Thursday, 28 September 2017

The Ghost of Novels Past

About this time last year I was planning to self-publish AFTERLIFE and DEMONIZED by the end of 2016. I bought shiny new cover art, wrote new blurbs, and excitedly announced that this was definitely going to happen.

It hasn't happened, obviously. Mostly because I have a loooooooooong to-write list, and re-publishing old stuff has to take a back seat to writing current series. And now it's a year-ish later and I'm no closer to getting these books back out in the world.

I have a really on-off relationship with the Shoregrave/Ethan Banning books. Kinda. I love them. I love writing Ethan, I love the world of Shoregrave. AFTERLIFE was my first published novel, and even though the experiences I had with Damnation Books/Caliban Press, I guess, I still believe these are good stories that deserve to be read. But Ethan is on his own rocky road - long story short, nobody buys Ethan's books - and I can never decide from one week to the next if I want to put more time and energy into series that don't sell, no matter how much I may love them. Because, as noted, I have a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong to-write list.

But. Argh. Unf. Ugh. I do love them. And the mere fact that I'm still thinking about them after all this time and all the various heartbreaks I've had over them, tells me I need to finish what I started with them.

So back to AFTERLIFE. I opened it up yesterday and started reading through. I wrote the first draft of this book in 2008. I like to think I'm a different, better writer now, and it quickly became clear to me that I can produce a better version of this book with a little time and work. I also figured out as I read that I have a solid, focused plan for the series that I didn't have back in 2008, a plan for telling Yasmin's story in a satisfying way, and that means some changes are required. I'm planning to work part-time on getting AFTERLIFE up to scratch whilst dedicating the bulk of my writing time to my current Amber Morgan wip.

After that... I want to submit it to my publisher. Self-publishing requires a skill set and a budget that I don't have, and I don't see the point of putting this book back into the world if I don't give it the best chance of being found. For me, that means working with a publisher. I hope they'll like it...If not, I guess I do still have that cover art.

As for Ethan, that's a blog for another day, I think. Still a bit of thinking to do on that guy.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Writerly Wednesday - an interview with Lea Bronsen!

Happy hump day! If you made it this far, treat yourself to a cup of your favourite hot beverage and relax. Unless you're at work, in which case relax whilst still looking like you're working.

Okay! Now you're relaxed, how about a chat with Lea Bronsen about her new book, viking romance TORN AVENGER? If you want dark, m/m historical romance, this is the book for you! Lea was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, as well as sharing a teaser, so read on and enjoy!

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

Hi, and thanks so much for having me! Torn Avenger is a gripping, emotional story of murder and passion where two ancient worlds collide.

As the second son of a Viking earl, Alv Gunnulfsen wasn't meant to inherit a throne or avenge a murder. But when his brother is slain during a raid and their father dies of grief, Alv is expected to take command and claim the killer's death. In a world of ruthless retaliation and strict social codes, he must also maneuver cleverly to protect a troublesome secret: his attraction for men.

Roeland van Dijk, a wealthy Dutch merchant settled in Norway, has done the unthinkable to protect his family — hacked off the head of a Viking rapist. The wrath of the blond savages will cost him his freedom, and possibly his own head… Unless he's willing to accept the love of another man.

Was there any part of this story you found particularly tough to write? If so, why?

Yes, historical accuracy bothered me a lot. I wanted to set the story in a real period in history. Alv was to represent the last of the Viking raiders and Roeland the first of European merchants to settle in Norway. I had to conduct quite the research to make sure these two strong civilizations actually met!

Also, I wondered whether the Norwegians and their European “invaders” co-lived in peace or bloody confrontations occurred. I couldn’t find any information, but thought it quite probable that some Vikings, tempted by the precious goods imported into Bjorgvin and the wealth of their merchants, raided the trading post the same way they were reputed to in the rest of the world. Why wouldn’t they? In this case, I allowed myself some artistic freedom :)

Sounds like you got really in-depth, so a little artistic freedom is probably allowed here and there! Shifting directions a bit, who are your biggest influences – they don't have to just be literary ones!

Oh, I’ve always been an avid lover of rock, from early, bluesy stuff and backstreet glam, via grunge, to industrial/alternative rock and thrash/heavy/death metal. The whole palette of rock music has had a major influence on me since I was old enough to buy my own vinyls, lol. I can’t imagine an existence without it to make me vibrate and feel alive!

On the literary side, I’m a huge fan of psychological thriller authors like Mo Hayder, Cody McFadyen, and Lisa Gardner. I simply thirst for dark, hold-your-breath thrillers that blend graphic violence and gore with the sickest forms of mental deviance. Their inspiration is evident in some of my books. *Ahem* it probably says something about me…

We have similar tastes in music! I'll need to check out some of those authors, since that sounds like my kinda thing too. Apart from writing, what are your great passions in life?

I have three lovely daughters aged 7, 15, and 17, and when I’m not busy at my day job or nose-deep in one of my stories, I try to spend as much “quality” time with them as possible. I love taking them out fishing, mushroom picking, boat/motorcycle riding, cooking, mountain climbing, and chess/card playing. Children are gifts of life and time passes very fast, so it’s important to spend it well.

