Thursday, February 28, 2013

Guest Post: Nick Hirsch


I met Nick quite a few years ago, now. And when I met him, he was the darling of my local gay community... (I say that like that meant more than two or three guys at a given time, but hey...)

Everybody loved him. And I heard about him long before we ever actually met. One of my friends harbored an enormous crush on him and complained bitterly about Nick's boyfriend up in Buffalo. Enough so that - because I especially have a lot of trouble remembering people's names when I don't have a face to match them to, I'd started referring to him as "Tramp."

By the time we finally met, I'd heard so much about him that I fully expected him to be this knock over gorgeous, witty, wonderful guy. (Not!)

Except that, oddly enough, he really was.

He was adorable, friendly, brilliantly intellectual without being a total snot about it (ok, really, I know more snotty intellects than really, any three women should have to put up with...) and above all, kind.

But the nickname, Tramp, stuck. Ah well.

Nick has shown me a couple of pieces of his work. Let me say right now that he is freaking. Brilliant. Just really. He wrote a terrible, wonderful story that I saw; written second person, present tense, completely emo, two characters talking and nothing happens... Satire, you understand, of that kind of work... and as I was saying to my husband last night - the very best satire isn't being completely impolite and nasty and saying "oh it was only a joke..." The very best satire manages to tell a damn decent story even if the joke itself goes flying over your head.

Last summer, me, Elizabeth, Nick, and several other friends are sitting around discussing writing stuff and erotica and LGBT friendly publishers and I got a burr up my butt about Nick's story Alabaster. "You should totally publish that. It's really good." Liz hadn't even read it, but based on my recommendation and Nick's surprisingly eloquent spoken 'blub summing up the story (how the hell does he do THAT? takes me forever to come up with a 'blurb...) she and I both started pushing him to publish. In fact, we nagged and badgered him so much that he rolled his eyes at us and sent the story in that night, without any additional changes. It was... maybe two weeks before it got picked up...

What are your greatest challenges in your writing career?

Time.  I'm a grad student, and that eats up the vast majority of my time. Also, brain-slide: that effect of the mind where you sit down to write and suddenly have a deep desire to clean out the refrigerator, check your email, or call that friend you haven't spoken with in a couple years.

When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer? What inspired you to put pen to paper?

I contend that I was born this way was born this way.  That aside, I think it was my grandmother who, when I was in fourth grade, responded to me making fun of the bad writing in a story (I don't even remember which one now) by challenging me to rewrite it how I would have it.  She's a sly one, my grandmother.

What are your biggest pet peeves for other people's grammar? Are there any mistakes that you find yourself making regularly?

I despise substituting numbers for words and letters. I understand on an older model phone, much like the telegram, it's economical to use deep shorthand, but if you aren't being chased by assassins and time isn't running out and your message isn't one of national security, use full words and maybe some punctuation.

My biggest flaw is my love affair with the semi-colon. It's a handy little device for the sort of stream-of-consciousness style I tend to use, but sometimes I'll go back and realize it looks like I've been rewriting the preamble of the Constitution, even in quick texts and status updates.

(Note from the writer: Also, you're still using two spaces after a sentence. This is over and done with. Please stop! I'm having to edit this interview!!)  

Do you ever want to go back and edit an older story?

Constantly.

How do you decide on character names?

I like to pick names that are both thematically and culturally appropriate.  For example, in "Alabaster," my two principle characters are named Luke and Alan. Luke means light, Alan means stone. I literally do an internet search for these things if I don't already know them. For last names, I will look up culturally appropriate surnames that are also thematic, though in many cases I'll just use last names that I've encountered in real life, or derived from historical figures. It really depends on the story, and the balance between reality and mythology I'm trying to convey.

What's the worst thing that ever happened to you that you've incorporated into a story?

Bullying. I've changed the specificities, but the emotional sensation that I call up when I'm writing is absolutely coming from a place of experience.

How much of your life and the people you know end up in your work?

A surprising amount, actually. Thought I never use a person whole cloth, the people in my stories tend to be composites of people I've know, snippets of conversations that I've had or overheard, sensations that I associate with one situation or another. As often as not, a character will represent more a kind of person than an actual individual.

What projects are you currently working on? Are you willing to share a small excerpt from a work in progress?

I'm currently working on a story called "Hematite", which is a sort of spiritual sequel to "Alabaster" in that it is written with a similar worldview in mind and at a later time in life. "Alabaster" was a story about a boy's first time falling in love. "Hematite" will be a story about someone who has begun to mature, emotionally, but still lives in their head. It's also about being a queer goth kid in the late 90s, so somewhat autobiographical.  It's nowhere near done, but here's a snipped from my working draft:

You are a stranger, dancing in darkness with lavender lights flashing and smoke in the air and bass loud enough to shake the air in your lungs. You dance alone in a crowd of strange people, also dancing alone. Spiritual revelations ensue. It's soothing and sad, strangely quiet for all that; best taken with rum and coke and the smell of cloves in the air, no sense of future, liberation from the past. For the duration of this song, there is no such thing.
You dance like you're making love with your own soul, which for just this moment you clearly and unequivocally have, in turn a comfort and a terror. There are monsters hiding in these shadows, flitting here and there between spiraling stars, strobing within impossible rhythms, whispering behind the noise and slowly teasing your heart to pieces with lovingly sharpened talons. There are wings on your back, made of nothing more than shuddering air, verdant sound. There is a whole world dancing behind your eyes and under the surface your skin. There you are, embarrassment and pretense stripped away. You feel it with utmost sincerity down to the throbbing fibers and sinews of your being. You are something other than the sum of your body. You are more, here, than you are anywhere else. This is your sacrament; here is your church. It is full of pretense like any other church, but under the nail polish and moon boots and trench coat and lipstick is a sincere connection with the divine. These are your regalia, you are your own altar.
Then you notice him, another dancer, three feet away. Your eyes meet for less than a second, him smiling like he has a secret, and you are suddenly, unutterably self-conscious. Dear God, he's beautiful! Oh, no. No, no, no. You giddily realize, you just fell in love. This is a very bad idea...

