Sunday, 28 May 2017

Blood Brothers

I was at the Iron Maiden gig in London yesterday - the arena was packed, so despite the horror of the Manchester bombing last week people are not hiding at home.

And the band were most definitely getting their inclusivity on - a strong welcome for their fans of all religions, colours, genders and sexualities :-)

Friday, 26 May 2017

Erotic horror

Franz von Stuck: The Sin (1893) 

No, I'm not talking about the current state of publishing...

I was asked in an interview during my last blog tour what it was that I'd like to write but haven't done yet. And I said that I'd like to write some real erotic *horror* - not "dark fantasy", but no-holds-barred horror. Which would make for an, ahem, interesting combination with erotica, because there is WAY more (self-)censorship in the erotica genre. As a society we're far more scared of being corrupted by sex than by violence.

Anyhoo, this last week or so while I've been away from the blog I've been writing a longish short story which is definitely Erotic Horror. And should break several rules of good taste. And might be a bit triggery.

Also I visited my parents.

(No connection.)

Watch this space πŸ˜‰

Monday, 22 May 2017

Blue Monday: Emmanuelle de Maupassant guests

Every Monday I post a naughty excerpt for your entertainment!

Today's guest is Emmanuelle de Maupassant with an excerpt from her hot new novelette Viking Thunder - which is on sale now but also available FREE until the end of May.

A storm brings the Northmen’s ship ashore.

Elswyth struggles to remain independent, but cannot deny her sexual attraction to Eirik, nor the satisfaction she finds in his bed.

I saw the power of his body. His head almost touching the cross beam of the ceiling, his shoulders double the width of most men. His abdomen was hard, muscled. Most striking of all, his upper body was thickly patterned in dark blue-green patterns, interlocking, covering all his arms, as if he wore sleeves upon his skin. Designs stretched across his upper chest, and continued up his neck.

I’d never seen such a thing, such a man.

He smiled to see me look, and his cock gave a small leap. When he laughed, it was not as before, to command the approval of a crowd, but because the amusement was his.

Faline wasted no time. With a toss of her head, she stripped herself and climbed into my bed, pulling the soft furs to her neck. There was malice and mischief in her defiance.

Outside, the thunder rolled closer and, when Eirik spoke, it was as if his voice were a continuance of its resonance.


I was drawn to the strength of him, to the force of his body and the power that I knew was his.

Once close enough, his fingers pulled at the laces of my costume, dexterous, despite their size. One by one, the garments dropped, or were pulled over my head.

I shivered in my nakedness, feeling the touch of his eyes upon me, their roaming of my skin, and the nearness of his body.

My husband had been a perfunctory lover, interested only in his own satisfaction, and as likely as not to give me a clout about the head as he entered me. Moreover, his bedding was a quick matter, over almost as soon as it had begun.

My grandmother had told me that I must be patient. Love would grow with time and, with it, pleasure, but it had not.

I had no idea what it was to love. I had loved a dog we kept from a puppy, and the lambs I’d raised one spring, when their mother had abandoned them. I’d felt nothing of the kind for a man: not for my husband and not for this Northman. His arrogance was insufferable, yet I burned for him.

He knelt, pressing his mouth first to one breast and then the other, taking not only my nipple but the whole orb into his mouth. His warm tongue worked with his teeth, to pull and tease, sending a spasm through my cunt. His hands grasped my buttocks and I felt a rush of desire. His warriors had raped and killed and stolen, and yet I could think only of my need to feel him inside me.

And then he was lifting me in his arms, to lay me upon the bed, pushing my legs apart. His cock loomed above, and his balls, large and heavy. The muscles of my sex contracted in anticipation.

I’d quite forgotten about Faline, but felt now her hands upon my shoulders, pulling me further up the bed. I struggled, indignant, but she pinned me at the upper arms, placing her weight upon me.

Faline’s legs were open behind my head, so that I smelt her, active as she had been.

