Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Vampires in Cornwall on the Hump Day Hook #HDH

Today on the Hump Day Hook I share with you an excerpt from my debut novel Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel). This is a scene between Jessica Stone and Marcus Scott (whose story you read in The Darkness of Love), on the evening when they first meet…

      Marcus reached up to stroke my hair and I was suddenly alert, sobered by this inappropriate behaviour.  I tried to push him away.  
    “Marcus please, I’m with Jack,” I said in a shaking voice, “I don’t know what you are expecting.”
    “Shush Jessica.” he replied, “Jack won’t mind.  Trust me.”  
     He leaned his face in against me, and his body was firm and heavy.  He was too strong for me to move.  I tried to struggle but he pinned my arms at my sides.  Now I was starting to panic.  I raised my voice but was suddenly hoarse, maybe from the alcohol. 
     “Marcus stop!” I cried, “Please stop, you’re hurting me!”
     I was suddenly in a blind panic as he lifted his head, his face pale, and his eyes wild.  He opened his mouth and I tried to scream.  He was going to bite me!  

If you enjoyed this one, why not pop over to our dedicated Hump Day Hook blog and see what my fellow authors have to offer. We write about romance, love, science fiction, fantasy, erotica and everything in-between, so you are sure to find something that delights the senses. You can also find us on Facebook. Happy Humping!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Why Do I Write Paranormal Stories?

I have always had a fascination with the world of the supernatural and paranormal.  As a child I loved reading ghost stories and watching TV documentaries. Strange But True was one that I remember as a favourite, and one of the few that I was allowed to watch.  My all-time favourite Hollywood films include Ghostbusters 1 and 2 and The Addams Family trilogy.  When I was old enough I wasted no time in watching Hammer Horror classics and whatever horror films I could get my hands on!  My dissertation at university was about vampires in popular culture and their presence in society today.

I have always been a bookworm. My early favourite stories were usually of the fairytale variety, adventure stories by Enid Blyton, and fantastical fictional feasts by Roald Dahl. As I grew older and began to discover the new world of Young Adult (as then uncategorised in popular fiction), I was excited to find that there were hundreds of books about vampires, werewolves, witches and other supernatural creatures. In my cultural circle these sorts of stories were very much relegated to childhood reading, and I was encouraged to ‘get real’ as I grew up.

What does it mean to ‘get real’ anyway? The paranormal world is very much alive and thriving, even if people prefer to think of it as fiction or fantasy. The very fact that all of these stories exist makes them real. Fans of popular television series such as True Blood and The Vampire Diaries will agree that to them the characters and stories are also very real. It is simply an exaggerated form of reality, something that might happen in a parallel universe or alternate reality. And that is probably why I write paranormal stories. I love the freedom, the possibility, and yes, the romance, of the creatures and characters that come to me.

Have you tried the Redcliffe novels yet? Maybe you should…

*Strange But True image courtesy of Britmovie; Monsters image courtesy of Digital Art Gallery

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Hump Day Hook Returns with a Bite! #HDH

I am very happy to rejoin the Hump Day Hook crew this month, and what better time of year to showcase my beloved creatures of the night? Today I share with you an excerpt from my latest novel The Darkness of Love

           Marcus stirred slowly.  He blinked and opened his eyes, wondering what had happened and where he was.  His mind was strangely empty.  He did not feel drunk, and he did not feel ill.  But he wasn’t sure what these strange sensations were.  He was lying on a sofa.  He sat bolt upright when he realised it was in Lord Stockton’s study.  He sensed another presence in the room, and his eyes alighted on the still figure of Amelia Richmond, watching him from her seat on the adjacent sofa.  She was smiling, and Marcus’ heart skipped a beat and started pounding.
          “My Lady,” he gasped, leaping off the sofa, “Why am I here?  What happened?”
           Amelia continued to stare at him.  There was something unnatural about the way she sat, something inhuman.  Slowly, Marcus remembered what had happened.
           “I drank his blood,” he whispered, touching his lips, “He is a monster.”

If you enjoyed this one, why not pop over to our dedicated Hump Day Hook blog and see what my fellow authors have to offer. We write about romance, love, science fiction, fantasy, erotica and everything in-between, so you are sure to find something that delights the senses. You can also find us on Facebook. Happy Humping!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Inspiration Hits at the Worst Possible Time #amwriting

Picture the scene: it is late morning, and I have finally made it into the shower after chasing my two young children for the past three hours. The baby is asleep, the older child is amusing herself with a quiet game. I breath a sigh of relief, step into the steaming jet of water, and lather up my shampoo. And that is when it happens. Something clicks into place, a flash of inspiration darts across my mind, and suddenly I have the most fantastic idea for a series of blog posts that might, just might, bring in enough readers and sharers to actually sell some books! Hallelujah! I have to write them down, now, this minute, before I forget.