Wow, I'm impressed you fit the writing in! What else are you working on right now? What's up next from you?

My next release is the dark erotic crime MMMM ménage The Audition, about a young wannabe actor challenged to comply with the film producers’ dirty fantasies in order to get a movie part. It’s hot, it’s dirty, and one of the main characters is a ruthless drug lord, so there’re elements of crime and danger, too. I really hope my readers are going to like it.

Aside from that, I’ve started work on the sequel to my debut novel Wild Hearted, a gritty inner-city crime drama that came out in 2013. Let me tell ya I’m super excited about bringing my two favorite characters, Tomor, an imprisoned gang leader, and Luz, his long-lost love, back to life in a whole new psychological thriller!

So if all that whet your appetite for Lea's stories, read on for a closer look at TORN AVENGER!

Friday, 22 September 2017

Flashback Friday - Time to Claim A Mate!

Hello, friends! Happy Friday! I want to do a bit of house-keeping before we get onto this week's post. I'm moving my Writerly Self Stuff from my Facebook page to my regular Facebook profile. Please feel free to come and friend me! There are cute pictures of my cat, like, all the time. Facebook's cryptic and mysterious ways mean not a lot of people see the stuff I post on my page, so I'm hoping by switching to my personal profile, we can engage and chat more.

Okay! Moving on. Today we have Jennifer Denys on the blog with a look back at her book, TO CLAIM A MATE. Gay werewolves! Need I say more?

Cole Linley is a gay wolf-shifter. In order to appease the Alpha within, he has taken up the BDSM lifestyle and become very experienced. This placates his wolf to a certain extent, but his dearest wish is to find a mate—male, of course. Except, the question is, how to find one in a city surrounded by humans where other wolf-shifters are rare. 

Then, one night, he enters Balls & Chains, a BDSM club he frequents, and immediately senses another of his kind. And not only that, it is the scent of a potential mate, Jared Gray. There is only one problem—Jared is collared by another Master. 

Jared’s relationship shows all the signs of an abusive relationship. Can Cole get him away from the other Dom and show Jared the delights of BDSM when done properly and what it means to be a beta wolf to Cole’s Alpha?

Reader Advisory: The submissive in this Gay Paranormal Romance doesn’t realize he is in an abusive relationship until he meets his true Master.

What’s hot? Making love in the forest as wolves, then in the bed as humans.

Buy Links


Moving on, Cole was drawn into a room which had a cross in each corner of the room with plenty of space to wield the equipment. The walls were covered with floggers of varying types, although nothing stopped a Dominant using an implement from another section.

Cole halted. He’s here.

The scent was at its strongest, practically dragging him toward a slender man in his late twenties, with brown hair the color of hazelnuts. The sub was in the process of being tied face up against a cross on the far side. His chest was bare and sleek, and he wore skin-tight jeans.

The Dom wanted to rip the man’s clothes off and devour him on the spot. So intent was he on reaching his prey, he nearly missed the Master who had finished tying the submissive and came around to inspect the restraints, standing directly between Cole and the object of his hunt.

Stopping in his tracks, Cole’s hackles began to rise. A possessive instinct rose in him to fight off his rival. Except there were rules in BDSM and it didn’t include tearing out the throat of another Master.

Andy caught up with him and saw him staring. “Who have you found? Oh, this is Master Dirk. Jared is the sub he is playing with.”

Cole took a moment to calm his inner wolf, unclenching his fists before he triggered his claws. His voice was raspy as he asked, “Are they new? I don’t recall seeing either of them here before.” Actually, he couldn’t care less about this new Master. He only had eyes for Jared.

He didn’t hear Andy’s answer, because, at that moment, he caught the gaze of the bound man. Tangible electricity crossed the room and hit Cole like a silver bullet, slamming into his heart, nearly causing him to change into his wolf in front of everyone. It took everything he knew about Dominance to keep hold of his human side and push down his animal half.

Meanwhile, the submissive’s eyes opened wide in shock, and he bit his lip. Cole’s keen wolf eyesight could detect Jared’s fierce trembling, as he tightly gripped the ropes that held him. Cole willed him to hold on and not transform in front of everyone as the two shared a look of instant attraction, desperate need, and the desire to have sex.

And yet it was more than that. So much more—an inner knowledge, assurance one has finally found one’s other half, and didn’t even know one was looking.

Taking a deep breath, Cole narrowed his eyes as he gazed on Jared, drinking in the beautiful sight before him.

He gave a slight smile of acknowledgment.

Oh yes, this is my mate. And woe betide anyone who comes between us.

Author bio:

Jennifer is a bestselling author in various genre (BDSM, contemporary, sci-fi, paranormal, with historical and fantasy in her works in progress) with several different publishers.

An Englishwoman through and through, she lives in a beautiful historical city and is game to try most things once. She’s had a tattoo done on her calf, flew down zip wires 100 feet up in the trees, and was photographed nude by a professional photographer. All of which have taken place since she turned 50!

Many of her experiences end up in her books… but you will have to read them to find out what!

Do contact Jennifer – she loves to hear from her fans. She posts to her blog three times a week and is on Facebook daily.

Author links: