Tuesday, 28 February 2017

"My work is a game, a very serious game."

MC Escher

So I feel like I haven't done much since finishing Lich Queen, but when I actually think about it, I have. I wrote, edited, and submitted an Amber Morgan short story, and edited and submitted Lich Queen itself this Sunday just gone. Not bad for "not much."

So now my writing schedule is clear and it's time to consider the To-Do list. Behold!

Through Fire (Blood Canticles 3)
Lich Queen (Blood Canticles 3.5)
Mercy's Gate (Southern Gothic urban fantasy book of my heart)
Black Dog (Urban Wolf 6)
Crow Called (Standalone novella)
Flesh and Bone (The Deva Chronicles 2)

I always intended to work on Lich Queen and Through Fire Imperial Demons concurrently, so now Lich Queen is in the hands of Evernight, it only makes sense to go back to Imperial Demons and get working on Lola's story again. I spent yesterday evening reading through what I have so far, and still have a bit of reading to do before I'm up to speed, but I should be able to start work again this evening.

My (overly-ambitious) plan is to finish the first draft by the end of March. Next week I'll be home alone, and while I will dearly miss my best beloved, I will take full advantage of the solitude to write all evening, every evening and see if I can make some serious headway. Wish me luck! I'll also go going chocolate-free in March to raise money for the British Heart Foundation, so I could do with the distraction...

Friday, 24 February 2017

Flashback Friday - Allyson Young and Bound by Destiny!

Happy Friday, true believers! I've been pretty quiet round here since finishing Lich Queen, I know. I'm waiting to hear back from a fearless beta-reader on it before I dig into the second draft/submission stage, and in the meantime I decided to finish an Amber Morgan short story from my to-do list. I submitted that earlier this week and am now definitely not checking my inbox every ten minutes for a response. Definitely not.

Anyway! In lieu of news from me, here's your Friday Flashback. Say hello to Allyson Young and the first of her Blue Star Shifters series. Enjoy!


River Fortuna’s wolf is awake and pacing, anticipating their first heat. Traumatized by early misunderstandings of shifter sexuality, River intends to avoid being claimed at all cost. She doesn’t plan on meeting handsome, virile Alpha Jett Reeves.

Jett is instantly drawn to River, his pheromones flooding to trigger her heat and force her sexual surrender, despite her tangible—and unlawful—means of avoidance.

Initially a mindless slave to her hormones, River comes to accept Jett past his ability to assuage her sexual need and falls in love with him. Unable to label his myriad of feelings, Jett doesn’t reciprocate, and she is devastated, realizing she is locked in a lifelong, loveless partnership.

Attacked by a rogue shifter, River wakes with no memory, and Jett must face the fact that what he felt for River all along was love—and find a way to bring her back to him.

Buy Links:


