Saturday, April 28, 2007


I'm off for the next couple of weeks as we're going on holiday. Two whole weeks walking in the Lake District - bliss! Hopefully I'll come back with a few ideas for stories, and with my batteries well and truly re-charged.

Speak to everyone when I get back!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Freebie story

Those of you who visit my website regularly know that I always have one free short story available, which I change from time to time. Not nearly often enough, I hear you cry *grin* but at last I've got a new one up. It's called 'Cut and Blow', it's about a haircut with a difference, and it recently featured in the Torquere Press Spring Egg Hunt, for a couple of days over Easter. For those of you who missed it, now's your chance. Pop along to my website and follow the links - and I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Where did that come from?

Last week I was struggling to concentrate on my writing, mostly because there was a lot else going on, partly because it was nice weather and I wanted to be outdoors!

However, on Friday afternoon I suddenly sat down at the computer and banged off 2,500 words on a rent-boy story that I've been fiddling with on and off for years. I have absolutely NO idea where the inspiration came from - I hadn't even been thinking about the story lately. Still, I'm not complaining; I've started the story from scratch in a completely different style and so far it's reading a lot better as a result. Long may the inspiration last, wherever it comes from!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Finance gripe

So, I see from today's news that the pound has broken the $2 barrier for the first time since about 1992.

I'm not ecstatic about this. One, I get paid in dollars by my publishers and now each payment will be worth less. And two, I have a cheque from Howarth Press sitting on my desk which I need to pay into my bank account. If the value in pounds is less than half the value in dollars, and the bank charges to accept foreign currency, there's going to be nothing left.


Hmm. I wonder how hard it is for one person to reverse the trend? >.<

Bent lizard?

No, not a bendy lizard, but a lizard in BENT magazine - or, more accurately, my short story The Lizard King which has been accepted to appear in Issue 4.

The story is based on the Russian version of the old 'frog princess' fairy tale and is deliberately written as a modern fairy tale itself. It tells the story of three brothers who still live at home, until their parents lose patience and give them one call each on a mobile phone to find their true love and move out. All goes well until Patrick, the youngest of the three, dials the local pet shop and has to pretend he wants to buy a lizard.

The story should be available in mid-May but I'll keep everyone posted as soon as I have a definite date.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Teaser from my Teaser

I thought it was about time I posted a little excerpt from my Torrid Teaser, which is a collection of two longish short stories, one about a mountain rescue squad and the other involving a telephone sex chat line. This is from the latter, called 'Crossed Wires'. The hero, Reuben, is an undercover cop working on the chat line to track down a dangerous gang. In order to get information on the other employees he starts 'pumping' his colleage Jim - in both senses of the word. :D


He reached for Reuben's mug and plunked it on a convenient table, and set to work. "I was right about those muscles," he said some time later, having removed most of Reuben's clothes. "You're gorgeous."

"Thought you liked 'em big and dark like Ned." Reuben still wasn't certain he wanted this to happen. Work was work, but it felt too much like cheating.

"Oh, I do. But variety is the spice of life, as they say. And you're definitely spicy. Gingery skin, cinnamon hair..."

"And a triple vindaloo temper to match," Reuben said, pushing the image to its own ridiculous limits. "Never realised you were such a poet."

"Come here and I'll show you just how poetic I can be." Jim walked his fingers across Reuben's chest, circling a nipple en route, and down his stomach to the elastic of his briefs. He cupped his palm over the material for a second before dipping inside, only to draw back again, disappointed. "Somebody down there isn't very pleased to see me."

"Give him a chance, he's getting there," Reuben said, and consigned the unknown Ned to the devil. It wasn't as though the bloke was about to spring out of the wardrobe and catch them red-handed. So why not sit back and enjoy the delights on offer? He wrapped a hand in Jim's hair and pulled him close enough to kiss, and by the time they broke for air, his cock was taking more of an interest.


You can find out more about the book at my website, or at the Whiskey Creek Press - Torrid web page.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Not so distant

Publication of my short story The Visitor in the sf/romance anthology 'Distant Horizons' has just moved a step closer. Previously the title has been listed as 'tentative' by the publisher, Howarth Press, but now they've taken the step of paying the contributors which means it's confirmed.

The listed date of publication is still not until winter 2007/2008 which is a long time to wait but hopefully it'll be worth it. As far as I know nobody else has published a romantic (as opposed to erotic) sci-fi anthology before and I'm looking forward to reading the other stories.

More news as and when I get it.

Friday, April 06, 2007

It's up!

Cut and Blow is available right now on the Torquere Spring Egg Hunt. The eggs change every couple of days so don't miss your chance to read this fun (and completely free!) little story.

Enjoy, and happy Easter!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Strapline contest

There are advantages to being a writer. Hubby's company are going through a re-branding exercise at the moment and have decided to run a staff contest to come up with a new strapline. Hubby took one look at the contest guidelines and handed the whole thing over to me saying, "Here, this looks more like your sort of thing." Not bad when the prize is a weekend away for two!

Advertising copy isn't my strong point, but I grubbed about with the company's key areas of achievement, expertise etc and came up with about half a dozen straplines, one of which I like very much. Closing date is the end of next week, I think, so I'll be nagging hubby to get them sent in before that. Then I sit and wait, and hope, and plan where we'll travel to, *if* I win. ;)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I liked this picture so much...

The new background on here is from my MySpace page and was originally a MySpace template from pimp-my-profile. I fell in love with it because it seems perfect for my writing - romantic but with a hint of darkness, sadness or other-worldliness. And of course, the rose is perfect for Roses in December too!

So, after much hard work and hitting of head on desk, I've managed to isolate the background and incorporate it into both this blog and my website. I'm absolutely delighted with the results and would like to say 'thank you' to those clever people at pimp-my-profile.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Five things

Five totally random things you didn't know (and may not have wanted to) about me:

1) I'm descended in a more-or-less direct maternal line from Sir Thomas More, who was bumped off in 1535 by Henry VIII.

2) I grew up in a small town north of Liverpool which has one of the last remaining red squirrel sanctuaries in England.

3) I love Russian Orthodox music, even though it makes me cry.

4) The furthest north I've ever been was just above the Arctic Circle, off the north coast of Iceland. The furthest south is Tenerife.

5) The flat I lived in before I was married was haunted, even though it was newly built.


The internet is a fluid environment. Sites come and go, friends start up one blog and transfer it to another, or run off after the next new shiny (mentioning no names *coughMyspacecough*). All of which means my sidebar was hopelessly out of date, with more broken links than a century-old bicycle chain.

So today I've finally got round to updating it. I booted off various dead sites and blogs that hadn't been updated since the year dot, and replaced them with some relevant, working links - including several to writers such as Ansley Vaughan and Cassandra Kane who write in a similar style to me, and might be interesting to readers who like my books.