Monday, 31 October 2011

Eyecandy Monday

Gah - the clocks have gone back. I need something happy to see me through the long darkness...

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Cover art: Heart of Flame

Yes - here it is! The cover for my romantic Arabian Nights fantasy, Heart of Flame. It's due out as a Samhain e-book on 

December 20th 2011

and is scheduled to appear in paperback on November 6th 2012.

I hope you like the cover! - this is about the 4th version we went through.
Personally I think the model for my hero Rafiq is steaming HOT and I'm bloody delighted.
(And yes, they do go to Bukhara, in the story, for those who recognise the cityscape...)

Friday, 28 October 2011

Stepping up a gear

I've been working my ass off this week (sorry, should have looked for a picture of an ass, shouldn't I?). I've subbed a short story, plus done all the edits on Heart of Flame (cover to be revealed SOON, I promise!), and today I've got backcover copy to do for, ahem, "another novel," which I can't tell you about YET but I'm expecting the edits for that to land on my desk any day too. And hopefully there will then be a big announcement with balloons and champagne and everything, as a whole new imprint is born...

Thank the gods for Change Manager. The days of covering galley prints with post-it notes and scrawl in different coloured inks have gone forever.

It rather looks like I'm going to have to keep this up, though. I've got one more short story to sub by December, but thankfully that's already written. The big task is, I promised Named and Shamed to a publisher by the end of the year and I'm only halfway through. It's going well, but holidays and various friends (you know who you are!) have been leading me astray down the primrose path and I've fallen behind schedule.

40K in two months? Eeeeeeek.

So if I'm not around commenting on your blogs or answering mail it's because I'm trying to work. Sorry! And if I am around, give me a smack and send me back to my laptop :-)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Peru : the Living

[CREEPY-CRAWLY WARNING! Don't look down!!]

So I thought I'd share some pictures of cute and fuzzy animals that I took on holiday in Peru.

See? Cute and fuzzy!
It's a Chicken Tarantula ... so called because they kill chickens. It lives in rodent holes in the Amazon forest. The rain forest has an appalling number of arthropods, many of which take it in turns to be VERY LOUD right round the clock. We saw lots of Army Ants - the trick is never to stand still without checking the ground at your feet - but the really scary one is the Bullet Ant, which is a fast lone ant less than an inch long. It has that name because being bitten by one hurts like being shot.  We were scared of those...

This is a Spectacled Cayman. They live in rivers and aren't dangerous.

Capybara - they are always attended by cow-birds.

This the Stinky Bird - the Hoatzin. It's about the size of a chicken and is just amazing. Its chicks are born with claws on their wing-joints, like dinosaurs. If threatened they jump into the river, swim away underwater and use their claws to climb back up low-hanging branches.

Away from the jungle and up in the Andes, this is one of the Condors we saw. They come up out of the Colca Canyon, where they nest, at about 8am, riding thermals and gradually getting higher until they can fly off to go scavenging on the high sierra. We were very very lucky with condor-watching and saw at least seven that morning. They were happy to come within a few yards of us.

There are several members of the camel family in Peru. These are Vicunas, the wild version. They live at high altitudes.

Alpaca are bigger with cute snub noses. They're domesticated animals used for meat and fleece and come in lots of different colours.

Llamas (which are tall with roman noses) are used for meat (tough), carrying stuff and luring tourists. I think it's a Black-Chested Buzzard Eagle she has on her head.

For fans of small fuzzy mammals - the wild Vizcacha, which looks like a rabbit but has a long fluffy tail. They climb all over the ruins at Machu Picchu :-)

And I had to include some tree pictures in this post. This is the Walking Palm, which shuffles ent-like across the landscape at about 10cm a year.

And for all you fans of dodgy-looking vegetables out there ... the Erotic Palm. I don't make this stuff up! Considered an aphrodisiac by the people of the Amazon, who clearly still hold with the doctrine of signatures.

Coming up - Peru: the Dead ... a mummies post :-)

Monday, 24 October 2011

Eyecandy Monday

I just love her tattoos and blue hair. I think Alt Girls are wonderful :-)

Sunday, 23 October 2011


Today I shall mostly be On a Quest to Overcome the Powers of Evil.

I have 2 hitpoints and can't wear my glasses. This'll work...