What's your writing routine?

Put on headphones, warn everyone not to come within strangling range, throw on a Pandora station that is suitable for the mood and hope no one bothers me. I like to write at night, just before bed, because 1) it's late and no one is likely to bother me and 2) my mind is more limber at the end of the day. I'll actually take breaks from homework to write fiction in brief snippets, because it's a welcome break to step away from my "heavy" reading and do something more fanciful.

Is there a character or story that's stuck in your head and won't leave, from either your work or someone else's?

There's a novel I've been laboring over for years, called River City, which is a sort of minimalist urban horror story that is also a love/hate letter to the city I grew up in. It has taken me a long time to realize that it's also a romance story, albeit a reluctant one. I've been conceptualizing it for a decade now. Maybe I'll finally get to write it this summer. It has been ten years since I left the place it's about, so it seems appropriate.

What writers or novels do you consider “must reads”?

Clive Barker is at the top of my list. His books are what really pushed me into writing without fear of my own spirituality and sexuality. The Great and Secret Show, Everville, Imajica, and Sacrament are all amazing reads that transformed how I write and what I am willing to write about.

Anne Rice is great for sumptuous storytelling, and anyone writing supernatural horror/romance should read the Vampire Chronicles. For all their problems, they are still, in my opinion, the seminal work from which all modern vampire stories originate.

The book that inspired my interest in queer romantic magical realism is Dream Boy, by Jim Grimsley. That and Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, by Jeanette Winterson, though the latter is,ironically, somewhat dry.

Tell us three things about you that are interesting.

I'm a second generation geek, and my biological parents met playing D&D at a gaming store in Norfolk called "Campaign Headquarters", which is now closed, sadly.

My hair has been blond, black, red, purple, blue, green, orange and pink, sometimes all within the same year.

When I sneeze I sound like a six year old girl.

My Workspace, ever so neat.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Writer Calls for Wednesday


Short Short BDSM Submission Erotica Anthology (title TBA)
Editor: Rachel Kramer Bussel
Publisher: Cleis Press
Deadline: April 1, 2013 (earlier stories strongly preferred and encouraged)
Email address: shortsubmissionantho at gmail.com

Please make sure to read and follow these guidelines in order for your work to be considered. Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel is looking for short short stories of 1,200 words or less focused on the theme of BDSM from a submissive perspective. While the word count is short, I want complex stories with a beginning, middle and end, not simply scene snippets. I will consider stories from a dominant's perspective if that is the best way to illuminate the mindset of the submissive. The final book of 69 stories will contain an extremely wide variety of characters, POVs (I welcome first, second and third person stories), settings, scenarios, motivations, experience levels, motivations, BDSM practices (which can be combined with other sexual acts), fetishes, couplings, relationships, etc. All genders and sexual orientations welcome. All characters must be over 18; no nonconsensual activity, scat, incest or bestiality. No poetry. Original, unpublished stories only. Stories from authors I have not published before are especially welcome. See my books Please, Sir; Yes, Sir; Please, Ma'amand Yes, Ma'am to get a feel for the types of submissive stories I enjoy. See Gotta Have It: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex for examples of 1,200 word or less erotic stories.

How to submit: Send double spaced Times or Times New Roman 12 point black font Word document (.doc or .docx) with pages numbered OR RTF of 1,200 words MAXIMUM to shortsubmissionantho at gmail.com. DO NOT submit multiple versions of your story; submit ONLY your final, complete, edited version of the story. Note that this is a hard maximum. Stories that are not in keeping with the theme of the anthology or are over 1,200 words will not be considered. Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch and double space (regular double spacing, do not add extra lines between paragraphs or do any other irregular spacing). US grammar (double quotation marks around dialogue, etc.) required. I will consider a maximum of TWO stories per author. Include your legal name (and pseudonym if applicable), mailing address. If you are using a pseudonym, please provide your real name and pseudonym and make it clear which one you’d like to be credited as. You will receive a confirmation within 72 hours. I will get back to you by September 2013.

Payment: $20 and 1 copy of the book on publication in 2014

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vanilla with Extra Nuts - Promotional!


I've talked about Victoria Blisse a few times. She did the wonderful smutty advent calendar and the Snogging contest... pretty awesome lady... also, her husband keeps sending me wonderful pictures of octopodae on Facebook. She's here today promoting her new book, Vanilla with Extra Nuts.

Do you ever want to go back and edit an older story?

I recently did this actually, I wrote a 50k ish novel back in 2007 and went back to it last year to polish it up for publication, by gum, it showed me how I've changed as a writer and I hope it's for the better!

How do you decide on character names?

Pot luck generally, sometimes I'll use baby name websites to help me or other times I'll just list names in my head and wait for the right one to hit me. Every once in a while I'll get the name of a character before I even start the story, that doesn't happen often though.

 What projects are you currently working on? Are you willing to share a small excerpt from a work in progress?

I am doing a couple of hot Billionaires right now. Okay, maybe I should word that differently. I'm working on a novel length piece called Sharing Nicely. Here's a little excerpt for you. Please forgive any grammatically mistakes, this is a rough draft!