They rode the elevator to the sixth floor in near silence, the eddies of lust making the small space nearly insufferable for him, and his mate leaned against the wall as though she might slip to the floor any moment. Her brow and temples glistened with sweat and her fingers twitched spasmodically. She was coming into her full heat and fighting it all the way.
Stepping off when the doors opened, he strode in the direction the small arrow indicated and found the room within several yards. The key card gave them entrance and he flicked on the light. He shoved the cases just inside the door, blocking the heavy panel with his forearm so it wouldn’t close. “In you go, River.”
Did women trudge? His woman did, despite the trembling of her entire body. His heart ached at her trepidation despite the all-encompassing lust he experienced. Her head down, intense need radiating to pull him in, he threw the deadbolt, and then gave in to what their nature decreed.
 Thrusting his hand through her thick mane, his fingers weaving among the long, silky strands just as he’d fantasized, he drew her head back and forced her to look him in the eyes. Hers were dilated, the rich brown irises nearly eclipsed by the stark black of her pupils. Square, white teeth clenched her full bottom lip, presumably to control panting, because she drew draughts of air in through her nose. He could detect the threads of resignation weaving through her vast need, her intense heat rapidly eclipsing any coherent thought. Regret that he’d caused this once again pierced his own narrowly shrinking focus—but only briefly. He lowered his head and took her mouth.
Sweetness and life burst over his senses at his first taste, and he groaned against her full lips even as his tongue made a foray past them. River totally surrendered, as female wolves do when they met their fated mate, and he barely had time for that thought—fated mate—before he wrapped an arm around her limp form. Two steps and they fell to the big bed, the mattress compressing beneath their combined weight as he ravished her mouth. She opened to let him in and gave up all the flavor that was uniquely her.
He reluctantly tore his lips away to rear up and shred the plain shirt that hid her from his view. Her lightly tanned skin filled his vision as her utilitarian bra met the same fate, and he noted with pleasure how modest her tan lines were. His wolf rose up. Mine. The growling claim resounded in the room and her eyes fluttered open and she blinked. Behind the thicket of her dark lashes, a sexual haze again blurred the rich chocolate, and her lids drifted shut.
Once they came to know one another, their coming together could be slowed and savored, but for now, he needed to visibly establish his claim. His frantic cock shuddered in agreement as he demolished the tough denim of her jeans, taking care not to score her soft skin with a claw.
With her nude beneath him, his gaze drawn to the soft, pale fur at her apex, he willed his other-self back, and his claws retracted. Lord knew what she’d seen when she’d stared up at him. Probably a wild-eyed beast intent on its succulent prey, and he blessed the Mother and the mating heat that River hadn’t screamed in fear. Only an alpha could partially shift, and it was unlikely she’d seen one in such a state before.
His own apparel fell away as he quickly stripped and then blanketed his mate’s writhing form. Velvety flesh met his own in a haze of heat and sensation.
“Please.” Her plea was strangled and all the more evocative because of it.
“I’ll take care of you,” he promised. “Always.”

About the author;

Allyson Young lives in cottage country in Manitoba, Canada with her husband and numerous pets. She worked in the human services all across Canada and has seen the best and worst of what people bring to the table. Allyson has written for years, mostly short stories and poetry, published in small newspapers and the like, although her work appeared in her high school yearbooks too! After reading an erotic romance, quite by accident, she decided to try her hand at penning erotica.
Allyson will write until whatever she has inside her is satisfied- when all the heroes man up and all the heroines get what they deserve. Love isn’t always sweet, and Allyson favours the darker side of romance.

Twitter:  Allyson Young @allysonyoung45

Friday, 17 February 2017

Flashback Friday - Magic and shapeshifters with Rebecca Brochu

Welcome to Friday! Hope you're all in the mood for some m/m romance with a juicy helping of magic, shapeshifters, and politics. I know I am, so let's check out Rebecca Brochu and HEIR. Enjoy!

In a world where magic makes might Cyril Arlen is the fourth son of the Matriarch of House Arlen, a powerful clan of witch-born.  Uninterested in politics or the pressures associated with his House, Cyril is content to leave it all behind to live a quiet and peaceful life on his own.

Unfortunately not everyone agrees with that choice.

After a decade of peace Cyril is unexpectedly named Heritor to his mother’s position and shoved back into the spotlight against his will.

Now, forced to deal with a power hungry half-brother and the pressures of one day ruling his House, Cyril’s only comfort is Alpha Sinclair Ferus.  Sinclair is duty bound to protect him and happens to be the same man who has fascinated Cyril since he was a child.

Despite his reluctance to accept his new position Cyril finds that having Sinclair around might just make it all worthwhile.

Read on for an excerpt...

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Five Songs for Dawn Hardy

So I don't have a snippet for you this week, because I'm currently between projects and all, but I want to keep Wednesday writerly. In that spirit, I'm getting musical! There's a link, honest. I have playlists on Spotify for most of my major series (you can find the Blood Canticles one here), and although I tend not to listen to music when I write, I do listen to it on my commute to work to keep my brain thinking about the work-in-progress.

Most of the songs on the Blood Canticles playlist are for Lola or Tristesse, or are general "mood pieces," but I added a few for Dawn as I worked on Lich Queen. Here's five!

1. I'm Not Dead - P!nk


I love P!nk's voice (although I mistrust her use of exclamation marks), and this song just resonates with me so much for Dawn - particularly the line "I'm not scared, just changing." Lich Queen sees Dawn change a lot. The whole series so far, in fact, has chronicled huge changes for Dawn, but this is the first book where we're inside her head and really understanding how deep those changes go.

