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Game of Thrones (Or.. How to Confuse the Hell Out of Lexxie)

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Okay, so I’ve become a little obsessed with this show. I have to admit, I haven’t read the books by  George R. R. Martin on which this television series is based (which is quite suprising seeing as I’ve read just about every other amazing high-fantasy series out there) but damn, I’m thinking I may have to go buy them now. If you don’t know what Game of Thrones is, in nut shell, its a bloody brilliant show from HBO set in a medieval realm of knights and courts and egotistical kings and plotting family members. It’s totally awesome, amazingly acted, brilliantly realised and so damn complicated with its political machinations I need a Viewer’s Guide open beside me at all times.

Every episode, my husband and I need to consult the Guide to figure out who is deceiving who, which family is sworn fealty to which family, who killed who, who impregnated who and who is going to sleep with who next.

There’s a dwarf with a wickedly sharp intellect who proudly calls himself the Imp…

The Imp

twin brother and sister lovers (yeah, you heard me correctly)…

Brother and sisterly love...

a vacuous-seeming blonde who is far more clued-in than she appears…

Not as blonde as she would have you believe...

foolish kings, secretive eunuchs, traitors, horse warriors, dire wolves and a constant hinting at truly high-fantasy stuff like dragons and “wildlings”…

Wild eyes, eh.

And in amongst it all is Sean Bean, being noble and honest and just.

Ned Stark. Oh, so noble...

Honestly, if you don’t watch this show, start. Even if fantasy isn’t your thing, watch it anyways. The political intrigue alone will drive you mental and make you a Game of Thrones groupie. And if not the amazing plot, the (almost) gratuitous sex scenes will 😉

I’ve done a shoddy job of raving about it, I know (there’s a very good reason I rarely review anything I read or watch *grin*) but check out the trailer for the series and see what I’m talking about.

Sooo, are there any Game of Thrones watchers out there? Or readers of the books? (And if so, care to tell me who ends up being king by the end of the entire series? *grin*)

Black Friday WTFery

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–          Miranda Kerr apparently made husband Orlando pee in a bottle so he wouldn’t leave her side during her 27hr labor. Talk about commitment. What did they do with it? Since he couldn’t leave her side, I have to assume the bottles of Bloomy goodness were taken away by the midwife or a nurse, or a poor orderly who had noone to pass the ugly job onto. My question is… how long before the bottles of golden boy pee end up on ebay? Ewww.

–          During an interview on US television, Sandra Bullock’s ex Jesse James has been quoted as saying the actress was a fake.

Who needs him anyway?

This from the man who carried on several affairs during the course of their marriage. He tried to demonstrate this point by saying Sandra had thanked him using the same words during four acceptance speeches. So over and over again she attributed her success to him and thanked him for ‘having her back’, but jeez she used the exact same glowing praise every time. What a BITCH!

–          A part time beautician and over zealous pageant mother has admitted to injecting her 8 year old daughter’s face with botox to keep her looking young and fresh for pageants. Seriously. There aren’t enough ugly words to describe how I feel about this. Poor little Brittany says it all “I check every night for wrinkles, when I see some I want more injections,” Britney says. “They used to hurt, but now I don’t cry that much. I also want a boob and nose job soon, so that I can be a star.”

–          Princess Beatrice’s now infamous royal wedding hat has it’s own facebook page, called appropriately enough, Princess Beatrice’s Ridiculous Royal Wedding Hat. It has over 139,000 likes. Apparently Beatrice plans to auction off the hat for charity. The question is, did she know the hat was ridiculous all along and wearing it was an intentional grab for attention, or has she just discovered she has terrible taste and is clever enough to make lemonade out of lemons? In either case, good show Bea. Good show.

–          A New York man has spent $140,000 on an advertising campaign heralding the end of the world (apparently it’s slated for May 21st). My question is, if the world really is going to end, how useful is the warning? I suppose we could all drink more tequila.

Happy Black Friday all

 Sami

Meet the fabulous Lisa Heidke

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While attending ARRC in March I met a whole host of awesome Aussie authors I’d never met before. Among them was a woman who grabbed my attention for one reason, and one reason only: She swore more than I did. (A feat I’d long thought impossible).

I had to get to know her. Can’t say I was too surprised to discover Lisa Heidke not only swore a fortune, but she was absolutely hilarious too. Oh, and did I mention really, really, really nice. (Or should I just say, fucking nice?) Then…she bought one of my books. That was it. I officially loved her. And since she had one of my books, I had to try out one of hers.

Luckily for me, I was the highest bidder for her three books at the ARRC auction, and so I now have shiny new copies of  Lucy Springer Gets Even, What Kate Did Next and Claudia’s Big Break on my bookshelf.

I’ve only had a chance to read one of them so far. But damn, I adored the book. Lucy Springer is a wonderful, funny, sad, happy, poignant chic-lit story about a woman whose marriage is falling apart. The only thing about the book that worried me was the fact I had to stay up til 3am finishing it! I think what makes this read so compelling is that the main character could be you or me. She is so real, with such real, yet hilarious, reactions to such a very sad situation it’s hard not to relate to her. Not to think, “Damn, I’d do exactly the same thing under those circumstances.”

