This blog is now closed

On April 12 2016, DSB wrote her last post to this blog following farewells from Ileandra Young and Raven ShadowHawk.

This blog and the domain remains as tribute to five years of blog posts and all the madness that came with them. Rants, thanks, reviews, sadness, fury and humour. All here, all for you.

Use the links above to navigate through the blog or, if you’d like more up to date information, visit one or both of these sites.

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DSB: Thank You And Goodnight ^_^

October 10, 2010: Young, naive and clueless, I sat down at my desktop PC and wrote the daftest, most disjointed blog post ever. Not that it mattered much, because it was my first. I had no idea how to blog, what to talk about, or even if I had anything worth saying, but I knew I wanted to try it.

April 12, 2016: Less young, still a little naive, hopefully not as clueless, I sit at my second laptop and write a blog post probably as daft and disjointed as my first. But this is my last.

I, Leah Osbourne, Ileandra Young, Raven ShadowHawk am moving on and forward.

The last five and a half years have been an incredible experience, one I won’t forget any time soon. I’ve learned so much, but among the highlights are the following:

  • I’m terrible at headlines
  • People, for reasons unknown, find me funny
  • I talk a lot—all the time
  • I’m more organised than I think
  • I’m often too hard of myself
  • I’m more resilient and persistent than I give myself credit for
  • Bullet points are my friend 😉
  • I still have trouble reining in my excitement and keen, which often leads to embarrassing typos
  • I love, love, LOVE what I do

That last point, first and foremost, is something I want to thank you for. It’s all well and good ‘being a writer’ and publishing and ‘putting myself out there’ but there is little point in doing so (at least for me) if nobody is enjoying the stories I have to share. I don’t need to reach millions of readers. Not even thousands. Hell, hundreds might be nice, but not necessary to me (any more). The handful of people who have followed this blog from the start, those who have popped in as time progressed, you are the people I’ve been writing for all these years. And I love and treasure you all. Thank you for giving me someone to write to, someone to chat with, someone to be accountable to. Thank you for sharing your troubles, and triumphs with me. Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for your smilie emoticons, cheeky jokes, grammar nitpicking and quiet giggles.

Both Ileandra and Raven have rounded up where they will be going forward so I won’t do that again, but in terms of me as me?

honest gym bunny blog buttonI’m still blogging over on my fitness blog. It’s the base of a non-fiction idea I have, but mostly it’s a way for me to chat about some of things that get to me day by day. Exercise, weight management and mental health are super important to me and this is the little corner of the internet in which I talk about it.


joined up writing podcast bannerThe Joined Up Writing Podcast is still going strong (after a little break at the start of the year). Myself and Wayne are picking up with a new schedule of chatter and interviews and I hope you’ll join us over there.

The past five and a half years have been awesome. Here’s to another five and a half, when I’ll be even less young, naive and clueless. Maybe. 😉



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IY: Tenna’ ento lye omenta

until we next meet banner

Raven said it pretty well so I shan’t repeat it. I’ll simply add that support for me as a writer of fantasy has been phenomenal through this blog. I’ve met so many other talent writers with incredible imaginations that more than once I’ve felt quietly inadequate in what I do. But these writers didn’t let me feel that way for long, they lifted me, buoyed me up, supported me, taught me, mentored me and gave me something so wonderful that I don’t know how I’ll ever repay it. They gave me confidence to keep doing what I’m doing and that, personally, is the biggest take away from this blog.

Just like Raven, I’ll be hanging out in all the usual places:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Smashwords

As well as my website:

mini website banne

And my newsletter:

smaller free reads white

Do keep in touch won’t you? ^_^

new ileandra signature,

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RS: Stick A Bow On It, Yo

I believe this is my last ‘fun’ post (or any sort of post!) on this blog. It’s time to wrap it up and stick a bow on it.

red bow ribbon

Credit: jonata

I’ve had an incredible time talking to you all over the last couple of years. When DSB finally decided to set me free from Ileandra, I had no idea what to expect. Now I find chatter, engagement and conversations with you fine people that I otherwise would never have had.

I’ve been able to talk about subjects close to me, ideas that fascinate me and I’ve been able to meet smart, funny, kind, intelligent people who have always been willing to help.

