IY: Mah Plans 25/05


I’m finding it hard to think right now. I don’t really want to do anything and, given that today is a bank holiday, I’ve found it hard to get much done. Oh, and I have conjunctivitis. Yey! -_-

On a brighter note, I haven’t spent all day watching what ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ is doing. No, no, I’ve been working instead on ‘Walking The Razor’s Edge’ since keeping up the momentum of this release is not a bad thing!

Actions Last Week

checking off feedbackEdit five chapters of ‘Walking The Razor’s Edge’ – skip the parallel timeline and focus first on the contemporary line in Leicester
Eeeerm. Four. And they’ve been largely rewritten from the ground up. I knew this was going to be a problem and even though it reads better with this (rather drastic) changes I’ve been slowed down considerably. Perhaps it’s better this way. The pace is already stronger and the sub plots more inciting. As well as that I’ve been able to cut back on all the useless verbiage in earlier chapters which, though it was pleasant for me, would have sucked arse for a reader. So good things are happening, that’s for sure!

Activities For The Week

So . . . here we go again!

  • Edit five chapters of ‘Walking The Razor’s Edge’ – skip the parallel timeline and focus first on the contemporary line in Leicester
  • Send out review copies of ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ to those who have asked
  • Send five review request emails

Thoughts…

I need to get back in the groove here. Not just writing, but talking about my words. chat image The event Raven did on Thursday was a great chance for her to chat about what she’s been doing, but I still need to be pushing for views here. Having the novel out is all well and good but I want people to read it. So I need to make sure they know about.

Same old, same old, really.

Then, next week, when I know more about what position I’m in with ‘Walking The Razor’s Edge’ I’ll be in a better position to jiggle my plans for what remains of the year.

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IY: Silk Over Razor Blades – Out Now!


This is it. The time has finally come! ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ first novel in my ‘Saar’s Legacy’ trilogy is now available to the general public. You can find it:

CreateSpace

Amazon in ebook or paperback forms

Thank you so very much for staying with me and being so very supportive and kind over the last few months. I can’t explain what this means to be (and I’m supposed to be a wordsmith!). Just know that I’m grateful to each and every one of you and that your kind words, listening ears and supportive words will not be forgotten. ^_^

Now, rather than gush about this I think I’ll just leave you with an excerpt from the tale:

Lenina stood outside her house, blinking at the warm glow in the windows through diagonal sheets of rain. She hugged herself and chewed her bottom lip. Though it bled, filling her mouth with sweetness, an hour of aimless wandering served to deaden the taste.

Standing over the body, Lenina had struggled with what to do next. The rational and law-abiding side of her demanded that she pull out her mobile and call the police.

The rest of her, coupled with the fight or flight reflex successfully keeping humans alive for millions of years, had other ideas. That part instructed her to hide the body. Anywhere. Quickly.

She wrestled with it at first. Guilt and fear crippled her thoughts. Then, on the far side of the park she saw three strangers hurrying through the rain beneath a trio of umbrellas.

Risk of discovery made the decision for her.

Lenina grabbed the woman by the legs and dragged her across the grass.

Her damp, cold hands struggled with the dead weight, eventually forcing her to heave the woman on to her shoulder.

That, by contrast, was easy. Lenina paused to marvel at her new strength.

She hid the body beyond a cluster of bushes in a corner of the park, pushing it into a deep hollow that had once formed a pond. Shielded by evergreen shrubs, she hoped it wouldn’t be found until she could decide what to do.

The dog she threw in as an afterthought.

Now, far from the park and back on the familiar paving slabs of her own driveway, Lenina stared at her house and wondered if she could enter.

Was it even her house any more? Did vampires and murderers deserve to live in beautiful, semi-detached properties in a quiet corner of the East Midlands? Did they have fiancés? Could they get married?

She didn’t think so, but neither did she think she could stay outside any longer.

Locking herself in the bathroom, she peeled off her wet clothes and left them on the floor, climbing into the bath to stand under the shower. In a curious mirroring of the night before, she let the hot water sluice blood and tears off her face and hands.

Steam filled the room, white and thick, hiding everything until Lenina felt lost and adrift.

The bandage on her neck flapped loose, useless against all the water.

She peeled it away, puzzling over how the events of the day had numbed even physical pain. But when her hands brushed the skin at the base of her throat she stopped and scrambled out of the bath.

With shaking hands, she cleared condensation off the mirror, a long smear across the glass through which she could see.

The bite marks were gone.

Her skin still dripping, Lenina perched on the edge of the bath and stared at the floor. Despite the water all over her body, the insides of her mouth felt as dry as sand.

It took several minutes, but eventually she convinced herself to have another look.

The result was unchanged.

The skin of her neck and shoulder were as smooth as they had been at the beginning of the week. No teeth marks, no bruising. On her face, the faint scratches from the park woman’s clawing fingernails were gone too. The only sign of any mark at all, was a thin red scratch from the point of Jason’s dagger.

In a distant way she recalled Saar, the Egyptian soldier from her dreams, telling his men that he could heal any injury. That he was strong and so too were they.

Lenina sighed. Bit her lip.

No more hiding. No more stalling. She knew what she had to do.

Squee!

And for the sake of those of you who missed it, here is the blurb:

Lenina Miller, ditsy and pampered bride to be, wants nothing more than to walk down the aisle in her scandalous red dress to the gasps and awed stares of friends and family. Her plans are shattered when a late night mugging not only scars her face and neck, but drops her in the centre of a frenzied police investigation to apprehend the attacker before he strikes again.

On the field of battle in 30 BC, Saar, son of Yafeu, sacrifices his life for his sovereign, Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt. Betrayed by the man he loves, forced to watch his country burn under Octavian’s hostile takeover, Saar’s agonising death appears to Lenina with all the lucid force of a true memory.

Two lives, separated by thousands of years, brought together through one night of violence.

Haunted by the memories of a man long dead, Lenina finds her body transforming, her appetites for food and flesh magnified to terrifying proportions. As the attentions of the investigating detective force her to choose between lust and love, Lenina also finds herself a target. The vampire who attacked her knows she survived and will stop at nothing to finish the job he started.

 

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RS: I Haz Planz 21/05


Soooo back at work for a week, how have I gotten on?

Actions Last Weekblank calendar from OpenClipArt

~Approach photographer buddies for photoshoot that can be used for the ‘Slippers & Chains’ series cover art.
Yes. And yes she can help me out! Not sure when we’ll be shooting yet but there’s no huge rush to do so because . . .

~Convert at least half of ‘Slippers & Chains: Sugar Dust’ back to UK English (ha!)
Nope! Two chapters in. Maybe three. I think I underestimated just how much different US English is to UK English. I need to take my time to make sure I catch everything.

~Send x3 review requests for ‘MEO:TFS’
Ahaaaaaaaaaa, no. -_- I blame the fact that The Sprogs were in the house yesterday instead of at nursery, but excuses don’t get the job done! Never mind that I’ve lost a day of work to wiping snotty noses, cleaning sticky eyes and applying various meds to a pair of three-year-olds that would rather stick their hand in my bra than keep still. *sigh*

Activities For This Week

  1. Complete a further four chapters of US to UK English conversion on ‘Slippers & Chains: Sugar Dust’
  2. Send x3 review requests for ‘MEO:TFS’

Thoughts…

It’s nearing the end of the month now so I should bet getting ‘Second Base’ back from my beta readers shortly. Given that I’m still working on ‘Sugar Dust’ it will be nice to just leave that to one side for the moment.

Oh and I’m doing some reading tonight so I need to get myself in the right headspace for that. Actually, looking at the time I’m already done, aren’t I? Ha, hope you liked it! ;-)

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RS: Book Review – The Sweetest Taboo: An Unconventional Romance


cover art: The Sweetest Taboo

Credit: Harper Miller

Author: Harper Miller
Title: The Sweetest Taboo (An Unconventional Romance)
Genre: Erotica Romance
ASIN: B00PSEO3XS
‘New York City, Late Summer 2009
Like many single women who reside in the city that never sleeps, Micah Foster has had numerous encounters with undesirable men that make her want to renounce love. Just when she’s on the verge of calling it quits in her quest to find love and a sustainable relationship with a Dominant man, her friend Kisa requests her company for a girl’s night out at Spanxxx, a local fetish club. Both Kisa and Micah are seasoned submissive players in the BDSM lifestyle. Micah has been involved in the scene since her early twenties, but she has yet to meet a Dominant she meshes with and takes seriously. Now, at age thirty, she continues to search for a connection that repeatedly eludes her. Under duress, she crosses paths with Dominant Rick Thomas. Unusual and dire circumstances bring the pair together, and he’s exactly what Micah has been searching for.’

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipart

One look at the cover tells me that this book is right up my alley. That’s one of the reasons I picked it up. I talked briefly about this book last week but now that I’ve finished it, I figured a review was the next sensible thing to do.

Cover:

Brilliant. Abso-fucking-lutely beautiful. You know I like Taria Reed’s work since she designed the original ‘Sugar Dust’ cover, but this one is lovely. The linked ‘Os’, the super-sexy models, the understated, but bold lettering. There is nothing I dislike about this cover. Even the pink underwear gets a thumbs up from me!

Story:

Micah (LOVE that name) is looking for a Dominant willing for the long haul. Not some idiot who just wants to get in her pants, or practise his cuss words. She wants a man who will respect and love her the same way she wants to respect and love him. Cue Rick (Richard) a doctor who stumbles across her path at a fetish club. After a rocky, breathless start (heh, heh, heh) the pair hit it off and begin their relationship together.

I chomped through this story in the space of days but I think it’s mainly because I was waiting for something to happen. To go wrong. To test them. Aside from a cursory nod to families and race (which is not what I expected) then in truth this couple had it really, really easy. Wonderful if you like your HEA (this isn’t a spoiler, by the way) but for entertainment’s sake . . . I wanted more drama.

Characters:

Micah: Smart, sexual, muddled. Every now and then I got a little muddled as to what she actually wanted or why. Sure a rocky back road of failed relationships can make things hard, but for me, she beat about the bushy just a little too much. And then rocked to the other extreme and dived on with an abandon that was a little frightening. For me, that’s where the unconventional part came in, because there is nothing ‘traditional/normal/expected’ about the way she comes to be with Rick. At least not for me. But there in lies the power.
Rick: Has a playroom. Now . . . I don’t know what it is about these BDSM stories, but why do all these Dominant men have a play room? And why are they all rich? Sure Rick isn’t a Christian Grey type (thank fuck), but he has money and a whole room dedicated to play. Why are there no stories about piss poor Dominant men who don’t have money falling out their ears?
/rant
Sorry, that’s nothing to do with Rick – it’s a personal gripe of mine – but Rick had vague touches of Grey in him. The rest of him, thankfully, was lush and a pleasure to read – except for his dialogue. On occasion I just had to step back because I know of no one on earth who speaks the way this man does.

Eroticism:

Not too much, not too little. Harper makes us wait for the ‘full Monty’ and when it comes, it’s all good stuff. That little scene with the egg could have been expanded a bit though. On occasion I think Harper missed a trick to really make me sit up straight (or slouch, depending on company) because key scenes were reported in hindsight rather than written for us to experience them. And not just the sexy scenes. Some important, telling milestones in the relationship were glossed over and I feel that’s a bit of a shame.

Overall experience:

A good read. The warning about spelling and grammar conventions was something I appreciated because when I started reading I got quite upset at first. Then I remembered the disclaimer and dealt with it, but I did find it incredibly distracting at first. While I understand the convention and see it a lot in forums, I don’t believe it belongs in a novel where the primary focus of the author should be to entertain the reader wholly and without distraction.

That aside, my only issues are the ones I picked up above. Some scenes could have been expanded to give a fuller flavour of what they meant for Micah and Rick and to let us get deeper into their experiences. And overall, their journey was far too smooth: they got in the way of themselves a great deal, but with a relationship like theirs I’d expect external issues as well.

Final score:

Average across all scores is 3.6, which rounds out to 3.5 fireballs.

I’m glad I read this book through and I’m glad I read it to the end. I enjoyed it and will certainly be looking up Harper Miller for more of her work. I get a feeling I’m going to enjoy her style.

I just hope that there are more peaks and troughs to her upcoming offerings and that characters actually have to do a bit of leg work around other things as well as themselves.

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DSB: Real Life Bits 19/05 – OMGFG! ^_^ All Of The Good Things


You know how folk have a check list in life? Things they want to do? Well I have a writing one – unsurprisingly – and it goes a bit like this:

  • Write a novel
  • Publish novel
  • Find an agent
  • Find a publisher
  • Get published by publisher
  • Write and be paid for an article (online or magazine)
  • Win a prize for something writing related
  • Get short-listed in a competition
  • Win a writing competition

Well . . . most of those have check marks beside them (baring ‘find an agent’, which I don’t think I’ll be doing any more) and today I can add another.

Win a writing competition. CHECK!

Yesterday when Writer’s Forum came through the post I was in the middle of Ileandra’s editing. I just thought I’d flick through – as I do – and see what was worth settling in to read properly later. I only skimmed the flash fiction section with half a mind that I’d entered that competition this time around.