I had knots in my stomach, I doubt they’d ever untangle. I felt heavy with need and anticipation. What would they do to me? It was a question which could only be answered practically.
Not a word was spoken, both guys joined me on the bed. Darren scrambled over eagerly and Greg sat then rolled in a far more sedate fashion until he was up against me, his dick pressed into my thigh and his hand on my breast. Darren copied the pose on the other side and I rocked and rolled my hips in the middle while the different hands moulded and tickled my chest. Greg’s hands were bigger, rougher than Darren’s. Both delighted me.

Is there a character or story that's stuck in your head and won't leave, from either your work or someone else's?

Johnny the Djinn. He's a very stubborn magical being and he's desperate for the next chapter in his story to be told. He's a greedy thing, there's already two of them out there!



About the Story

Is this love?

As an author of erotica and erotic romance I know that love isn’t always what you expect it will be. Love happens between characters you don’t expect to get on, it blossoms under stress and in strange circumstances and it often has to conquer prejudices and expectations to get a happy ending.

Vanilla with Extra Nuts is a threesome story, some people might feel that means it has to be pure erotica, that there can’t possibly be romance in there too. I don’t think that is the case, I think it is a love story but it involves three people not the expected two. It might not be love for all three characters, maybe two of them are in love and one is just in lust. Maybe but you’ll have to read it to find out!




Excerpt

“I’m going to just be honest with you, Adam,” I said, and took a step towards him. “I would like nothing better than to walk over there right now, to pull you to me, and to kiss you and just forget this whole business. I’d love to go back to the way we were, but that isn’t going to happen. I don’t know if I can live with sharing you. I’ve always been a pretty vanilla girl. I have the average fantasies of a straight woman. I dream of meeting a man, falling in love, marrying him, and having babies. Not at any point have I thought about sharing a man with someone else. I mean, you were honest with me about fantasies and I have wondered what it would be like to be with two men at the same time, but I always thought that was just fantasy. Anyway, what I think I am trying to say is that I want you, but I just don’t know how to deal with this situation.”

“Can’t we just give it a go?” He stood up and took a step towards me. “All I’m sure of from this conversation is we both want each other, both regret what has happened, and want to go back to how we were. Can’t we do that and work out the rest as we go along?”

He was so close to me I could have reached out to touch him, but I didn’t. I didn’t know what to do.

“I want to do that, I do, but I still don’t know if I can handle being less than your one and only. We could fuck right now and love it, but would we just be delaying the inevitable heartbreak? I don’t want that, Adam, I really don’t.”

He brushed at my cheek and ran into my hair, holding my face gently in his hand a moment before he responded. His response was a kiss. At first I didn’t do anything. I wasn’t thinking straight. I was a little angry at how he’d ignored my question. This sweet impact of lips on lips was exactly what I didn’t want to happen because if I just let my body feel, my mind would switch off and the issues would not be settled. Instead of stepping back, pulling away, or yelling at him, I stood completely still. I froze as my mind whirled and my body begged and I battled with myself over what to do next. The low, masculine moan that vibrated through me was my undoing. It was as if the vibrations loosened me and my lips began to respond to the kiss, my arms wrapped around him instinctively, and my breasts pressed wantonly against his chest without me even realizing what they’d done.

Wrapping his arms around, he held me tightly as I had longed for them to do all week. He pressed himself into me. I could feel his arousal and sensed his relief. Our twin emotions twined around us and knit us together. I felt invisible hands pushing me towards him, keeping me from pulling away, and even though I knew it is all my imagination I didn’t fight it. I didn’t want to. I wanted Adam and maybe that would be enough.

His hands worked up under my T-shirt and cupped beneath my lace covered breasts. He squeezed and gasped, then broke our kiss for a moment to pull the top up and over my head. His lips fell back to my neck and the newly exposed flesh. Fingers scrabbling with the clasp at my back, his lips trailed over my collarbone and down to the V of my cleavage. When the clasp gave and his fingers worked to slip away the straps down my arms, his mouth feasted on each new inch of tit that was revealed. When he had discarded the bra and was once again cupping my breasts, naked this time, he lifted my nipples to his lips to suck and nibble at them.

By that point I was helpless, lost in lust. A little corner of my mind felt uneasy, knowing that the issue had still not really been resolved, but the rest of me was just ecstatic to be touched by him again. I had missed him so very much. His ever-busy fingers now pulled at the button and zip of my jeans. It took him only a moment to loosen them and seconds more to pull them down to my knees. He knelt at my feet and pulled off my boots, then slipped my jeans down my legs.

I felt naked, maybe even more so as I only had on the flimsiest of knickers. Their tininess emphasized the largeness of the rest of me and I felt awkward. I was not terribly confident in my skin and would normally wear a light negligee that would hide all my bumps and imperfections. The exposure was uncomfortable, but as he rose to his feet and pulled me over to the bed with him, my worries melted away.

A New Release from Victoria Blisse. 

Vanilla with Extra Nuts is a ménage story, featuring two hot guys and one shy and sexy vanilla girl. Here’s the blurb: 

She’s just a vanilla girl until she finds her perfect toppings. 

Megan is slowly falling in love with Adam until he confesses he’s seeing a guy behind her back. She thinks the relationship has been ruined until the night she indulges in a threesome with the man she loves and Simon, his lover.

As much as she enjoys being sandwiched between the two men she’s not sure the arrangement can last. So Megan has to decide.

Can she come to terms with sharing the man she adores with his male lover or will she have to say goodbye to her soulmate forever?

Pick up your copy from:



Victoria Blisse is a Mother, Wife, Christian, Manchester United Fan and Award Winning Erotica Authoress. She is also the editor of several Bigger Briefs collections, and the co-editor of the fabulous Smut Alfresco and Smut in the City and Smut by the Sea Anthologies.