Friday, 21 October 2011

Romance for Men

This is interesting: Ellora's Cave have opened a new line in romance novels - aimed at male readers. How about that?

Of course, men have been covertly sneaking reads of female-oriented romance books since the beginning of fiction (and quite a few have written for the genre), but I'd be very interested to see if it's viable way of marketing. Will men own up to buying romances? I can't begin to guess what the covers will look like, for a start!

Full details are here, but there are two statements in the guidelines that raised my eyebrows. Authors apparently need to change the standard style to concentrate on:
  • More of what men want or need from women: sex, love, acceptance, admiration, dirty talk; less of what they don't need (judgment, drama, expectation of anticipating woman's needs).
 And to
  • Remember that sex is largely visual and verbal for men (for women, it is mainly mental and emotional).
Well, I'm shocked. According to this measure I am, yet again, proved to be a man.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Darkest Peru

Tastes like Vimto

Peru: it's really big. Not just across, but up-and-down, and then-and-now. You can visit islands where wars were fought over who got to own the birdshit:

You can drive across arid desert for hours, were no rain has fallen in a thousand years to wash away the giant prehistoric graffiti,

or go up (and up and up) and inside an hour switch from blistering heat to glacier country.

 You can visit islands made of reeds, floating on a chilly lake on the roof of the world,

and then drop back down again into Amazonian rain forest that is just indescribably hot and muggy. And heaving with bugs.

And Peru is full of Stuff. Lots of this Stuff is actually left over from the ancient Incans, who - as well as inventing yellow cola - were famous for their astonishing stonework. They littered the place with fabulous citadels like this:

This wall, still standing despite 500 years of earthquakes, was carved without iron tools and laid without mortar. Every one of those huge stone fits the next to within a milimeter.

That much focus is only possible if you are on coca - which is still perfectly legal there. We drank a lot of coca tea to combat altitude sickness. Well, that was our excuse.

Tastes just like green tea

This is me sandboarding on my belly down a desert dune. That was SO much fun! Yet another failure to act my age...

Tastes like grit

And of course, here I am at Machu Picchu - yes, I had to get the classic photo. See that sheer hill behind the ruins?

 I climbed that! :-)

Monday, 17 October 2011

Eyecandy Monday

I don't seem to be able to get off this "back" theme!
Well, back and bum, let's be honest.

Peru photos on Wednesday, I promise :-)

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Friday, 14 October 2011

My brief modelling career

Picture by David Woolfall. All rights reserved.

So ... a complete stranger e-mails you and says, Hi, I'm a photographer and I'm doing a project taking pictures of women writers of erotica. Want to take part? Where shall we meet?

What would you do? Well, if you're me you scratched your head and thought, Hmmm. Wonder if he's on the level. Dodgy lot, photographers.

Then you arranged a chaperone.

And it turned out that David Woolfall wasn't dodgy at all but really nice and decent and he sat me up a tree outside Pizza Hut and took photos for nearly an hour. It was fun - surprisingly exhausting too - and I've got some pics of me I'm truly proud of. Very happy!
I'm also slightly ashamed for having as many bad preconceptions about photographers as most people do of erotica writers. Eeeh, you've got to laugh.

If you want to see his portraits of Jacqueline Applebee and Kay Jaybee and K D Grace and a bunch of others including me, the portfolio is up on David Woolfall's website under "images" and and then "current projects", or there's a direct link here.


Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Oh dear, I'm late. I woke up and thought I felt like re-reading one of my stories from Dark Enchantment. Just one. Hah. Lost in my own book ... how embarrassing ;-)

Anyway, I thought I'd give you a peek at the story I wrote while I was on holiday, so that you can comprehend the horror and madness that arises out of not having a word processor. Everything on the left page is the actual story, everything on the right page is later corrections and additions.

Then I had to type it up. Yeurgh.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Eyecandy Monday - get back

Well, she said: I'm back ... with a  thousand photos to sift (be patient, my sweetlings), a head full of Foreign Stuff, and a gut full of unco-operative bacteria. Heh. Another successful holiday. Although I never got to see any of the Moche erotic pottery, curses.

I did however manage to write a short story while I was away. Longhand. On PAPER. Who could believe it?

Here are some more rather attractive backs:

And here's the new cover for Bound By Lust, the forthcoming Shanna Germain BDSM anthology that includes my story Being His Bitch:

(Full author lineup here.) Woohoo! Back soon!