She exchanged a look with Eirik, one of knowing, of encouragement. Whether I liked it or not, she was to be the third in my bed and take her share.

I’d expected Eirik to push himself into me, to begin the fucking he must intend. I knew the sex act well enough. Instead, he raised my hips to his waiting mouth.

I’d never felt a man’s tongue inside me. I would have twisted away, but that he held me tight. His laughter hummed against my sex, and then he ran his tongue through my slit, finding the nub I would press when I lay still at night.

I sighed in longing, wrapping my legs about his head, drawing him down further. His tongue gave me more pleasure than my husband’s member had ever done.

What a strange thing for a man to do, I thought. For what enjoyment is there in this for him?

But enjoyment there must have been, for his mouth ate me as ravenously as the wolf will take a goose, feathers and all. And I, the goose, was only too willing to be devoured.  Such moans escaped me.

When he raised his face, I caught a glimpse of something darker: the desire to pursue his lust.

Keeping my hips raised to him, he aligned his cock to my gaping wetness, holding me firm beneath my buttocks. I felt the first nudge of his swollen head, and then he entered, as smooth and easy as a knife through freshly set butter.

A crack of lightning broke directly overhead, so bright that it lit through the gap around the door. A deep, resonant rumble of thunder filled the room.

“Thor is watching us,” gasped Eirik. “Beating his hammer across the heavens for all to hear.”

 He sank his cock into me once more.

“Hear Thor! He approves of our union.”

I opened to the length of him, his girth stretching me sweetly as it slid deep. His thrusts rolled into me, swivelling and grinding upwards, his cock pressing where I most desired it. His abdomen flexed with each stroke, and then he was bellowing, sending his cock on a final thrust of pulsing victory, filling me with his seed.

My voice began to rise, as I approached a place of searing pain and pleasure. I could not retreat. And then, I was no longer in the room but carried from my body, seeing white light. His head thrown back, Eirik gave a triple wolf howl and began to laugh.

I lay panting, light-headed, the world having been born anew.

Get Viking Thunder for free when you sign up to her newsletter!
Buy at Amazon US :: Amazon UK

Emmanuelle tells us, “This is my first foray into Viking territory and I can't begin to tell you how much fun it was. There are two things that turn me aflutter: one is brains (I've had a thing about clever old Sherlock since watching Basil Rathbone in the original black and white films); the other is pure physical brawn. Give me Conan the Barbarian, give me Ragnar and Rollo in the Vikings series, give me Chris Helmsley as Thor in the Marvel Comic films. There is something in me that responds, at the basest animal level, to physical, overpowering strength - the sort that comes from wielding an axe in battle. I want the throw down!

It was an utter joy to write my own Viking, Eirik. Of course, this being a romance, I've given him other qualities besides brute strength. My heroine discovers that he's not only a magnificent (and inventive) lover but is loyal to his men, and proud of his warrior heritage. 

‘Viking Thunder’ is a story of sexual awakening, independence and identity.

What else can I say? It features a whole lot of Vikings, and some volcanic-level sex!”

Emmanuelle de Maupassant on 
For news of steal and deals, recommended reads and Emmanuelle’s own interviews with other authors, sign-up for her newsletter

Friday, 12 May 2017


The Last Chapter by Robert Braithwaite Martineau (1863)

 I'm taking a week off the blog. Maybe I'll have found my writing mojo by the time I get back.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Interesting Times

Oskar Zwintscher: Grief (1898)

Well, 2017 is turning out to be The Year My Erotica Publishers Folded. First Ellora's Cave, at the very start of the year, then Samhain in March - and now Sweetmeats.

I am pretty depressed about this one. I loved the covers and production values at Sweetmeats, and I loved Named and Shamed - hands down the most wildly filthy novel I have ever written and made even more shocking by its interior illustrations by John LaChatte. It got 5/5 for story and 5/5 at BDSM Book Reviews!

It's still on sale at Amazon US and Amazon UK, though I don't know for how much longer.

Amazon US :: Amazon UK

Hopefully I'll get my rights back - no official word yet πŸ˜”

Monday, 8 May 2017

Blue Monday: Lea Bronsen guests

Every Monday I post a naughty excerpt for your entertainment!

Today's guest is Lea Bronsen, with an excerpt from her new release Fiery 10-16, a scorching firefighter tale of desire, abuse and bravery.

Runo Wiggins is a scarred man, the wounds etched into his psyche deeper than those on his skin. But he loves his job: fighting fires helps reenact his survival of a house fire as a teen, one that killed his mother and brutal stepfather.

Dawn Caravello is married to a psychotic drunk. She can take his beatings as long as he doesn't touch their children, and she'll do anything to put food on the table, even if it means stealing from the town hero.

When Runo meets the fiery Dawn, sparks fly. But he suspects she is victim of the same abuse as his mother was. As day turns to night, the past and the present blend in an exhausting, nerve-wrecking chase to prevent another death.

After everyone had left the showers, Runo found a folded towel on a shelf, wrapped it around his waist, and walked back to the empty locker room.

A silhouette appeared in the door.


So damn sexy in her black mold-to-her-body dress.

What did she want?

Her shiny gaze wandered down his chest and abs, and stopped at crotch level.


Holding his breath, he sat on a bench with his elbows on his knees and stared back.

She wanted him, but he should ignore it. She was going through emotional distress and might do something she’d regret later.

He still motioned for her to come over. They were both adults. Whatever happened, he would put on account of exhaustion. And the fact he’d been fired. That she’d left her husband. Nothing wrong with a little mutual comforting.

She obeyed, moves slow and cat-like, and sat on his lap.

He circled her slim waist with a hand and fisted her hair with the other, pulling her face down to his. Their open mouths collided. Driven by need, he sucked on her lip, then dove in, his tongue seeking hers. She smelled, tasted, and felt like fucking heaven, and he wanted more, more. Beneath the towel, his cock thickened and lengthened.

She took his hand from her waist and brought it to a breast. He weighed its fullness and firmness in his palm. Perfect. Needing to taste her warm skin, he reached for the top of her dress and tugged until the garment slid off her shoulder, exposing a hard, dark brown nipple. Enticing. He leaned forward to lick and suck the bud into his mouth.

She moaned and spread her legs, causing her dress to glide up her thighs. She took his hand again and brought it to her panties. Whew, so fucking hot and wet. He was on a roll, couldn’t stop. Mouth closed on her nipple, he continued to suck while diving two fingers inside her wet hotness. She clenched her inner muscles around him, jerked her head back, and let out another moan.

Loving that he could provoke such a reaction, he gazed at her sweaty face and grinned, relishing the sight of the aroused and astoundingly sexy woman on his lap. His inflated cock pushed against the towel; she had to feel it pressing beneath her thighs. With two fingers still pumping inside her, he moved his thumb to her clit and toyed, rubbed in circles. She writhed on his thighs, danced to the rhythm of his playing fingers, her moves so intense he had to hold her with his free arm so she didn’t fall off his lap. Her intoxicating scent of arousal drifted to his nose, enhancing his own building pleasure, and the rolling movements of her thighs rubbed the tip of his cock back and forth. Jesus, she was on fire. A pussycat on fire.

She whimpered, her breaths coming out harsh and short. “Harder. Faster. Please!”

He pulled out of her wetness, grabbed her tiny bundle of nerves with his thumb and index finger, and squeezed. In response, she shot her hips in the air and trembled. So near the edge. A little more—he dove for her breast, caught her nipple between his teeth, and bit. She came then, arching her back like a bent bow, mouth open in a silent scream.

Wanting to enjoy her climax to the fullest, he dipped a finger inside her convulsing pussy again. The contractions of her inner muscles combined with her rhythmic rubbing of his cock undid him. His balls tightened and hot cream shot through his rock-hard length in quick pulses. He had to be spraying through half the locker room. His mind blackened and he barely held back a groan.

“Wiggins!” the chief called from somewhere distant.