Victoria is also one of the brains behind the fabulous Smut by the Sea Event taking place at Scarborough Library (UK) on the 22nd June 2013. A day dedicated to Erotica with a mini erotic marketplace and lots of Author Readings, Fun Giveaways and Exciting Talks.

She is equally at home behind a laptop or a cooker (She is TEB's Resident "Naked Chef") and she loves to create stories, poems, cakes and biscuits that make people happy. She was born near Manchester, England and her northern English quirkiness shows through in all of her stories.

Passion, love and laughter fill her works, just as they fill her busy life.
You can find often find Victoria procrastinating on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest




Thursday, February 21, 2013

Guest Post, Charlotte Stein


The first story I ever got published was Golden Moment, in Kristina Wright's anthology, Steamlust. I wrote the story based on a couple of ideas, one of which made it into the story; the other... did not.

First was the golden hour; my husband used to be an EMT, and he uses that phrase to describe the prime time to fix an injury. If you can get to an accident victim, get them in the ambulance and to the hospital in that golden hour, they will have a much better chance of survival, quick healing, etc. I know this because when my leg was broken in 5 places, we did NOT make my golden hour. In fact, my leg wasn't fixed until more than a day later, when I finally got into surgery because the ER doctor did not adequately convey the severity of the break to the on-call bone specialist. Would my recovery have been easier if I'd gotten surgery that night? There's no way to know, for sure... but my bone specialist was Very Angry when he saw my X-ray and actually waited ON HOLD to schedule my surgery for as soon as possible...  this concept did not quite make it into the story... maybe it'll make it into a later short. The only thing left from this idea is the title, Golden Moment.

The concept that did make it into the story; a friend of mine was telling me about the problems he had with his watch. It wouldn't work under direct sunlight. He wasn't sure what caused that, but if he was out in the sun, the watch would just stop, until it was shaded again and then it would pick up right where it left off. So, he could tell the amount of time he'd been out in the sun by comparing the time on the watch to the time as it actually stood.

But enough about me! Steamlust is where I first encountered Charlotte Stein. Her story, Mr. Hartley's Infernal Device, is my absolute favorite. Reading Charlotte's work is like feeling someone else tap directly into my brain and the random weirdness that happens there. I finished reading it for the first time, and I was absolutely shocked, rocked, and moved. In fact, it's been quite a long time since a piece of writing has directly affected me so much.

We've had a few email conversations since then - I wrote her once when something she said on Twitter made me feel like she needed a hug... anyway, she's a totally brilliant writer, interesting and wonderful, and I'm very happy to have her here today.




What are your greatest challenges in your writing career?

Not letting outside stuff worry me. Comments about my writing style, in particular, occasionally make it tougher for me to write. Bigger life worries sometimes put a dent in me. But as time goes on, I'm getting better at filtering stuff out. Luckily, I have some readers...and basically that's all I ever hoped for. Some readers who like me!


When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer? What inspired you to put pen to paper?

I want to say I was thirteen, but it must have been much younger than that. When I look back, I can recall writing my first "novel" when I'd just started high school. So I think I was around ten or eleven. I was an avid reader, and just wanted to read the kinds of things I enjoyed...so tried it myself. I basically rewrote a Ladybird edition of Sleeping Beauty, after painstakingly copying the whole thing out into an exercise book!

Of your published works, do you have a favorite? Why? 

Probably Control. I didn't worry what people would think, I wasn't concerned that the hero was submissive...I just went for it. And to my great joy, people have actually responded to it. It's sold much better than I ever thought it could with such a strange hero, and I'm forever happy and grateful for that. I love Gabriel, and love that other people do too!

Do you ever want to go back and edit an older story? 

LOL dear God YES. Not just edit...change completely. If I knew then what I know now...

How do you decide on character names?

I usually come up with names second. The character and their foibles and what not comes first, then I think of a name that fits. Of course, sometimes they walk into my head fully formed...but not always.

What's the worst thing that ever happened to you that you've incorporated into a story?

I've never incorporated anything that's ever happened to me in my work! There are little pieces of me...my heroines might like something I like, for example. But generally speaking, no real life events. Not even real life conversations.


Is there a character or story that's stuck in your head and won't leave, from either your work or someone else's?

Oh God, too many to mention. I've had characters stuck in my head for the better part of twenty years, from stories that I'd love to write but feel I can't for one reason or another. And then there are movie characters that have stayed with me...Ellen Ripley, Sarah Connor...and more recently Wikus from District 9. These are the kinds of characters I dream about, often.

What writers or novels do you consider “must reads”?

Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, Christopher Pike. Emma Holly, Cara McKenna, Ruthie Knox, Selena Kitt, Justine Elyot. So many fantastic new YA authors now...I've devoured stuff by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Lauren Oliver, Veronica Roth, Carrie Ryan. A must read for me is something that isn't just a trope I fancy. It's always powerful, interesting, weird and wonderful writing that drags me along. I want to be dragged.


Thanks so much for having me, Lynn!

Well, you're welcome! I'm so glad to have you here!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Writer Calls

I've put out a few things with Hot Ink Press, so I thought I'd draw this to your attention:

Fetish Fairy Tales

This isn't your mom's Snow White... any heat levels acceptable

Wordcount: 3,000 - 10,000k or poetry of any length
Deadline: April 1st for a June Publication
Send submissions to ARBrowning@HotInkBooks.com with Fetish Fairy Tales (Your Name) as the subject


1. Submissions must be sent in 12pt Times New Roman with 1.5 line spacing, aligned right with 0.5 indents on the first line of each new paragraph (Do NOT use TAB), .3 indent, no extra spacing between paragraphs and no headers/footers/page numbers, one space after end of sentence - not two.

