Change as Good as a Rest

I had the pleasure of going to Lincoln recently (about 2 hours outside London) for the Lincoln Book Festival, where Total-E-Bound was kicking off proceedings.     

 Apart from the misery that is rail travel, I greatly enjoyed the brief sojourn. Not only was Ladies’ Night organised by TEB a great event, which raised a significant amount of money for a fantastic cause (Lincoln Women’s Aid) but it was nice to be out of London, if only for a short time.    

I am one of these people that have, in the past, thought of London as a bit of a security blanket, not needing anything else as long as I was within its confines. Occasional trips to some outlying areas, such as Surrey, were doable, but anywhere further than that was rare and required forward planning—inoculations and passport renewal.

Of late, I have found this to be quite a flawed concept—maybe I’m growing up!—as it was like a breath of fresh air. Did I still have a massive amount of work to do? Of course, I did, but the day off in a new area truly felt like a break rather than skiving like when I’m at home.

No longer am I content to remain in London like it is the centre of the world, not when there are places to go and explore—wide open spaces calling out. I live in a country that I have barely discovered and that is something I definitely have to change and make sure I travel more…all in the name of a good rest.

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Win Twisted Angel at Night Owl Romance

I blogged over at Night Owl Romance on how nice it is to be naughty on the odd occasion – or three! – where I’ll also be giving away an ebook copy of Twisted Angel to one lucky commenter.    

An excerpt from the book follows…

“Who the hell are you?”

Only reading articles containing bad news, Bella got through seven pages within a few minutes, before she was rudely interrupted. 

“Charlie!” she trilled, smiling cheerfully and folding the newspaper. “I’m glad you’re awake. I’m getting bored of this newspaper, have you got any porn?”

Getting to his feet, displaying his impressive height in all its glory, he confirmed that simply falling asleep on the sofa was sufficient to leave him dishevelled.     

“What?” he demanded, his eyes blazing with restrained anger. “Did you hear what I said? Who are you and what the fuck are you doing in my house?”

“Ooh, lots of big talk from the big man.” Holding his gaze, she slowly crossed her legs. “Do I take it you’re trying to scare me?”

Withdrawing his PDA from his inside pocket, he gave it a puzzled look before tightly gripping it in his fist, taking a tentative step toward her. “Is this some sort of prank?”

Hiding her amusement, Bella curled her lip in a contemptuous sneer. “Silly rabbit—tricks are for kids.” Pursing her lips, Bella let her eyes trail up and down, slowly and deliberately drinking him in. “And you’re certainly no kid.”

A couple who have this type of exchange couldn’t possibly end up having sex, let alone in a relationship, can they? Of course they can! Not only is there a thin line between love and hate, but naughty can often be nice!

Stop by the blog for your chance to win.

Twisted Angel is available now at Total-E-Bound.

Twisted Angel – Review and Book of the Week nomination at WC Reviews!

It’s a lovely little image, isn’t it?

It’s always nice to get a great review and I’m particularly chuffed with this one as Peppermint at Whipped Cream understood exactly what I sought to achieve with Twisted Angel, a short story published with Total-E-Bound. “While Charles and Bella were both great characters Bella was really the stand out. She has the sass, wit and beauty I would expect from one of Satan’s little helpers. Bella is one of those people who always has a smart remark for everything. You know the kind that one minute you want to punch, but you can’t help but laugh at the next. She was thoroughly entertaining through this story and keep Charlie and me on our toes…” Read the rest of the review here.  

In addition to a review that left me pleased as punch, I was even happier to find that it had also been nominated for Book of the Week.

Hell can’t hold Bella – not when there is mischief to be done. Arriving on earth, she sets her sights on Charles with evil in mind, but he may prove to be more than a match for her.

Bella can’t help herself. As an angel from hell, she already knows that Charles will belong to her when he makes it there – it’s only polite that she give him a taste of what to expect.

Her desire to reveal her existence and ruin his perfectly evil bachelor life is too strong to resist. The road to hell may well be paved with good intentions, but she doesn’t count on finding out what paves the road back.
It cannot be called a traditional erotic romance by any stretch, but it is still one of my favourites and would be elated if it won. Whether you read and enjoyed it or you find the above blurb a tantalising one, I’d love you to stop over at Long and Short Reviews to vote for it!

Now, I’m off to celebrate my good review with a slice of cheesecake (any excuse!)

The Power of Promotion

As every writer knows, there is a great deal of promotion that is necessary in the course of a writing career. In fact, I think there have actually been occasions when I have spent more time promoting my books than writing them!

In addition to the numerous media that can be used for the process, the workload obviously swells when there are more pieces to promote. Ah, who’d be a writer! Can’t say it’s my favourite thing in the world to do, in fact, it doesn’t come close, but it has to be done.