2. Clint Eastwood - Gorillaz

There's no special lyrical connection between this song and Dawn. I just feel it's something she would listen to and like. That said, the lyrics do kind of read like a dueling conversation between Dawn and Isaiah. Also, it's still a really cool track.

3. Open The Lid - Amanda Jenssen

Another lady with an amazing voice. And given everything that happens to Dawn in Lich Queen, the lyrics are particularly spot-on - "honey come haunt me, let us in."

4. Devil's Resting Place - Laura Marling

I can't quote a particular lyric that makes this song perfect for Dawn, because the whole song is perfect for Dawn.

5. Strange Things - Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet

And finally, a song that nicely sums up Lich Queen as a whole. Strange things are definitely happening to Dawn. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you'll get to see for yourself soon...

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Love is the air...

Time to get romantic! ED Parr is with me today to answer some questions about her new release, FALLING STAR VALENTINE, as well as a few other matters of important (tea or coffee, for example). Today is, of course, Valentine's Day, so pull up your chocolate box, inhale deeply of your rose bouquet, and enjoy!

Hi, ED! Tell us a little bit about your newest release. 

The story ‘Falling Star Valentine’ was inspired by shooting stars. We all know shooting stars are falling meteorites, but the romance remains when one streaks across the midnight blue sky, and when two, in close succession, zoom over the night vista as you stand on your hotel balcony, it’s a sight to behold. I travel a little with my day job and in the autumn of 2016, I had to travel a lot more than usual. One night when I couldn’t sleep because I was churning worries around, I went out onto the balcony of the hotel room I was staying in and stared up at the sky. The night sparkled cold and the sky displayed an array of stars suddenly seeming only meters away a shooting star flew across my line of vision, then another as if it followed the first. I’m a die-hard romantic and immediately my sweet but sexy character, Valentine Steel, had formed in my head. He’s Falling Star Valentine on his way to visit earth. Will he find love?

That's a really different, fun piece of inspiration! Do you have a favourite genre to write in?
I write romance, erotic, contemporary, paranormal, sometimes MM and sometimes MF. I write stories that have happy endings because there aren’t enough in real life.

Who are your biggest influences – they don't have to just be literary ones!
Places, people and their emotions, odd things such as an intriguing buildings or overgrown gardens. I pass places and something will spark an idea, or, as with Falling Star Valentine a natural phenomenon gives me inspiration.

If you could have dinner with any three writers, living or dead, who would they be?
Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, Christine Feehan.

Shakespeare would be a winner at any dinner party. You just know it. Speaking of dinner (kind of), tea or coffee?

Correct answer! Apart from writing, what are your great passions in life?
Art exhibitions and art history Visiting historical and sacred places Nature-beautiful gardens, forests, the coast.

Beautiful. I love being by the sea - it's always so inspiring! So what else are you working on right now? What's up next from you?
‘The Night Gardener’, will be published by Evernight Publishing in April. It’s a spooky MM love story, not quite PNR in that there are no shifters, vampires etc., but it is paranormal in that one of the heroes is a spirit or wandering soul. It took me ages to give my guys names. They stood around waiting for days and then suddenly, Zachary’s name came to me and Dane’s followed. I have to know both Christian and surname or nothing will work, (Smiles) Here’s the blurb:

Architect, Dane Lovell takes an off-season vacation in an old New England mansion, hoping to ease his broken heart, and spark his imagination. Im-pressed by the pretty gardens, he’s surprised by the sinister atmosphere of the river than winds through the estate. Dane settles down to his vacation and tries to immerse himself in his drawings. One night, the sound of the back door smashing open in the wind and rain shocks Dane from his work. Spooky, gorgeous, and enigmatic Zachary Yarrow has brought logs for the fire. He’s the estate gardener and brings with him not just passion and a love affair for Dane, but a strange, spine-tingling mystery. Who is Zachary, and what will happen when Dane finds out?

Sounds awesome! I love a good ghostly romance. So that's told you a little about ED Parr - now let's find out a bit more about FALLING STAR VALENTINE.

Fashion photographer Dale Walker takes a train to his hometown, relocating there after nursing a broken heart for six months in another city. His train makes an unscheduled stop to take on a mysterious passenger.