2. Quality storytelling, quality writing, expertly crafted story-structure. PLOT REQUIRED!

3. Unleash your inner vixen. We know you want to.

4. No pedophilia, incest, rape for titillation, scat, homophobia, racism, domestic violence, or non-consensual sex.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Guest Post: Jacqueline Brocker


 Well, say hello to my guest today, Jacqueline Brocker...

An incredibly neat writer's desk... 
What are your greatest challenges in your writing career?

You mean apart from 'writing'? ;) I do find the act of writing itself a challenge, making myself do the work of getting my stories onto the page rather than just letting them sit in my head where they can remain perfectly formed without having to risk failing to get it right for someone else to understand. That I suppose is the creative challenge. The more practical challenge is navigating my way through the publishing landscape. When I was thinking about being a writer, this was a long time before the eBook boom, so my head is in many ways geared to thinking about publishing in those terms, especially with regards to promotion, distribution, etc. Now a writer can have so much more control and involvement in not just the writing but the production and release of their work, that it can be a bit intimidating and mind-boggling. But I think I'm up to the challenge.

When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer? What inspired you to put pen to paper?

I've always been making up stories in my head, acting them out when I was younger (and able to get away with it!) but it never occurred to me to be a writer as  'thing' you could do until I was 11 or so, and I wrote a story for a school assignment. My teacher wrote that it was one of the best she'd ever read by a student, and that set the wheels in motion.

Of your published works, do you have a favorite? Why?

This is a HOT cover, don't you think?
I'm incredibly proud of Body & Bow (which I'm promoting here today), but I'm also very fond of two short stories, one which is an m/m story called 'Storms of Ancient Gods', inspired by Slavic mythology published in Erotica Apocrypha (which is unfortunately no longer available as the publisher shut down) and I'm also still very happy with 'Ripe Fruit'.

I like 'Storms' because it pushed me to go darker than I had written before, and 'Ripe Fruit' feels, to me, amongst the most 'real' of the stories I've done, and the writing still feels good even after writing a while ago.

Do you ever want to go back and edit an older story?

Yes! I see an older work and wince at how I've written sentences and know that I'd do it so differently now and just wish I'd known then what I know now... the usual kind of quite useless beating onself up, rather than accepting that it's all part of a learning process, and really, if it was so bad, they wouldn't have accepted it in the first place.

How do you decide on character names?

Sometimes a name just comes to me and feels perfect and I go with it - sometimes even an unusual name will inspire the story in the first place! Beyond that, if I'm looking for names, I head for a baby name website and look for ones based on meaning, and choose one for what I feel is important about the character, in terms of their personality or role in the story.

In the case of Body & Bow, I can't quite remember whose name came first of the cello/violin duo - I think Leonard, which then made think of lions, which itself became a small theme in the novella as Leonard gets called 'the lion of the cello.' It made sense then for Marco to be named thus, as Saint Mark's symbol is the lion (which in turn is why Marco is Venetian). Klarissa Archer came from two definitions: 'clear, bright' (Klarissa - which even sounds a little like 'clarity'), while archer should be obvious, so she is a music critic who writes like an archer taking clear aim.

How much of your life and the people you know end up in your work?

Not so much. Little aspects creep in - observations I've made to myself for instance. I've started though writing more stories based on places I've actually been, which I think helps adds a sense of location and setting. I will say that I have used people I know or have met, at the very least for a visual reference, for my writing, but not their personalities or character traits as much.

What projects are you currently working on? Are you willing to share a small excerpt from a work in progress?

One project that I'm thoroughly enjoying writing at the moment is my daily serial A Night in a Year, an erotic adventure set in Cambridge, UK, over the course of one night, told over a year through daily updates.

Other projects include a m/m novel featuring a doctor and a cage fighter, and my usual crop of short stories that are on the boil. Here is an excerpt of another ménage story that I'm yet to finish:

The first time we met Eric, Harry and I both wanted to fuck him. 
Really, how could we not? Slip of a thing with milky skin, all of 19 years, a head of blue-black loose curls, and big saucer eyes that stared at us as we passed him in the halls of residence, Harry's hand draped across my hip, my hand bag on his other arm. The outward appearance of the perfect gentleman.
Harry and I had managed to tweak the room draw system well enough so we had rooms right next to each other, with the one to the right of mine empty for a first year. At first, Harry had rolled his eyes, fearing some annoyingly perky kid with grand ambitions and the desire to make their mark at our university, and, heaven forbid, the world. Such...naive hope for the future.
But when Eric arrived at his room, carrying a box almost larger than himself, teetering this way and that, his expression nervous but determined, so deliciously sincere, Harry and I, arms around each other in my door way, decided on just a shared look that we'd both have him.
Luckily for us, we also rather enjoyed sharing.

Tell us three things about you that are interesting.

* When I'm not writing or at the day job one of the things I can be found teaching or doing is Scottish Country Dancing.

* In 2009, I left Australia and moved to Cambridge, UK without a job or a place to live lined up. I picked Cambridge because I wanted to keep doing university administration, and also I'd been living on Cambridge Street for two years in Sydney.

* I have lived in several very different places in my life; the teeming city Jakarta, a small coastal city on the east coast of Australia, and the university town of Cambridge.

Excerpt from Body & Bow

Blurb and where to buy

Upon reading Klarissa Archer’s scathing review of their latest performance, cellist Leonard Sanderson and violinist Marco Lambrosini have very different reactions. Leonard is filled with rage. Marco invites Klarissa for drinks. Pleased that she has so upset the arrogant Sanderson Klarissa accepts Marco’s offer, unaware that he has something in mind for her, Leonard, velvet ropes and the bows of cello and violin. (M/F/M)
Body & Bow can be bought from Forbidden Fiction

Biography

Jacqueline Brocker is an Australian writer living in the UK. She has published several short erotic stories with various publishers, and also self-published several works. Her first erotic novella, Body & Bow, is published by Forbidden Fiction, from whom she has two short stories forthcoming later this year. When not writing, or Scottish Country Dancing, she can be found reading by the banks of the River Cam.