Yes, it is a necessary evil in the world of writing, whether competing for readers to buy books already written or for the attention of companies looking to hire writers. It all helps to promote yourself and your wares and, hopefully, gain interest from those who may not have known you existed. And that can never be bad.

To this end, I have been blogging all over the place and-ahem-neglecting my own blog in the process. Consider my wrist slapped! Fortunately, there are plenty of other locations in which I will be popping up, offering my opinion (worth precisely two pence) or undertaking some straightforward promotion.

Today, for example, Tina Donahue has kindly hosted me on her blog where I’m discussing age difference and also offering a chance to win an ebook copy of my latest release Art of the Written Word!

I’ll then be hosted by Whipped Cream on 9 May, Night Owl Romance on 18 May and my regular slot on Hitting the Hot-Spot on 27 May. Phew! Not quite a blog tour, but maybe just a warm up to one.

As long as the books keep coming, there’ll always be time for more!

The Age of Love

When thinking about the plot for my latest release with TEB, Art of the Written Word, the age gap between the two main characters was one of the first things I considered. However, the idea of an older man/younger woman combination never entered my mind—it could only ever have been an older woman/younger man combination.

It made me wonder why I didn’t consider the former mix, especially when the whole Sugar Daddy phenomenon seems much more prevalent. Making snap judgements are common for many of us and I wonder whether this has something to do with how I consider these relationships.

The first notion that springs to mind when it comes to a Sugar Daddy and—um—Sugar Baby? Trophy? is that the woman is attracted to the power and influence of the older man. This is equally relevant when it comes to a Cougar and—er—Cub? Prey? Fresh Meat? (Oh dear, let me stop there before I get into trouble!) The latter relationship has more of a basis in female empowerment, though it is arguable that the former has it in a different way.

 For Art of the Written Word, making the heroine, Yvonne, older than the hero, Garvey, just seemed natural and enabled me to create the characters and plot as I wanted it. I don’t think it would have worked the other way in this case. It may also have something to do with when men and women reach their sexual peak, which dictates who will make a good match. 

Describing her as a Cougar would do her a disservice as it suggests an element of aggression and Yvonne is far from aggressive. In fact, if you asked her whether she wanted a younger man, she would reply in the negative. 

While age can bring with it a great deal of wisdom, it is still possible to miss things that are not put directly in front of you. Enter Garvey. Though younger, he still possesses the influence, ability and—of course—raw sex appeal to attract Yvonne, leading to a relationship she never would have considered possible…     

Art of the Written Word is released today with Total-E-Bound. An excerpt follows.

“Can I see the picture?” she asked, satisfying a desperate need to fill the silence.

Grinning broadly, the accompanying glint in his eye provided a reply before he said a word. He shook his head. “No, this is for me. I will show you the ideas I have for your wall.” 

It was immediately apparent that pushing him would be futile, though a hint of mischief shining through his look of resolve suggested that he wanted her to press the point. Filled with a feeling of lightness, she couldn’t help but smile at his teasing.

Taking a sip of her drink, she watched him over the rim of her glass, her relaxed state allowing her to look at him more closely. A hint of duskiness scattered across his jaw was created by a touch of stubble. Though she normally thought it scruffy, Yvonne liked the way it looked on Garvey. “How long have you been an artist?”

Though she already knew the answer after having studied his website, it was still a question worth asking—a subtle way of getting to hear his voice.

The plan worked, making Garvey talk about when he had first begun painting and his favourite media.

Eager to show that she was listening, Yvonne specifically asked about images she had seen on his website and how he decided what to paint.

“I get inspiration from everywhere,” he replied. “People, life, music, sex.”   

Though she was unaware of it, her lips twitched at the final word. It wasn’t a sign of a forthcoming response, witty or otherwise. Entranced, she found herself unable to speak.  

Ordinarily, she was ultra-organised and possessed a natural ability to multi-task, which failed her completely when the topic of sex arose. The fact that she had penned a romantic tale about love and sex in a foreign country offered no comfort, as she had written it whilst alone.

The single word he uttered left her curious about his body, thoughts of what he was capable of overtaking her mind until visceral images played in her head like a silent movie. 

The lithe and taut appearance of his body fuelled her imagination, making her picture the pleasure he could deliver. Despite having at least fifteen years on him, Yvonne had no doubt he had enjoyed some impressive experiences that would make him a good teacher.

“You must get inspiration from everywhere too.”

A distinct feeling of discomfort came with his pause, a deafening indication that he expected her to respond. His openness was in contrast to her natural reserve. She was too staid to discuss personal matters, and certainly not with someone so young.

The fact that his self-assurance never gave way to arrogance increased his draw, making her automatically compare him to other men.

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