For a long time, Valentine Steel has hoped to meet a man who will love him. When he sees Dale on the train, he’s overjoyed to find a vacant seat beside Dale.

Dale’s immediate attraction to Valentine has him on edge. He doesn’t want another broken heart, and yet Valentine is so magnetic Dale’s frozen heart begins to thaw.

Valentine sets out to charm and capture Dale in his sparkling aura. He can’t let the chance to have Dale’s love slip away. This could be his last chance to stay on Earth the planet he loves.

Read on for an excerpt!

Monday, 13 February 2017

Dawn is Done

Well, pretty much the whole of Lich Queen is Dawn being done with various things, but now the first draft is also done. Huzzahs! I did nothing else all weekend but write, because the end was so tantalizingly close. I ended up writing just shy of 10k and I'm very grateful that took me to the end, because by about 7pm on Sunday I was verging on brain dead. Writing is hard, you guys. Physically hard, especially if you're plagued by muscularskeletal problems. I'm not in very much pain today, thankfully, but I had tremors in both hands and achy bones yesterday by the time I was done.

Anyway! It is done and that's all that matters. Next stop: revision! I tend to self-edit as I go along, so I'm fairly sure I already know what needs attention in Lich Queen, and I don't think it will take long to address those points. Then I need to think up a blurb and get it submitted. I'm planning to have it submitted by next Sunday. Wish me luck!

In the meantime, I'm toying with what to do next. The next big project will be finishing Imperial Demons. But I need a bit of downtime between Lich Queen and that, so I'm debating finishing one of my in-progress Amber Morgan stories. There are a couple of short stories on that list that should be pretty quick to wrap up and will make for nice palate cleansers before I get back to Lola and Tristesse. We'll see! Either way, tonight I'm doing nothing, just to give my arms as much of a break as I can. Tomorrow is another writing day...

Friday, 10 February 2017

Flashback Friday - NJ Young and the Prices are back!

Happy Friday, everyone! I'm planning to go into lockdown over the weekend to try to finish the first draft of Lich Queen, so I'm leaving you in the capable hands of NJ Young and her Price family. If you haven't already checked this series out, don't worry! You can start right here with EXPLOSIVE DESIRE. Boom. Read on!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I’m very excited to share Explosive Desire with your readers. Although it is book four in my Love With a Price series, all of my books are written so they can be enjoyed as stand-alone novels, so even if you haven’t read the previous books, don’t let that deter you. Luke Price is my hottest hero yet, and this is the first book in my Love With a Price series that is a suspense!

Explosive Desire
Love With a Price, Book 4
By: N.J. Young
Genre: M/F Contemporary, Suspense, Erotic Romance, Rubenesque, BDSM
Release Date: November 3, 2016
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

A stalker has set his sights on Harper and will stop at nothing to make her his…

Finding love is the last thing on Luke Price’s mind as he leads his construction crew to complete the new wing of Oakville Hospital. But he can’t deny his feelings when Dr. Harper Love walks into his life. Lacking the sociability of his younger siblings, Luke doesn’t think a woman like Harper would ever want an introvert like him. But he puts his skepticism on hold when he discovers that Harper has become the victim of a stalker. Above all else, Luke vows to protect the woman he cares about.

When Dr. Harper Love moves to Oakville, she doesn’t expect to find a network of new friends, a man who captures her heart, and certainly not a stalker who watches her every move. When she begins receiving menacing notes at the hospital where she works, it soon becomes clear that the threats are no prank. Harper finds herself turning to Luke Price, and his protective instincts go on high alert. Will his heart be able to stand losing Harper? Or can he figure out who the stalker is and keep the woman he loves safe?

Purchase Links

About N.J. Young
I'm a Midwestern girl and a lover of coffee, live music, and horror movies, not necessarily in that order.
I've been writing all my life, and I honestly can't remember a time when I wanted to do anything but write. After many years spent suffering the trials of corporate America and writing about everything from financial risk management to software user manuals to website copy about radiators (sadly, I'm not kidding), I decided take the plunge and start writing books.
I love a good love story with super hot alpha males, strong heroines, a little humor, and a lot of suspense. Sprinkle in some sexual fantasies and a few BDSM aspects, and Boom! These are only a few of the themes you'll find in my books.