Website
Twitter: ms_jacquelineb
Tumblr
Pinterest
I have a special board for Body & Bow too!
Facebook:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Submission Calls, Wednesday


Anything She Wants (Lesbian erotica)

Editor: Harper Bliss

Publisher: Ladylit

Deadline: May 1, 2013

Word Count: 2,000-3,500
Type: Lesbian
Payment: $30 per story
Rights: First international electronic rights



Ladylit Publishing wishes to celebrate its first anniversary with a sizzling collection of lesbian tales. We’re looking for F/F erotica of any subgenre (fiction only). It doesn’t matter how many characters end up in bed (or anywhere else) together, as long as they are all female. Make your setting original, and make sure there’s a little something more going on than just sex. Whether you’re writing about cougars, first-timers, tomboys or latebians, give us a fully-formed character. We’re open to all varieties of lesbian lust, as long as your story is well-crafted and hot.



No incest, rape, underage characters or bestiality.



Original stories are preferred. No simultaneous submissions.

The deadline is May 1, 2013.

Fictional stories only, please. We buy first international electronic rights. Authors will be paid $30 per story.



Please make sure submissions include your name (legal and pen), mailing address and email address in the top left corner of the page. Send it as a Word attachment to submissions@ladylit.com with ‘Anything She Wants (Story Title)’ in the subject line. Please name your document as follows: StoryTitle_AuthorName. Include a 50-word bio with your submission. You will receive an email acknowledgement of receipt within 48 hours.

Make sure your submission is formatted properly using double spaces and Times New Roman or Georgia, 12 pt. font. Don’t put any extra spaces between paragraphs and make sure each paragraph is indented. Use quotation marks in dialogue.

For any questions regarding your story or the submission process, e-mail submissions@ladylit.com

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Book Review; Road to Tomorrow

Sometimes, I swear, if I didn't have my head super-glued to my neck, it would just fall off... I'd agreed to do this review and posting, but somehow, the email thread got deleted and I completely forgot about it....

But that was mostly ok, since I ended up really sitting down and enjoying the book, since I didn't have very long to read it, in order to get this done. Which is really really nice. I read through the whole thing in a few hours, enjoyed every minute of it, and plan to buy the first two books as soon as my book-allowance rolls over. As a note, this appears to be book three, but it's a portal book and you can just jump right in... if you read the other books first, I believe you'll get the full stories for Carol and Jennifer, characters that have cameos in Road to Tomorrow.

The book covers a number of difficult story lines. First, an abusive husband and inevitably all the people in the victim's life who don't believe her. There were times when I was actually flinching by the "You know you should just stay out of his way when he's angry" that she got from her brother. Yowch.

Secondly, it deals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and traumatic brain injuries. I also found the military's reaction to abuse coupled with PTSD to be fairly accurate and again, painful. The military - in my personal experience - wants bad press the way it wants holes in the head. I don't want to use the word conspiracy, but there's a lot of "well, let's just pretend this never happened" pressure on military wives. It makes situations like Andrea's even more difficult than they need to be, since the help that the military is supposed to provide often isn't there.

That being said, I really enjoyed the book, was happy with most of the resolutions, and enjoyed the interactions of Andrea in her new town with her new life. Especially if you love animals, romance, and realistic happy endings, this is the book for you!

4 stars.



About the Book - About the Author - Prizes!!!

About the book: Andrea Garrett is trying to escape her abusive marriage. Fearing for her life, she leaves her two small children with her twin brother and flees her home the day before her husband is due to arrive back from a tour of duty. After falling asleep at the wheel and landing in a ditch, her life takes on a new direction when strangers step in and introduce her to a life she could only have imagined and one that could save her soul and give her children the future they deserve. Get Road to Tomorrow through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: Mary Metcalfe lives in the foothills of the Laurentians, northeast of Ottawa, Canada with her husband, three cats and a very large dog. Love of writing runs in the family. Their daughter is a published literary non-fiction author. Clarion Review described Mary’s debut novel as a “sparkling debut… readers will love being swept along by Winds of Change.”Road to Tomorrow is her third novel in the Look to the Future series. Connect with Mary on her websiteblogFacebookGoodReads, or Twitter.


About the prizes: Who doesn't love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of  Road to Tomorrow! Here's what you need to do...
  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog.
That's it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win--the full list of participating bloggers can be found here. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Road to Tomorrow tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck! Ener the Rafflecopter giveaway!


I received this book free from Novel Publicity Blog Tours as part of their Book Review Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Smootches!




Well, Victoria Blisse is at it again... she of the wonderful Smutty Advent calendar... and now, she's doing a counting kisses contest.

To celebrate kisses (or snogs, or whatever you want to call them) here's an excerpt from my story "Holiday Hours," featured in Milf & Cookies. I have another short story in a Valentine's release from Hot Ink Press, Cupid's Chokehold. (My story there is called "Half the World Away.")


