Brain Dump: January 2018

So, what’s on my mind? A LOT actually. But what I’m going to dump on you guys today is my decision to continue writing in the Dark & Bright world in 2018.

Some of you might be familiar with these characters as I’ve had two short stories picked up by HarperCollins UK and Torquere Press (republished on my own when they went under). Kayla/Erik were featured in Paranormal Erotica and Kayla/Monica in Turning Tables.

Kayla is a bisexual werewolf torn between the love of her alpha and her attraction for the female vampire elder of the coven she’s ambassador to. Whilst not touched upon in anything published (yet), Kayla’s story also centers on her coming to terms with realising her heart can love more than one person. Amongst other things like traitorous vampires and secrets and more.  (more…)

New Release | Sacred and Profane: Priest Erotic Romance

Sacred and Profane - OUT NOWTen stories of temptation, romance, and blasphemy featuring Sonni de Soto, Piper Denna, Torrance Sené, Charlotte French, Bronwyn Green, Leandra Vane, Mira Stanley, Jordan Monroe, H K Carlton, and Jillian Boyd.

Not even men of the cloth are exempt from God’s greatest gift: Love. In Sacred and Profane: Priest Erotic Romance, you’ll find stories of clergymen stepping outside their vows, pastors weaving divinity into their seductions, nuns and parishioners confessing to their body’s every earthly desire, and more.

Are you aroused by the blasphemous dance of sex and religion? The dangerous edge of eroticism contained within submission to something beyond oneself? The taboo juxtaposition of holy and sensual? Then Sacred and Profane welcomes you. (Published by Sexy Little Pages)

Order the bookAmazon US  (Print) | Amazon UK (Print) | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords
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New Release – Love of the Game: Sport Stories To Make You Sweat


So happy to be included in this print & digital anthology! I won’t be able to attend due to work, but do stop by the Facebook Launch Party and say hello to the other contributors!

Love of the Game

Release Date: 18 October 2016
Publisher: Sexy Little Pages
Features my story: “In Reverse”

BlurbLove of the Game will knock you out with a one, two punch of super sexy. From rugby players who can’t leave their passion on the pitch to Paralympians with everything to prove, these athletes are certainly playing for keeps.

Warm yourself up with stories of:

  • Football: Where college stars and former NFL hopefuls are ready to go long.
  • MMA Fights: Where participants get rough and tumble both inside the ring and out.
  • Baseball: Where the boys of summer can score by making it big or completely striking out.
  • Swimming: Where diving into bed with teammates or rivals is taboo, but oh so tempting.

…And so much more. Whatever sport you’re a fan of, Love of the Game is certain to make you sweat.

With contributed stories by Rebecca Chase, Josie Jordan, Anabeth Leong, Hannah Lockhardt, Megan McFerren, Jordan Monroe, Gregory L. Norris , CM Peters, Val Prozorova, Torrance Sené, and SB Wolfe.

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Add it to your Goodreads!

What I Hate About Writing

I love being a writer. It’s my passion. But even then, it’s not always peachy keen krispy kreme. (I have no idea; just go with it.) Below are the top 5 things that annoy me about writing. This post was so cathartic to write, by the way. I’m just saying. Here we go!

1. Writing Is Hard

Real talk. It’s super easy to string words together to make a somewhat coherent sentence. Super. Easy. Toddlers can do it. However, it’s hard as hell to plot, build arcs, make sure characters are developing right, and so on. It can, for me at least, be a mental drain that zaps me. As a ghostwriter as well as writing for myself, I’m usually juggling a handful of storylines and plots, spending hours a day going between projects, and by god, you can burn out like a motherfucker. Speaking from personal experience here.

I officially give you permission to slap non-writerly people in the face with a trout next time they claim writing is easy and that you just spend all day living like Stephen King.

2. It’s Difficult to Get Noticed

There are a lot of times I feel like I’m just another plain fish in the sea, indistinguishable from all the others. Friends will sing my praises and demand more of my work, but there are times when no one is reading what I write. (Read: the majority of the time.) You can’t really blame them when you step away from writing mode and enter reading mode because there are SO many books out there. So many. I will never even finish reading all the books I own before I die, how can we really expect to earn a place on other people’s reading lists?