Oh, fuck.

“Quick.” Not having time to catch his breath, Runo pulled his finger out of Dawn and pushed her off his lap. “Go.”

She staggered to a corner and flattened her dress, moves panicky.

Seconds later, Captain Norton stood in the door. “There you are.” His cold and sharp voice cut through the awkward silence as he stared from Runo to Dawn.

Too tired for bullshit, Runo snapped. “What?”

“A Joe Caravello is asking for his wife.”

Buy Fiery 10-16 at:

Add the book to your Goodreads list!

Lea Bronsen says: I like my reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strive to give my own stories the same
intensity. After venturing into dirty inner-city crime drama with my debut novel Wild Hearted, I divide my writing time between psychological thriller, romantic suspense, and erotic dark/contemporary romance.

I love to hear from my readers! Write to or meet me on:
Website / Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon / Pinterest

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Good clean fun

I have no idea what they are talking about, because it's all in German. I am just  happy to watch Tom Wlaschiha (the Faceless Man) in the bath  😜
Gawd bless German TV!

Friday, 5 May 2017

"I saw this and thought of you"

Hah - I received this postcard from a friend. Glad to see that it's still perfectly okay to send pics of naked dudes through Her Majesty's Royal Mail 😈

The picture is "The Wrestlers" by William Etty, painted around 1838.

He also painted a notable angel picture!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Cleaning up your dirty bits

Jean-Leon Gerome: Femme Nue (1889)

I rarely post actual writing advice, because, like - what do I know? But here's my standard check-list for manuscript clean-up when I'm sending something in to editors.

NB: DOUBLE CHECK WHAT THE EDITOR ASKED FOR. Always follow instructions, even if they ask for everything in 8-point Comic Sans!

If no other guidance is available, this is what I do:

  • Select the entire manuscript and choose a single font, size 12, double-spaced - I work across several laptops so my manuscripts end up a mess of Calibri and Ariel.
  • Select entire manuscript and set the spellcheck language to US or UK English, depending on publisher.
  • Single and double quote marks - to avoid a mix of curly quotes and straight quotes, for the same reason as above:  [Find ' and Replace with '   then Find " and Replace with "]
  • Tabs - Editors HATE tabs. You should have an automatic indent set instead.  [Find ^t and Replace with nothing] Then check your manuscript to make sure you've not just got one HUGE paragraph now.
  • Em dashes    [Find - (space hyphen space), Replace with em dash:  ctrl + alt + [minus on the number pad]. Do it again, searching for  -- (two hyphens)]
  • Ellipses    [Find … (three periods) and Replace with ellipsis  (ctrl + alt + period)]
  • Double spaces (between sentences or words)    [Find (space)(space) and Replace with (space) Important! Repeat this until 0 instances are found!]
  • Trailing spaces at end of paragraph:    [Find (space)^p  and Replace with ^p]. Repeat until you get 0 results
  • Extra spaces at start of paragraph text:    [Find ^p(space) and Replace with ^p] Repeat until you get 0 results.

This doesn't take long at all, once you get used to it.

Now you're ready to spell-check.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Eyecandy Monday special: The Prison of the Angels preview

Every Monday I post a naughty scene for your entertainment!

Today's excerpt is a bit special. To mark my completion of The Prison of the Angels, here's a preview excerpt:

Jean Delville: L’AllΓ©gorie de l’Enfer, 1899

At that moment I heard Egan’s door thump open on the opposite side of the corridor. I caught my breath and braced myself for the crash of his fists on my own door.

Oh no. My dream. I was only dozing. I didn’t—did I?

But there was silence.

I sat hearing only the race of my own heartbeat. No accusations; not even the sound of his feet stomping away down the hall. Just silence.

What is he waiting for?


I pushed myself to my feet, pulled on a tank top shirt just long enough to afford me some decency, and went to the door. I could feel a trickle of sweat running down between my breasts. The handle felt slippery under my fingers.