Collin laughingly pushed my hands away when I tried to reach for one of the dinner rolls, tearing it into bite sized pieces and feeding them to me like I was a baby bird. I rolled my eyes at him. Naturally, it was the pie that actually got me into trouble. I was laughing at Collin's description of his nephew's Halloween costume when he offered me a bite of pecan pie, covered in whip cream. I snarfed. And he missed. I took a noseful of whip cream, and sticky pecan down the side of my chin.
"Oh, brilliant," I snorted. "You're a terrible nursemaid." Collin scraped the fork along my chin, catching a dollop of pie filling.
"Really? I get all the way to the end of dinner, and you make me miss, and I'm the one who's terrible?" Collin ate the glop of pie himself. "Hmm. That's pretty good." He leaned in. I knew - from the instant that he'd forked a bite of turkey and offered it to me - that this moment was in the offing. A single quiver, a tightening in my belly that snaked down my thighs and coiled there, waiting, in my groin. I could have pulled back, could have turned it, and nothing would have happened. I didn't. I offered him my pie-smeared nose and cheek, and in those precious seconds, offered everything else.
Collin's tongue slid across my cheek, tasting and teasing. He nipped the end of my nose, sending crinkling tingles down my throat. Under my striped uniform shirt, my nipples peaked with sudden, almost painful intensity. I arched my back, pressing toward him. The scrape of his stubbled chin brushed over my skin, a single rasp, before his mouth came down on mine.
Kissing always seemed to me to be perfunctory, a necessary prelude to whatever sexual adventure was coming my way. Like a preview for a movie, something I didn't really mind too much if we were late to the theater and missed. Not this kiss. Instead of rudely thrusting his tongue into my mouth, prodding and probing, Collin's kiss was a sensual onslaught. He licked at my lips, teased the corner of my mouth, sending shivers along my spine. The tickle of his beard against my sensitive upper lip made me gasp. By the time he plundered the inside of my mouth, I was more than willing, more than ready, and decidedly marking the kiss on my must-see summer blockbusters.
He explored and plundered, tasting and touching. His arms came around me, fingers trailing down to the small of my back, pulling me against him. His breath was hot and heavy and he pulled the air out of my lungs in his eagerness. I surrendered, my hands going up to test the silken glide of his hair, the feel the hard muscles of his shoulders. I leaned against his long frame, feeling every inch of his body against mine.



 Check out all of Hot Ink Press's collections and novels.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cupid's Chokehold release




Blurb: Chocolates, tiny heart cards with words, rose petals, champagne, fancy dinners, proposals, tiny cherubs with heart shaped arrows... these are the things that we see every Valentine’s day. This Valentine’s day we explore the aspect of the holiday that goes on behind closed doors! Whether it be long distance relationships, Eros himself looking for love, a forbidden passion finally burning to life... Stories of desires, overcoming our senses, and the hot and steamy outcomes! Stories from some of today’s hottest erotic authors, focused around the day of Cupid will take your holiday to a new level of desire. When desires overcome senses, Cupids chokehold is in full control.


So, there's that...

My story in here, Half the World Away, was originally written for a different anthology altogether.

I want to talk about that a bit because I think it's good for new writers to know that just because something gets rejected - it might not be a good fit for the anthology, it might be too similar to another story that's already been approved, or it may even be too different from the rest of the anthology to mesh well - does not mean the story itself isn't good.

Sometimes it's just not right for that collection. Which doesn't mean that it won't find a home somewhere else. Sometimes an editor will give a suggestion, or make a comment in their rejection letter. I've gotten a few of those. (Do not EXPECT it. And never ask for one! Many editors are very, very busy and they don't have time to red ink every story. But if you DO get a personalized comment, PAY attention to it! You're being given a gift here. Make every possible use of it.)

I've updated, made changes, and resubmitted several stories. Some that got picked up immediately (On the Fly, for instance) and some got picked up after several rejections (Half the World Away has been turned down four times.) In fact, I have a story, Room for Dessert, that has been rejected now 7 times. I'm beginning to think that one just not find a home. I have a few more places to try it, but it may just be homeless. That's what collections of my work are for, right? Includes the never-before-published...

So, you never know. I wish there was a number... you know? If something has been rejected 6 times, throw it away? But there's not. As far as I can tell, in this business, there's no certainties.

Special thanks to J and L, who helped me write this story and provided the inspiration for it. And to the real Devin, who let me use her name, because it is ultra awesome. And to the crew of the Fairweather, who don't even know me, but I know all about them! Also, to NOAA, whose procedures and routines I took incredible liberties with for the sake of story-telling, but who help keep me safe from tornadoes and winter storms. You guys are the best!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Guest Writer, Kim Carmichael


Welcome Kim Carmichael!


So, I've just recently met Kim. She is an editor for Hot Ink Press, where my short story, "Holiday Hours" is published. She and I seem to have a lot in common, including a great deal of organization meant to hide our desperate amounts of scatterbrained flightiness.

What are your greatest challenges in your writing career?

Focusing on the writing. The marketing tends to want to take over.

When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer? What inspired you to put pen to paper?
When I was reading a story and thought that I could do that!


Of your published works, do you have a favorite? Why?

At the time of writing each story they are all my favorites, but I love Eternity because there is a ton of emotion. I love Closure because it deals with love and Riley is soft and squishy when she wants to be strong.

What are your biggest pet peeves for other people's grammar? Are there any mistakes that you find yourself making regularly?

My biggest pet peeve is grammar Nazi's and people who can recite some bizarre grammar rule with words no one has heard since Junior high. I do hate when people get "your" and "you're" mixed up. As far as my mistakes, its Kim vs. the comma.

Kim's writing space
Do you ever want to go back and edit an older story?

No. I make an excellent ostrich and the story reflects where I was at that time.

How do you decide on character names?

I either try to get a name that has meaning, or a name that sounds cool. If it’s a villain you will most likely encounter names or initials of people I don't like in real life. LOL

Tell me about your first publication. Who was it with? How did you feel when you got that acceptance?

It was Hands On Me with Keith Publications. It made me feel like all the work and everything I have done finally paid off, I was on cloud nine until I realized that work really begins AFTER acceptance.