Know what’s nice for me now? I may have finished Lucy, but I still get to read the next two books. 😀

Now, I’d love to go into lots and lots more details about Lisa and her books, but I won’t. I’ll save that for Lisa herself. Because…Drum roll please

Lisa is here, today, to chat about herself and her books!!!


Here are a series of questions and answers that’ll help you to get to know her so much better. Oh – and be prepared to laugh. Especially at the last few questions.

Q. Which genre best describes your novels?

A. I’ve heard my books called contemporary women’s fiction, chick-lit and hen-lit. To tell you the truth, I really don’t mind what people call them as long as they’re reading my books!  I guess chick-lit is instantly recognisable and suggests that my books will be holiday reads. And that’s fine by me.

However, my characters have moved on from the twenty-something Bridget of Bridget Jones’s Diary.  She has been replaced by women in their thirties and forties who have married and perhaps have children and are now struggling with issues such as infidelity, divorce and career slumps, as well as raising a family.

Generally, my main characters are thinking, ‘what happened to the dreams I had?’ and ‘how did I get here?’

Basically, I write women’s fiction and hope that my books resonate with readers because they’re true to life but still light in that there’s comedy and generally, if not a happy ending, then at least a hopeful one. My main characters do tend to ‘find themselves’ by the end of the books I write.

Q: What’s your latest book about?

A. Claudia’s Big Break is about three best friends, Claudia, Tara and Sophie, who take off to Santorini for a two week holiday.  All are at a crossroads, some surprisingly so. Each has their own dreams, and through a series of adventures and unexpected events, find that a holiday can change their lives forever.

(Note from Jess: I had to insert this cover here, because honestly? I think it’s one of the coolest covers I’ve ever seen.)

Q. Is it similar to your previous books?

A. Claudia’s Big Break is similar in that my main characters are women facing a crisis or two. Both Lucy Springer Gets Even and What Kate did Next were based in Sydney (possibly the Upper North Shore). However, I’m pleased Claudia and her friends have jetted off to Europe to find themselves.

I’d like to think that all three books are relevant and realistic but are also entertaining and give readers a sense of ‘we’re all in this together.’

All of us deal with varying levels of crisis on a daily basis and I have my share (I’m also an excellent eavesdropper) so I can relate to my characters and identify with them. I have hopefully presented their stories in a humorous way that readers will relate to.

Q. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

A. Yes, I think I probably have, although it wasn’t until after my third child was born in 2000, that I got serious about writing a novel.

Q. Was it difficult getting your first book published?

A. The short answer is YES!

I started writing my first manuscript in 2000 and finally got a publishing contract with Allen & Unwin in August 2007. During that time, I entered competitions, completed four manuscripts and received rejections from every mainstream publisher in Australia as well as several overseas ones. My biggest mistake was sending manuscripts to publishers before they were polished. The key to good writing is re-writing, and of course, persistence, commitment and a very thick skin.

Q. How long does it take you to write a book?

A. For me, the first draft (approximately 70,000 words) takes about seven months – and then there are the subsequent drafts which involve weeding out superficial characters, plot lines that go nowhere, as well as creating layers to make the story a rounded, entertaining, three dimensional read. All up, it takes me close to eighteen months to write 85,000 words I’m (relatively) happy with.

(Note from Jess: Hmmm, maybe you should try a short story?  *Snicker*. Yes, that is a response to your blog post: And the worst piece of writing advice you’ve been given?)

Q. What’s next?

A. I have a new book coming out in January 2012, tentatively titled Stella Makes Good! It’s all about swinging, infidelity and mother-in-laws…with a bit of romance and sexting on the side!

(Note from Jess: Yay, yay, yay! And sexting on the side huh? Cooooooool!)

SOME FUN QUESTIONS WITH LISA:

Q. Unfortunately, the boat you were on sunk (bugger when that happens), and now you’re stuck on a desert island with the only five items you could save. Those five essential items. What are they?

A. 5! That’s a lot!

Funnily enough, last time I was stuck on a deserted island, I only got to save three items. They were Grey Goose Vodka, a solar powered Utopia (dual action, waterproof bunny vibrator), and clean underwear. I’m sticking with those because they served me well last time, but being the ridiculously practical person I am, I’ll also save matches and a fishing spear!

(Note from Jess: See? See why I love this woman?)

Q.  You weren’t alone when the boat went down. There were other people on board. But you only got to save one of them. Who was it?

A. Tough one but as there can only be one winner I’m choosing to save Charlie Sheen – he’s quite funny and being on the island will give him a chance to dry out and regain some of that boyish charm he’s lost over the years. No doubt I could also learn a few new tricks from him as well.

(Note from Jess: Charlie Sheen? Really? Really?)

