid and both are fine, and what we really need in a world full of Barbs and Nancys is for people to appreciate both the Barbs and the Nancys.