What's the worst thing that ever happened to you that you've incorporated into a story?

Usually my characters issues with their parents come from my work. I will say that Riley waiting for Mike to arrive and watching headlights on the street hit home with me.

How much of your life and the people you know end up in your work?

I tell everyone around me to be very careful, I do incorporate my life into my stories all the time. I do ramp up the emotion, etc., but most everything comes from an aspect of my life.

What projects are you currently working on? Are you willing to share a small excerpt from a work in progress?

I am working on my novel, Trifecta. I am three scenes away from finishing – YAY!

Here is a little snippet:

Airports only held two paths, arrivals or departures. Before she made a move, she observed her surroundings. A man stood at the bottom with a bouquet of roses, and a woman holding a baby looked around for her match. Another group of women huddled together bouncing, pointing and screaming.
She wondered how many were there to tell their two best friends, the two men they loved that they were leaving.
“Laurie!”
She grabbed the railing, willing the escalator to stop because she was sure she didn't hear right. Only one person called her by that name. The only homing device she needed to insure he was here in this crowd was to turn where every other woman within a twelve-mile radius stared. No matter if you were near or far, Jason Morgan was a sight you had to take in.
 She made it to the bottom and headed straight for the beacon of blond hair. Today he was playing the role of someone between a rock star and a secret agent, with his tall frame draped in black pants, jacket and turtleneck. She had lived with this man for six years. Spent countless hours with him. Yet still, to this day, when he moved his bangs aside and peered at her over the pair of black rimmed sunglasses he decided to wear even at night, her insides bubbled, every nerve ending overflowing with excitement, need and yearning.

What's your writing routine?

I work during the day, I listen to music to get me inspired. I come home, get everyone settled and then write from about 8-11 give or take. I also write a ton on the weekends.

Is there a character or story that's stuck in your head and won't leave, from either your work or someone else's?

Shane from the novel above has a very small role, but is getting his own story

What writers or novels do you consider “must reads”?

V.C. Andrews
Johanna Lindsey
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Tell us three things about you that are interesting.

I crochet.

Even though my reputation precedes me as being a total girly girl, I almost never wear makeup on weekends.

I have watched Phantom of the Opera so many times that I can tell if the actors flub their lines.

Coming 1/10 from Keith Publications

Therin Athan faces a choice…eternal salvation or eternal damnation.

After centuries of pining away for a love never realized, Therin's last assignment as a Cupid depends on helping the lonely, shy Lucy Carlton. The mission's success or failure will determine where he is transferred. He can study the heavens or be condemned to hell.

Lucy Carlton spent her life searching the stars for answers, but finds them in the form of a gorgeous man who comes in her dreams. Therin shows her the joys of physical pleasure and encourages her to try to find love. She wakes with a new found confidence, but soon her timid nature takes over and she retreats back to the comfort of her home…alone.

With only a week to decide his fate, Therin breaks every rule. What starts as a job to save himself, becomes a love that can never be…except maybe in eternity.


Excerpt:

"Why stars?" He retrieved the bottle and poured her some more, staying quiet hoping she would continue to reveal bits of herself. 
"Stars are endless, they are sort of like looking at hope." 
He stared at her profile. 
She let out another laugh, this one heartier than the first. "Right there." She motioned up at the night sky. 
"Where?" He leaned over. 
"Right there." She put out her finger and leaned toward him as if to show him her perspective. 
He moved the basket to the side and slid over, sighing when he finally focused on what she pointed out. "Pisces." The two fish represented Aphrodite and Eros. A few wisps of her hair tickled his face but he didn't move them away. 
"Is she your mother? Are the stories true?"
"Nothing is ever exactly as it seems." He repeated his words from earlier, but appreciated the way she was fluent not only in the stars but the mythology. "Just like Pegasus, there is more than one Cupid. He was the just the most famous." 
"Are you a God?" She kept her eyes on the night sky. 
"I am what they call an immortal. I work for the Gods." He lowered his voice as to not scare her.
She finished off her wine. "Why is this your last assignment? Did I break you or something?" 
He put his hand over hers. "I was broken way before you were even born."
"What broke you?"
"Every being has wants and needs." He paused. "Sometimes when they go unfulfilled it's hard to keep going."
She looked at her lap. "What happens after you deal with me?"
"It depends on how successful I am." He balled his other hand in a fist. This was not something to put on a human. 
"Do you mean how successful I am?" 
From one day in her apartment he knew she was not only intelligent, but also insightful. 
"Something like that." 
"What happens if I don't end up with him?" She stared into the empty glass. 
"There are things only Gods know. I need to guide you." 
She shook her head. "I don't want to think of you down in Hades." 
He almost smiled. "Something like that." 
"Must be frightening for you," she whispered. 
"What do you mean?" 
"If you are immortal then you are never really know how or when it will end." She turned her hand over. "Infinite can be as terrifying as finite."

Find out more about Kim:



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Calls for Submission: Wednesday



Best Gay Romance 

Deadline: April 2, 2013.

Editors: Timothy J. Lambert and R.D. Cochrane. 
Publisher: Cleis Press.

For the anthology series BEST GAY ROMANCE 2014, we’re looking for short stories (maximum 6,500 words) about men falling in love, being in love, having loved. The wooing and the winning, the blush of a crush, the details of a date, the rush of romance, as long as the emphasis is on romance.

Original stories, please. Payment $50 to $75 plus two contributor copies. Multiple submissions are okay in .doc or .rtf; include real name, pseudonym, address, and a 50-word bio, to bgromance2014@gmail.com



Note from Your Authoress: I'd meant to be posting these more regularly, but... excessive amounts of real life. Bad writer!