When I'm not writing, I'm probably at Starbucks, or fighting evil with the help of my husband, two children, and our houseful of animals. 

Stalk N.J. Young on the Web

Explosive Desire (Love With a Price, #4) Excerpt

 Look at me.” When she didn’t respond, he deepened his voice. “Harper, look at me. Now.”

She turned her head to look at him with weary blue eyes. Fuck, he hated that she looked so broken. He wanted to fix her. Or at least make her forget all the pain and potential danger right outside the door.

He opened his mouth to speak, but she stopped him with a shake of her head. “Please don’t. Don’t say it’s going to be okay. Don’t tell me there’s nothing to worry about, and they’re going to catch this guy.” She took a shaky breath. “I know everyone at your mom’s was just trying to help, trying to make me feel better.” Her fingers absently played along his. “I just don’t want you to lie to me.” She looked down at their hands.

Her words nearly broke him. He raised a hand to her cheek and brushed aside her blonde curls to cup her face and tilt it up to him. “I’ll never lie to you, Harper. Not ever. I can’t even imagine how violated you must be feeling right now. What this psycho is doing to you makes me sick to my stomach. But I can make you one promise. I will not let anything happen to you, do you understand me? I’ll die before I ever let anyone hurt you.”

Her eyes filled, and she tried to look away, but he held her face steady. “No. Look at me.” She raised her eyes again, and a tear spilled over. Luke gently wiped it away with his thumb then leaned in to press his lips against her forehead. He pulled back to look into her face. “You don’t have to be afraid, Pretty, not of me.” He brushed away another tear and stroked the back of his knuckles along her jaw. “I’m the man you can trust. I’m the man you can depend on. And I’m not going anywhere.”

Luke…” She said his name on a whisper as the pad of his thumb stroked gently over her bottom lip. Tentatively, her tongue snaked out to lick his thumb. He stilled as her soft wetness played over the tip of his thumb. Harper searched his face as if she were waiting to see if he would pull away. When he didn’t, she sucked his thumb into her mouth.

Heat flared through Luke, and his arousal ratcheted up to eleven.

Get it together, Price. She’s vulnerable. You can’t take advantage of her.

Harper…” He should tell her this wasn’t a good idea. When he made love to her, he wanted it to be because she needed him as much as he needed her, not because she was using him as a distraction. But when she raised her face to his and leaned in, he couldn’t deny her, couldn’t deny himself.

The second their lips met, all semblance of reasoning slipped away. The only thing in his head was her.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Wednesday Snippet - How many times a year do you find yourself digging unmarked graves?

It's getting harder to find non-spoilery snipped for Lich Queen, but the flip side of that is, that means I'm getting closer to finishing. Huzzahs! My goal is to wrap up the first draft in the next two weeks, ideally sooner, and then get back to work on Imperial Demons (formally known as Through Fire). Wish me luck and enjoy what is probably your last snippet!


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

Frank Herbert

So I don't like to make too many bold predictions, but if I have a good week, I think I can wrap up the first draft of Lich Queen over the weekend. A good week means consistent writing every day and not having to leave the house (except maybe for food) all weekend. It could happen!

I've loved writing this book, but two things have nagged at me as I work. The first is when to submit it. My original plan was to write/submit Imperial Demons first, but obviously that's not what's happened. The two stories take place concurrently, and I feel fairly sure you don't need to read Imperial Demons to understand anything in Lich Queen, but I'm still wrestling over which story I want out in the world first. Probably it doesn't really matter. Imperial Demons isn't going to be completed for another couple of months, and there's not much point sitting on a book that's ready for submission out of some arbitrary feeling of favouritism on my part.

The other thing that's nagged me is the Villain Problem. I like my villains in Lich Queen, but only one of them has really been on stage. The other has been a phantom figure, always on people's minds but not showing up. She'll be there for the big climax, but...then what? I don't feel she's hit her peak as a bad guy yet, and I don't want her defeated, but I also don't want her to escape, because that would be three books in a row in Blood Canticles where that happened.

So I've been to-ing and fro-ing on how to handle her (having already planned a gruesome fate for her fellow bad guy), and finally hit on a solution this morning. Amazing what you can come up with when the alternative is combing through six months' worth of invoices to find a cake order. Huzzahs! My solution stops her escaping, but also gives me something to work with in future books. And Dawn will definitely have at least one more book of her own in this series, in which my villainess can really start to show her potential.

So wish me luck, and tune in tomorrow for your last snippet of Lich Queen!

Friday, 3 February 2017

Flashback Friday - Lea Bronsen is heating things up!

Today's Flashback Friday brings us Lea Bronsen, and her award-winning contemporary romance, THE HOTTER THE LOVE. Want to see what made it a winner? Read on!

Hi and thank you so much for hosting the third and last book of the Hot Model Mine trilogy!  


After sexy cover model Yushka proposed, life is more turbulent than ever for erotic romance author Andrea. He is expecting a baby with his ex-girlfriend, who says she doesn’t want to keep it. How will Andrea's sons take upcoming life changes? To make things more complicated, her ex goes to great lengths to coax her back, and one of her sons' girlfriend is a tad too interested in Andrea's young and very handsome fiancĂ©... On the writing front, Andrea anxiously awaits news on her latest manuscript submission, and she has to decide whether to accept her publisher's offer to model in a sexy photo shoot—the same kind she and Yushka did in Cannes—in the hopes of making a new "Cover Photo of the Year". Considering the erotic poses the previous photographer demanded, can Andrea model with another guy other than Yushka?  

Read on for an excerpt!

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Five Facts About In Cold Blood

Well, lots of people seemed to enjoy my Five Things I Hate About Cube post, so why not make it a thing?

Yes! IN COLD BLOOD is finally unleashed and you can grab your copy from Evernight directly, or from Amazon US, Amazon UK, and probably wherever else good ebooks are sold. And you can read an excerpt here to get you in the mood! And, just for something a little bit fun and different, here are five things you probably don't know about IN COLD BLOOD.

1. Phoebe suffers from Siodmak's Syndrome, which means she can't shapeshift. I first mentioned Siodmak's way back in SILVER KISS as a bit of a throwaway thing, so you may know the term if you've followed the Urban Wolf series. What you probably don't know is that I named it after Robert Siodmak, director of such glorious films as Cobra Woman.


2. I started writing IN COLD BLOOD a few years back, then abandoned it, then picked it up again last year. Phoebe didn't exist in the original version, but Aisling did...and she's existed with me for nearly a decade. Long before I even dreamed up the very first Urban Wolf story, I wanted to write a story about a werewolf who chooses to live mostly as a wolf, and I wanted to call her Aisling. My original idea for her involved a post-apocalyptic world where nuclear winter ruled and werewolves had been hunted nearly to extinction. I still think it's a good idea...but I prefer Aisling where she is now. She's a perfect foil for Phoebe!

3. Phoebe suffers from anxiety. I do too, although not as badly as I did when I was younger. Writing a character with anxiety challenged me and pushed me, and nearly made me give up on the book. Turns out writing about anxiety makes me anxious, and I was terrified everyone would hate Phoebe and the book and me and ugh. I'm glad I'm pushed through, and whilst it's never been my intention to write "an issues" story, I'm glad I stuck with Phoebe the way she is. I love that she works to manage her anxiety, and it reminded me that it can be done. A good lesson to re-learn every now and then.

4. My goal with every entry in the Urban Wolf series, whatever the length, is to open the world up a little bit more. SILVER KISS gives us a good, solid starting point with werewolves. BLOOD HUNT introduces vampires. PHANTOM FEARS teases the idea of ghosts, and COLD NIGHT MOON gives us fae creatures (or one, at any rate). With IN COLD BLOOD, my idea was that, well, someone had to be noticing all these weird and wonderful creepy beasties. And someone would be keeping notes...This will tie directly into the plot of the next Urban Wolf book, which will take us back to Ayla and Shannon. The circle of life, etc.

5. And finally (just to get us up to five), IN COLD BLOOD is the first of a planned trilogy about Phoebe, Aisling, and the Luporum. I already have book 2 mostly planned out (in my head, anyway), but my aim is write that Ayla and Shannon book first. So if you enjoy IN COLD BLOOD, rest assured that there'll be more from my socially awkward werewolves in love - and the Urban Wolf series in general! - in the future :) Happy reading!