Egan was standing on the other side of the door, one muscular arm braced against the frame, wearing nothing but the pair of gray briefs he’d presumably gone to bed in. The sight nearly sent me into meltdown then and there. His expression was grim, but not a word passed his lips. His pupils were still horribly dilated.

I searched his face for any sign of light, but saw none. It was the expression, I thought, of a man who had heroically fought the good fight against his inner demons—and lost. I took a step backward into my room and he followed me, pushing the door to behind him.

Are we going to fight? To kiss? To talk? I don’t want to talk. Not now. I want you to touch me.

We stood wordless in that dim yellow light, like we were stuck in amber.

Then I looked down. I wasn’t jiggling about naked in the snow now; just clad in a sleeveless top that was so tight my erect nipples drew a bar across the stretched cotton. Egan wore even less. And unless he had taken to smuggling a length of lead pipe sideways under his briefs, he was finding even that garment uncomfortably constricting. He loomed so close to me that I didn’t even have to step forward to put my hand on that imprisoned shaft and feel it kick against my palm.

Oh. He’s had enough of dreams and teasing. He needs sorting out. Now.

I looked up into his eyes, wondering if he would say anything, and wondering what I should say. But we’d run out of words, both of us.

Did he want me to carry on where I’d left off in the snow? To bend over the bed? He was hard and burning under my hand as I squeezed him through the soft cotton. Oh. Oh. Oh.

He stooped a little, just enough so that his cheek brushed mine, his breath on my ear and neck. I’m used to thinking of myself as tall and gangly, no delicate flower—but it suddenly came home to me how much bigger he was, so much muscle and bone. And that was before I recalled his history of extreme violence. It rather appalled me now to think how I’d had the gall to tease him; we’d shared rented rooms and a pup-tent and even a bed in our journeys together, and I’d never given him enough credit for his restraint, or his honor, or his kindliness.

He could have had me at any time.

Oh, that thought made me run wet.

I’d had my fill of taunting him, for the moment. Now I wanted to give him everything he needed. Keeping one hand on his Calvins and running the other down the glorious hard undulation of his torso, I sank to my knees until my hands could meet. My lips pressed the flat wall of his stomach. Then I slipped my fingers under the elastic of his briefs and pulled them down. His cock bounced free hard enough to give my face a hot, silky slap.

Oh you beauty…

I took him in my mouth, all the way, and I heard the quietest of sighs he uttered. That was all he did for a long moment; just stand there, almost motionless, as I sucked gratefully at his strong, beautiful length.

Then he touched my cheek. “Is that all you want?” he rasped.

No. Not all.

My mouth was too full to talk, so I shook my head. Only when I’d wrapped a hand firmly around his girth did I release him from my lips, and used my hand to pull him with me, step by step, as I crawled backward across the floor.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

The bums of Brum

Following on from my full-frontal reveal of Epstein's Lucifer, here are some more pics of  Slightly Naughty Art in and around the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. It's actually famous for its Pre-Raphaelite collection, but I'm afraid they all photographed very badly (and kept their clothes on).

Dhruva Mistry: The River (1993)
This one is in Victoria Square, along with a Gormley that couldn't help reminding me of bound angels...

Antony Gormley: Iron Man (1993)
Moving inside the Museum... this is ancient:

"Bronze figure of two gods," Northern Syria, Old Babylonian period, 1850-1750 BCE

But these are modern art:

Henry Moore: Warrior with Shield (1954)

Pablo Picasso: The Young Man (1958)
This vase is NOT modern, but it does have Gratuitous Boobies:

Gustave Joseph Cheret: The Fishing Season is Open (1890)
As does this:

William Russell Flint: Silver and Gold (1931)
And this has a Gratuitous Not-Even-Slightly-Symbolic Snake:

Alfred Gilbert: Athlete Wrestling a Snake

 Art feeds the soul 😜

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Short story news #2!

The Goddess Hel by Johannes Gehrts (1889)
 Woohoo - a second short story sale in a week!