I’ve learned a great deal through posting across this blog. I’ve found seeds of ideas for new stories, a whole heap that I just can’t wait to share. The future looks bright and rosy and a great deal of that is down to you.

So, basically, I want to thank you fine, smexxy people. I want you to know that I appreciate and value the time you’ve spent with me here, the conversations, the debates and discussions. I’m grateful for the support you’ve given me and the loud cheering from the sidelines in good and bad times. I want to thank you for sharing, tweeting, liking and commenting. I want you to know that even if I’ve been able to answer your comments in the past, I’ve read them all and been grateful for your input. It means a great deal to me.

This isn’t the end. While this blog will no longer be updated with new posts, there are still places you can find me.

I’ll still hang out in the usual places and you can find me over in any of them.

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Smashwords

There are also two other places I’ll be hanging out, places were updates are more frequent and fun.

First up, my website. Finally breaking away from this blog, I have my own little corner of the internet where all my news and chatter will be. You can find that here:

smut with brains logo

In addition, though you may know about this already, I also have a newsletter that I release quarterly to members of my readers group. There I talk about upcoming projects, new releases, freebies and competitions. If you’re interested in that, find it here:


And that’s it. Again, thank you so much for being with me over the past few years, I hope you’ll join me on the other side.

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IY: Mah Plans 28/03/16

I’ve had a week off. I didn’t mean to exactly, but . . . I’ve not done any sort of writing related work over the past seven days. I’ve not even opened Scrivener. o.O I didn’t plan it but DSB showcased her obsessive personality by discovering a new project she had to finish before I could do anything else.

So she did. Wanna see?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yeah. DSB made clothes. As in real clothes she can wear, crafted from huge pieces of cloth, thread, a sewing machine and her own two hands. She even made the patterns herself, modifying them from existing clothes and plans outlined on YouTube.

So instead of using the last week of The Sprogs being at school to work, DSB made LARP clothes. It needed to be done—new characters need new gear and the event is at the start of May, but it’s going to make this post on my week’s progress very boring.

Actions Over The Past Fortnight

~List Crossroads on Amazon and Smashwords

~Come up with four basic ideas that will each carry a novel, featuring characters from the ‘Dead And Alive’ serial (Kailah Turner, Michael Garran and Diavian Hatara)
I’ve got one—I came up with it on one of my daily walks and just blurted it into a voice file on my phone. I need to shift it and write it up so I don’t forget it, but no, not four.

Yeeeeah, no. What I actually did was read the entire Saar’s Legacy series start to finish across four days and make notes about what changes required in ‘On A Knife Point.’ Oops.

~Complete the short story I began for the students over at the local college
Well. Yes, actually. At 12pm this afternoon I thought there was 2-3k words left to go. A couple of minutes ago I finished an incredible marathon on it: two glorious hours in which I bashed out 7k+ words. So yeah . . . the first draft is now complete. Heh, I guess that means I was ready to get back to work. 😉

Activities This Fortnight

Hmm. I guess I should play catch up. This post is something like #996 and, if you recall, I’ll be closing this blog with post 1,000. I really don’t have much time. I think I’ll still list my intentions, but I’ve no idea how it will all pan out.

  • List Crossroads on Amazon and Smashwords
  • Write up the voice file idea for my first ‘Dead And Alive’ novel
  • Generate the base of three more ‘Dead And Alive’ novel ideas


thinking boy, black and white, with questions marks around his head

Credit: ryanlerch at OpenClipArt

I’ve listed these things because I find that I don’t function very well without goals. If I don’t know what I want to do, I end up drifting in a blank sea of ‘waaaaaaaaaaaaaah there’s too much of everything!’ and nothing gets done.

However, I do acknowledge that The Sprogs are around for two weeks and that work time for me will be very limited. Lots of family visits going on which means, for the most part, my work time will be confined to evenings.

I probably won’t get all of those things done. But it doesn’t matter. If I manage some of it, I’m doing pretty well and, frankly put, I reckon I’m ahead of the game anyway. So I’m feeling pretty chilled . . . though that may be the fact that I’m in bed right now and that I’m still swimming on a chocolate high.

Heh, ho hum! ^_^

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IY: Fantasy Creatures – Vampires – Club Night

Welp! I’ve been talking about it and working on it, so I think it makes sense to give you guys the opening of the short story I’m writing for my new friends over at the local college. The piece is tentatively named ‘Club Night’ and was received with encouraging enthusiasm by the 200 ish studends I read it to. Woohoo!

line break, swirling graphics, from openclipart

This is a stupid idea. We’re going to get caught. No one sneaks into Lunar without getting caught.

Cheryl glared at the mirror and kept her depressing thoughts to herself. Instead, she nodded at her reflection, happy with the makeup and curly afro hair it showed. “That will do.”

Her friend, Maxine, fair haired and heavily made up, frowned and shook her head. “Wrong. Purple suits you better.” She handed over a tube of dark lipstick. “Try that. And hurry up, we’re gonna be late.”

Though unsure of the colour choice, Cheryl trusted Maxine. Just. Besides, she couldn’t see her reflection properly anyway. The sudden rush of her new vampire powers left her eyesight fantastic in all situations except in front of a mirror. Which sucked.

As she put on the new colour, Maxine checked the door to their shared bedroom. A moment later, soft footsteps approached and Ishaan stepped through.

“You ladies ready?” he asked, arms folded tight across his skinny chest. Yeah, skinny, but strong. Like most werewolves, there was more to him than his gentle looks. He was dressed for a hot night out, tight jeans and pale shirt with the sleeves rolled back. “Hey, Chez.”

“Don’t call me that.” Cheryl watched him in the mirror. “Did you get us clearance for the club?”

He grinned, and his eyes, though usually brown, shone with a golden light. “Do wolves eat helpless little lambs?”

“Gross!” Maxine smacked his arm, flirting like always, chest thrust out, full lips pouting. Hard to believe she was the oldest of the group. She lowered the neck of her top—not that it needed it—and flicked out her black skirt before sitting on the end of the bed like some sort of magazine model.

Cheryl shook her head. Though she loved her friend, Maxine seemed desperate to prove herself the vampire stereotype. All she needed was black lipstick and a widow’s peak to match her pale skin.

Ishaan ignored Maxine and moved closer to Cheryl, flipping the mirror up so she could no longer see it. “You don’t need that. I think you look great.” Ishaan smiled and pushed a chunk of curly hair off her face. “You look . . . vampish.”

She rolled her eyes. “I don’t need to look vampish, I am vampish.”

“Not until you graduate.” With a giggle, Maxine dragged the conversation back to herself. Like always. “Not long now, though, fifteen months? Anyway, Lunar is an adult club, you need to look more than vampish, you need to look . . .”

“Adult?” Ishaan offered. Not that he’d have much trouble. He looked much older than sixteen, probably because of the tattoo on the side of his neck. But all the young wolves had those, it was just their pack symbol. Besides, Lunar was a werewolf club, surely they wouldn’t turn him away.

Maxine leapt off the bed and landed by the door seven feet away. “Ready?”

“Yeah, let’s do this.” Cheryl swallowed her nerves, tightened the corset-style cord at the back of her dress and pulled on her boots.

Ishaan took the lead at the door. He cocked his head, one hand cupped around his ear. “Professor Sharra is in her study. I can hear her pacing.” A pause. “Sergeant Reaper is patrolling far end of the back corridor, but he’s blind and half deaf, he’ll never hear us.” With that, he shot off, a dark streak against the hall’s wooden panelling.

Maxine followed, making no sound on the hardwood floors as she darted along in Ishaan’s shadow.

Cheryl licked her lips.

My turn. Right. Okay, I can do this. Of course I can do this.

She closed the bedroom door.

She could hear other students in the academy, some sleeping, some studying, all in their rooms like good little supernaturals. How she let Maxine convince her to sneak out was a mystery, but now there was little to do but get on with it.

She stepped into the corridor.

A floorboard creaked.

At the other end, standing by the window, Maxine shot her a furious stare. “Shut up!” she mouthed.

“Sorry.” Cheryl just couldn’t move that quietly. Or that fast. Her vampire powers only came in three months ago and the blurry-speed-thing took practise. Still, she made it to the end of the corridor without knocking anything and only two of the boards creaked.

Ishaan had already opened the window and stood on the narrow platform of the fire escape outside it. “You sound like a herd of elephants, Chez.

“Sorry. And don’t call me ‘Chez.’”

Maxine rolled her eyes. “Stop being sorry about everything. You don’t want to be apologising to any of the guys at Lunar. They’ll eat you alive. Literally.” Her lip quirked. “Just, you know, be more like . . . like . . .”


“Yeah.” Her smile faded. “Wait, Cheryl, you’re sweating.”

Until that moment, Cheryl hadn’t noticed the wetness on her forehead. Now, when she touched her skin, her fingers gleamed with the it. “Uh oh.” Her arms began to prickle, the flesh on her right side heating up. “Ramni’s coming.”

Since discovering her vampire abilities, Cheryl had learned enough to recognise the feeling of her mentor. Normally she didn’t mind seeing him. At six foot, dark haired, dark skinned and gorgeous, Ramni was the very picture of what a vampire should be. A male one anyway.

But now, sneaking out of the Academy to visit an illegal werewolf club, he was the last person she wanted to see.
Maxine shoved her way out the window, with panic in her eyes. “We need to get out of here. Go, go.”

Ishaan jumped off the fire escape on to the grassy area at the back of the Academy’s dormitories.

Cheryl swallowed a spiky lump of nerves. The prickle on her skin became stronger. Sweat dripped down the back of her neck.
Maxine leapt on to the handrail. “Follow me.”

“No, no, wait—”

But Maxine was already gone. She hit the grass, rolled and bounded to her feet. “Get down here, Cheryl!”

This is insane, she thought.

Cheryl stepped out the window, onto the rail.

I can’t do this.

The stiff curls of her hair flew in the wind. Goosebumps prickled up and down her bare arms.

What if I break my neck? I don’t have all the healing powers yet.

“Chez, come on.” Ishaan’s voice held a hint of panic. “I think Vestas is coming.”

Thought Principle Vestas tightened Cheryl’s stomach. Vestas was nothing like Ramni: short, bald, old—even for a warlock—with the worst temper she had ever seen. His punishments were not unlike torture and everybody across the Academy talked about him in hushed tones. Even the teachers avoided him if they could.

Cheryl closed her eyes. Spread her arms. Before she could jump, two strong hands closed about her waist and dragged her back through the window. The hands held her a full foot off the ground, spinning her round to meet a pair of huge purple eyes, framed by an angry frown. “Where do you think you’re going?” said Ramni.

Oh. Cheryl sighed. Busted.

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RS Bonus Blog: Shhh, The Kids Are Sleeping!, Out Now (#Giveaway)

Ticking along nicely here.

Announcing the fourth tale in my Smexxy Snippets series, this one named ‘Shh, The Kids Are Sleeping!’

Not to deny that I’ve drawn from real life on this one, but seriously . . . gettin’ on daaayywn with kids around is hard work. I felt a strong desire to write about this and let folk now that it is possible.

. . . Just. 😉

Sleep when the baby sleeps? Naaaah!

Getting twin girls Jenna and Josie to sleep during the day is a task Charlotte is determined to master. Not only will she able to—finally!—have a long, hot shower, but she may also be able to deal with the stack of washing-up that refuses to go down, despite her best efforts.

Seems a perfect plan, except her husband Tom returns early from work with some fantastic news and he wants nothing more than to celebrate. Despite Charlotte’s insistence that they can’t go out, Tom soon explains that he had other more home-based activities in mind.

Soon the pair of them are shucking their clothes, touching each other in a way neither has had time or energy for since Jenna’s birth. As their new-found passion tasks them upstairs, soft whimpers from the babies’ room remind Charlotte of the need to be as quiet as possible.

After all, they don’t want to wake the babies.

Amazon US |  Amazon UK  |  Smashwords  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

I’m also pleased to say that I’ll be giving away a copy of this Smexxy Snippet and all the ones previous to one lucky winner. All you need do is comment on this post, before March 31, describing the most irritating interruption to sexy times that you can think of.

Draw from real life if you like, make it up if you prefer, but the most creative answer will win Smexxy Snippets One, Two, Three and Four in the format of their choosing (epub / mobi / pdf).

Go for it!

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