Skim, skim, eye-flicker, pause. I know that title. It’s the same as mine. Eye flicker. No, hang on, that is mine. My title- that’s my story. Fuck, that’s my story! I won? I won! IwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwonIwon!

Cue screaming. Leaping around the study. Shaking the magazine around and sobbing (yes, sobbing). One frantic tweet. A blubbering, giggling, shrieking phone call to the other half. A flash of understanding that a £100 cheque is going to pop through my front door any day now (!!!).

Y’know that problem I had about buying more ISBNs? That’s gone! That cheque is going straight into the business bank account to finance the next 10 ISBNs (which I will use more sensibly this time around). Paperback versions of the Slippers & Chains series? No problem. New cover art for ‘Sugar Dust?’ Hell yes! The drive to keep writing, keep submitting and win more competitions? Just try to stop me! ;-)

And if that isn’t good enough, on Saturday I made my first face-to-face sale (despite being flustered and confused at being asked). A paperback copy of ‘Meeting Each Other: The Full Story.’ Yesterday I also logged into CreateSpace and found an order for ‘Silk Over Razor Blades.’ The first sale of my debut fantasy novel. I don’t know who it is. I wish I did, but really it doesn’t matter. Someone bought it and I hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoy the fact that they bought it.

Oooh, oooh, ooh, aaaaaaaaaand (!) on Thursday I’ll be doing (another) reading. This time at a launch event between Fox Spirit and Boo Books. It’s at the Central Library at 4.30pm and I’ll be reading as Raven (which means dressing up, woooohooo!). If you’re local and in the hood, come along. It will be nice to see you (and I’ll be easy to spot).

Now . . . I think I have more celebratory cake stashed somewhere. *nom nom nom*

DSB Sig

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IY: Mah Plans 18/05


Ugh! This back to work lark is haaaaaaard! I knew I wasn’t ready but how not-ready has been a bit of an eye opener. I spent a few nights feeling weak and shuddery (again) and being woken every 20 minutes because Sprog2 is mega ill (*sad faaaaaace*) so I’ve not done as much as I was hoping. Let’s just look at how bad it is . . .

Actions Last Week

Create ‘Walking The Razor’s Edge’ cheat sheet for each important character, reminding me of their arc so I can refer to it constantly while editing.
Sorted. Didn’t take as long as I anticipated either. Funny, what I wanted from the cheat sheets ended up being very similar to the method described by the Snowflake method of plotting. Ha! So it was super duper easy.

Edit at least 10k words of ‘Walking The Razor’s Edge’ – go direct to Scrivener
Pffft. One chapter. And that felt like peeling the nails off the tips of my fingers. No idea why, but it was agony. This process is going to take longer than I anticipated.

Send this month’s newsletter
Done last night. A lil late, but done. That’s what counts.

Activities For The Week

Huh. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, but if I wanted to get moving then I need to move on. I’d better do some serious thinking because unless I get to grips with this editing lark, I’m going to struggle.

  • Edit five chapters of ‘Walking The Razor’s Edge’ – skip the parallel timeline and focus first on the contemporary line in Leicester

Thoughts…

Yeeeeah. Five chapters isn’t going to get me towards the goal of half way through, but I can’t push too hard on this. I’m struggling, don’t know why, but I am, so all I can do is chill and work my way through it one word at a time. Pushing for more than that will give me headaches and sad-face syndrome. Don’t want that!

I guess things will be a bit better when I complete the swap from my old laptop to the new one – my files are all over the place and what should have been an easy transfer with the use of Dropbox has been a pain because our Broadband doesn’t want to play. -_-

Still, I’m looking better than I was and those cheat sheets really will help. *fingers crossed*

See ya in a week!

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IY: Silk Over Razor Blades – Available for Pre Order!


Woooop!

Just a quicky today to say that the background gaff is absolutely, totally (finally) done! Digital versions of ‘Silk Over Razor Blades’ are now available for pre-order (!!!) and paperback versions will be available to purchase from 25 May.

I’m super duper excited to the point that breathing is getting tricky, but it’s all looking good from this point on.

To celebrate, I wanted to share the poster with you. It still has the old dates on, but so much work went into the design that it seems a reeeeeeal shame not to show you. After all, this was very nearly the cover of the book itself! Hope you like it. ^_^

promo poster for SORB with old dates

Click for Full Size

Oh, and of course there is the pre-launch competition going on. Enter to win a paperback or digital copy of the book. See the picture below . . . ? You know what to do!

SORB's giveaway button

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