My Viking gods erotic tale, Sweet Hel Below, has been accepted by Rose Caraway for her forthcoming collection The Sexy Librarian's Dirty 30, Vol.2


I am chuffed to bits!

It couldn't be a greater contrast to The Pier by Night announced last week - that was contemporary and naturalistic, this one is mythological with supernatural horror overtones. Hel being, of course, the Norse goddess of the unheroic dead, whose body is half-rotting corpse and half-living. Who does she get off with? Well, I thought, how about Baldur the Golden, most handsome of all the gods, who is sent into her realm when he's murdered?

Hotness and death, sex and horror - Isn't that a fine challenge for an erotica writer?

Well amazingly enough, Samantha MacLeod - completely independently and with no conferring -  had the urge to write about just this myth at pretty much the same time, and you can read about her upcoming take on it, Death and Beauty, including an excerpt, here. It's the zeitgeist, baby! πŸ’ž

Monday, 24 April 2017

Blue Monday: Ian Smith guests

Every Monday I post a naughty excerpt for your entertainment!

Today's guest is Ian Smith with a teaser from From the Top, which is Book 3 in his Merely
threesome romance series.

Paul, working with his lovers Becky and Hayley, feels deep-ended. He's acting in his first studio production—a slightly mad family-friendly TV show where amateur Egyptologists find a hidden tomb and temple, with a very realistic mummy on set.

They want to keep their developing three-way relationship private, while surrounded by people who love to gossip and just might let things slip to the media. Time is tight, working with a professional stunt team and egotistical actors is stressful, and Paul and Becky get some unwanted attention.

Adding to his anxiety is the important question of where their relationship can go.

Then there are his terrifying, painfully realistic, and very life-like dreams about nasty accidents. On TV, he can have another take. Real life only gives him one go. But it's almost as if he's getting a chance to change how things work out.

Sonny and Cher woke me up. Off the top of my head, I couldn't remember ever having heard "I Got You Babe" first thing in the morning before, and decided once was more than enough.

"Hate this fucking song," Becky mumbled from behind a veil of hair. She turned over and stretched an arm across my chest.

Hayley was face down beside me. She lifted her head and looked puzzled. "Time to get up already?" She flopped back onto the pillow and sighed loudly. Enough light spilled around the curtains for me to see her hair had spread out around her head. It tickled my face slightly.

I tried to rearrange my legs without disturbing either of my companions. We were staying with Becky, who, like Hayley, only had a standard double bed. Being several inches taller than it was long meant I had to sleep diagonally across it, keep my legs bent, or put up with my feet hanging over the end. When it had been just two of us, we'd coped comfortably. But three of us filled it. My leg muscles really wanted me to stretch them out before I lost all feeling below the waist.

"What's wrong with this song?" I asked.

"Boring and ancient. And he was a right bastard to Cher."

The song ended and was followed by a chirpy advert for a local car dealership.

"When's the taxi arriving?" Hayley mumbled.

"Around half eight," Becky said. She yawned and stretched. "It's from a fancy car and driver company."

She slipped out of bed and padded off to the bathroom. She knew I was watching her and did a bottom-wiggle in the doorway before she vanished from sight.

Hayley shuffled up against me, slid one of her legs over mine and stroked my calf with her foot. She reached across my tummy with one of her hands. "Think we can have a quickie before Becky gets back?"

"Have to go like the clappers," I said.

"Better get started, then." Hayley slid on top of me and I wrapped my arms around her.

"No bonking till I get back," Becky shouted from the bathroom.

Hayley and I kissed and writhed together, squashing my erection nicely between our tummies.

I heard the toilet flush and Becky's feet on the carpet as she hurried back, then what could only be a drawer being opened and closed. She joined us in bed, knelt beside my legs and leaned over Hayley.

Hayley squealed into our kiss and stiffened her body, then she started moving her hips around. I heard a quiet buzzing and realised Becky was teasing Hayley with a vibrator.

"That's evil," Hayley murmured.