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s one we all must accept. We won’t all be a success, unfortunately. You may be the next best thing to J.K. Rowling, but there’s no guarantee that anyone will ever care.

3. Writing Is Often Lonely

Because we work with imaginary people who reside in our minds, writers usually work alone. Yes, there are writing groups and online forums, but we mostly work on our own. And for me personally, as a shy introvert with social anxiety, I don’t really have a lot of local people to be around when it gets tough. So there are times where I struggle. Writing is mentally taxing; again, eff anyone who says different.

I’m also of the opinion that we really need a support group to truly help our writing flourish. Everyone loves praise and feedback. I know I do lol 😀 I also work better when I can bounce ideas off someone. (PS: Writing can be boring as hell sometimes. Not many will admit it, but yeah.)

4. Perfectionism Kills the Mood

This is a BIG one for me. I have a Type A/Capricorn rising/anal retentive personality. I believe, deep in my bones, I need to have everything perfectly plotted and have all the characters and motivation forms filled out before I begin. I have to follow a procedure to achieve the perfect story. I feel this so much so that it stifles me and holds me back. I don’t give myself permission to write a shitty ass first draft. And if I do happen to let myself go, I beat myself up for it because it’s shit. It’s a vicious cycle.

If you don’t give yourself space to suck, you won’t make any progress. Seriously. My debut full-length novel is just sitting there in Scrivener with only a third finished because of this. Don’t be me. (Don’t worry I will finish it.)

5. Marketing Is Time Consuming

One of the draws of traditional publishing is that you have someone on your side to help you promote (sort of) and it’s included in your deal. We don’t get that as self-published authors. You have to organise it all. You have to pay for it or someone else to do it. You have to spend hours alongside the hours you spent writing to try and get people to read your work without sounding like a self-centred asshole. Add in families and day jobs and social lives ugh. I need a nap, and I don’t even have a family to take care of.

Other ladies!

How I Create My Characters

This week’s Wednesday topic is all about character creation. I don’t really have a definite method I use because how I go about this varies from story to story, but I’ve tried to put things into somewhat of a coherent fashion. Be sure to check out the other ladies’ blogs after reading mine 🙂

FTC Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

How I Create My Characters

Gather Inspiration

I usually begin with visuals. A pretty face will catch my eye, and I’ll feel the pull to create a character based on that person’s appearance. Basically like a casting director will cast someone… except I usually only have a vague idea of a story prior to the face. Secret Pinterest boards typically come into play here as I gather aesthetics and the vibe I want. I’ll also build a playlist for the story and compile lyrics that remind of the vague character in my mind. A name usually crops up at this time as well.

Create a Basic Backstory

Now, I work semi-pantsy style (with first drafts at least) so I normally jump right in and develop a backstory as I go along. But sometimes all of that—or most—will come to be before I even begin the story. This is your typical fare of a character dossier. What they do for a living, favourite colour, where they live, their family, religion, hobbies, personality traits, fashion sense/style, and so on and so forth. After a first draft has begun, however, that’s when I start to add in more details to flesh them out and make them more real.

Fiddle with Dialogue

I love dialogue. Loooooove it. More often than not, stories and characters begin for in lines floating around in my head. Usually sassy or snarky lines. Probably due to being a Gilmore Girls junkie and a regular sassy pants myself, but it is what it is. How a character speaks is definitely a part of their personality.

Add Dimension

One book that I absolutely adore and swear by is Nancy Kress’s Characters, Emotion, and Viewpoint: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Dynamic Characters and Effective Viewpoints. When I was a baby sprout of a writer, this book really helped me create fully-fleshed characters. I still refer to it today.

I’m also a big believer in the Goal, Motivation, Conflict (GMC) method of building a character-driven plot that was devised by Debra Dixon. Once I start losing speed on the first draft, here’s where I’ll start to pick apart at a character’s motivations, wants, needs, and such to really get deep into them and find out what drives their choices.

Annnnnddd that’s all folks! Just a really simple way of tossing together a person. Being a god is fun 😉

Other Ladies!