But wait, I'm all soapy. I only just got in the shower, and if I go rampaging around the house like a mad thing, the dog will start barking, the baby will wake, and all will be lost. So I stop. I take a deep breath, I hold on to those inspirational thoughts, and then I hurriedly finish off with my shower. Diving out of the bath, I wrap the towel around me, hurry downstairs, find my notebook, and finally the words are recorded. Now I will not forget. Now, I have ideas. Phew! Oh, and there would have been a post-shower selfie to accompany this post if I had my mobile phone. But I don't. That is a long story involving my baby, my smartphone, and a concrete floor. You can guess what happened next...

See you next time! #amwriting

Friday, 10 October 2014

A Creative Mind filled with Ideas. I Just Need to Write it Down!

Recently I am falling into the classic trap of the writer; I am procrastinating even though I have a deadline looming and a head full of ideas for story fillers. I don't know why I am doing this. The deadline in question is not fixed by contract, so that is part of the problem. It is simply the deadline for a short story competition that I want to enter. So why can't I actually write it? I mean, I even have the rough thing written down in diary form, because the idea comes from a personal experience a few years ago. I don't understand what my problem is!

I have notebooks filled with scrawled snippets to be included in future stories. My head is scrambled because the words are desperate for release. I sit down at my computer with the intention of writing, and somehow I distract myself with social media, and emails, and blogs, and every other little piece of the puzzle that fit together to form the life of the 21st century indie author. And then I am interrupted at frequent intervals to deal with my children, or my dog, or do that little household chore that I've been meaning to do all week... and the list goes on.

How do I move on from this? How can I stop myself from procrastinating when I know I should be writing? I need to be strict. I need to time my writing schedule more effectively so I don't get interrupted by needy children. I need to do a whole lot of things to make it all work. But you know what? Right now it doesn't matter. The stories will come when they are ready. They are always there, always waiting. Some days they force their way out, and on those occasions I embrace the mood and simply write. That is just how I work. How do you work? Do you procrastinate, or do you just write?

Monday, 6 October 2014

My Favourite Season for Writing Inspiration

There is something very magical about October. I can only put it down to the fact that we celebrate Halloween at the very end of the month. Here in the UK there has never been much of an emphasis on celebrating this festival, but of course we have absorbed some of the American influences in popular media over the years. For me, Halloween has always been special, but as a child I never really understood why. I just knew that I wanted to meet the ghosts and spectres that everyone was so afraid of!

Well, my dreams were realized when I became a ghost hunter several years ago, and now my curiosity has been satisfied. But I don't think Halloween (or Samhain for my pagan friends) is the only reason I enjoy October. This is the time of year when summer gives way to autumn, Mother Nature displays a riot of colours and textures, and the weather takes on a refreshing chill of an evening. Yes, I admit, the dark mornings and early nights are a bit difficult to get used to, but even those increase the excitement, as I am reminded that we are creeping closer to Christmas and all the upcoming festivities we have planned.

All in all, it makes a perfect recipe for writing paranormal stories, and discovering the adventures of my vampires, witches and werewolves in Cornwall and beyond... Is this your favourite time of year? Why do you prefer to write, create or otherwise rejoice in the autumn/fall season?

Monday, 29 September 2014

Help! My Novel Needs a Title!

I need some help people! My manuscript for the fourth Redcliffe novel is progressing speedily now that I am back in the groove, but at the moment it still doesn't have a title. Now I am not too concerned at present, because I have a long way to go before the book is ready to publish. However, I sort of feel the need to give it a name. It needs an identity of its own, and not just Redcliffe book 4, as I currently refer to it as. Can you help?

OK, so, where do we start? I think about how I named my first three novels in the series. Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel) was named almost from the start of writing it really. I got the name from that classic rock ballad by the band Nazareth. It seemed to fit somehow, and for those of you who read the book, you may remember the sneaky reference I put in there...

Moving on from that, I chose Love Kills (A Redcliffe Novel) as the title for my second novel because it was just right. Again, I liked the short, sharp header, and it is appropriate for the content of the story. Finally, my third novel Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel) also came naturally. Once I named the first book in the series and knew that I was writing two more, it was easy to pick titles. They all had to connect, and they all reflect the themes of the stories.

Now I have a dilemma. Do I choose a title for book 4 that also includes the word 'love' or do I move away from that? You see, the first three novels form a trilogy, but now I plan to write another three in the series. They may form a separate trilogy, I am not sure, so perhaps I can move on to a new theme. However, they follow on with the story that emerged in Love Redeems, and so I need some sort of correlation I think. I don't know! If you can help, please do... I await your suggestions and advice.