"Yeah, yeah, where do you want it?" Becky asked.

"In me, on my g-spot, please."

I held Hayley and kissed her as she got closer and closer to her climax. Becky kissed and stroked Hayley's back, bottom, and the inside of her thighs.

"This is going to blow my mind," Hayley mumbled. She'd closed her eyes and her expression was very clear. She was already really close to coming.

"Didn't know vibrators got you this excited so quickly," I murmured.

"I woke up from a really sexy dream," she said, then gasped and bit her lip for a second. "All three of us rolling around for ages, then you were piling into me like there was no tomorrow."

Her whole body tensed and she opened her mouth in a silent scream, then cried out and twitched several times.

She relaxed and lay on me, breathing heavily. "I am officially dead from the neck down," she panted. "You two are to blame."

"Don't blame us," Becky said, then she leaned down and I felt her mouth slowly enclose the tip of my erection.

Hayley slid off me and rolled onto her side, then picked up the vibrator. She watched Becky taunt me for a few seconds, then made an effort to get to her feet. "Shit, my legs are wobbly." She moved around behind Becky, who spread her knees further apart. She moaned gently and I guessed Hayley had slid the vibrator along her cleft.

I relaxed and concentrated on the soft wetness of her mouth and her small, warm hand on my cock. From the speed of her movements and her tight grip around me, I thought she was trying to finish me off before she climaxed. I let myself go and came a few seconds before she did. She gulped and swallowed as I came, then let go of me, relaxed onto my tummy and gasped loudly as she climaxed. I'd opened my eyes in time to watch her face. I loved watching both of them as they came. Their expressions made me slightly envious of how relaxed they seemed and how intense their feelings were.

Buy From the Top at:

 Ian Smith says:
"I currently live and work in the south-western corner of the UK, but I’ve spent time in quite a few parts of the country over my life. My education and professional life have been very focused on science, so I've no idea where my interest in writing fiction came from is a mystery. But I have this quaint day-dream that it might become more than a hobby. Well, one day?

I like to write stories which are at least plausible, especially in the little details. So research has involved me doing a few odd-sounding things. Or maybe I use the odd things I’ve done for fun as retrospective research? I’ve learned the basics of the traditional British rural skills of dry-stone walling and hedge-laying, and spent a day getting an introduction to bushcraft. I've driven a tank, spent the night in a snow-cave I dug in the Cairngorms, flown in a hot air balloon, gliders and light aircraft,  and been for a walk with some nominally tame wolves. I took up archery as a sport after a taster session. And I spent a day doing some jousting. Honestly!"

Regular Facebook profile -
Amazon author page -

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Intervention needed

HEEEEEELP - My "to-read" pile has broken out of the bookcase and is taking over the windowsill!

Friday, 21 April 2017

The Archangel Lucifer

Yesterday I went to the city of Birmingham (UK) - not a place normally at the top of my wish-list, I admit. But I wanted to see Epstein's The Archangel Lucifer, which is prominently displayed in the City Museum and Art Gallery.

It is a truly spectacular bronze, with an interesting back-story. Jacob Epstein, one of the most important sculptors of the 20th Century, cast it in 1945, inspired by the proud Lucifer described in Milton's Paradise Lost. He reputedly used a male model for the body and a female one for the face, giving at an androgynous aura. It has a fine, fine ass!

But it was instantly controversial, not least because it is rather obviously well-endowed. Epstein considered the sculpture his finest work at the time, but couldn't sell it at exhibition. He tried to give it away to the V&A Museum and then the Tate Gallery in London, but neither wanted it. The Mayor of Birmingham stepped in to ask for it if it was going begging and it was duly gifted to what was frankly a provincial industrial city with little cultural status.

The BMAG remains slightly embarrassed about this artistic windfall. You'd have to hunt hard for any depiction of the statue on their website, despite the fact that it dominates the Round Room at the top of the main stairs. There is no souvenir of it on sale in the shop - not even a postcard.

Luckily they do let you take photos :-)