Q. If you had to choose one of the following to sleep with, who would it be? (Yes, you have to choose one!)

 A. I would like to preface this response by saying persons a, b, h and i  are going to be getting basic no-frills missionary position sex and I will probably fall asleep during it.

a) John Howard or Kevin Rudd                     Kevin Rudd

b) John Howard or Julia Gillard                    Julia Gillard

c) Bill Clinton or Barack Obama                    Barack Obama

d) Jake Gyllenhaal or George Clooney         Jake Gyllenhaal

e) Hugh Jackman or Nicole Kidman            Hugh Jackman

h) Harry Potter or Ron Weasley                    Ron Weasley

i) Dobby or Dumbledore                                 Dobby

Q. Now remembering this is an erotic romance blog… if you were to have a menage, who would you choose to participate? (The skies the limit with this answer. Just remember, Hamish and Andy are taken. By me.)

A. I could possibly have a lot of fun with Rob Lowe and Matt Dillon!

😀

If you would like to find out more about Lisa and her wonderful books, check out her website and blog at:

www.lisaheidke.com

Jess

A WIP tease…

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This is a from my next release, an erotic romance (of course) called Whispers in the Night. It’s the sequel to my next Samhain release, Tropical Sin (available September this year). I’m not sure what it is about this WIP, but there’s something…magic…in the way it’s coming together. I hope you feel the same way. (And remember, this is the first draft of a work-in-progress, so there’s bound to be mistakes a plenty and changes to come *grin*)

Whispers In The Nights

Chapter One

Today

“Plus One.”

Nick read the two words written in ornate gold-embossed script again—for the umpteenth time in fact since receiving the invitation currently in his hand.

Plus One.

The list of viable “Plus Ones” he could ask to McKenzie Wood and Aidan Roger’s wedding was long and colourful, the stuff of a celebrity mag’s fantasy—he was Nick Blackthorne after all, the world’s biggest rock star, a man with a reputation for dating and bedding only the most famous and beautiful women on the planet. A gossip-rag journo would be likely to have a wet dream over any possible Nick Blackthorne “Plus One”. The thing was, of the bevy of beauties and starlets and award-winning personalities Nick knew would be more than happy to accompany him to Mack and Aidan’s wedding on the island resort of Bandicoot Cove, he didn’t want to ask any of them.

“Nicky?”

The gruff, deep voice sinking directly into his ears through his headphones made him blink. He lifted his stare from the wedding invitation in his hand, giving his record producer an apologetic grunt through the studio’s glass petition. “Sorry, Walt,” he spoke into the mic hanging from the ceiling. “Guess I was wool-gathering.”

Walter Winchester, record producer and soulless mercenary from Hell gave him a steady look. “Still trying to decide who you’re going to take to that wedding? You could take my daughter?”

Nick rolled his eyes, shoving the invitation into his jean’s hip pocket. “Your daughter’s my agent, Walt, and married.”

Walter curled his lip. “Yeah, to a gardener.”

Nick laughed. “To a world-famous gardener with a client-list you’d kill for. I think it’s time you accept the fact your daughter’s not a chip off the old block and actually has a heart. Unlike you.”

Walter snorted. “Unlike us both, Blackthorne, although I have to admit you’ve been a bit soppy since that weekend you spent on that island, thank fucking God. Otherwise I’d be thinking you’d never record another fucking album again.” He narrowed his eyes. “What exactly went on at that resort? Whatever it was, there’s been sweet fuck-all mention of it in the press.”

Nick’s heart thumped hard against his breastbone, hard enough he had to wonder if the sound technician sitting beside Walter registered it. As always, the memory of his time at Bandicoot Cove Island Resort made his pulse quicken and his heart fill with warmth. If it wasn’t for that weekend, for his time with Mack and Aidan he never would have found the music in his soul again.

If it weren’t for Mack and Aidan, who knew what state he’d be in now?

“Nicky?”

He started at Walter’s sharp voice, his focus returning to the control room on the other side of the glass petition. The record producer studied him, charcoal-grey eyes narrow, his stare drilling. Aslin now stood beside Walter, a worried expression on his light-brown face. The man had evolved from a detached “yes man” with muscle to a loyal and honest friend—at times Nick teased him with the title Uncle As, a term the year-older ex-special forces commando pretended to scoff at. Today he looked very much the concerned family member—if a somewhat larger and far-more-menacing one—his black eyebrows drawing together over eyes both sharp and inescapable. He leant forward and activated the comm. between the control room and recording space where Nick now stood. “What’s up, Nick? Need me to get you anything?”

His voice rumbled, an almost flat timbre Nick thought sounded like distant thunder—or artillery detonating, quite fitting for an SAS officer.

Nick shook his head, offering both Aslin and Walter a wide smile. “Nah, I’m okay. Just trying to remember the words to the next track.”

Walter punched the comm. “Well, hurry the fuck up and remember them. For fuck sake, Nicky, its only a reworked version of Night Whispers. Surely you can remember the words to the first fucking Platinum record you ever wrote?”

Nick blinked. Every muscle in his body coiled. Grew tight. “Night Whispers?” The song’s title felt like dust on his tongue. He frowned at Walter. “Who said anything about a re-release of Night Whispers? I thought the next song was Clouds of Pain? I didn’t agree to recording Night—”

“I thought it’d be a nice touch,” Walter spoke over him, his teeth flashing behind his lips, his eyes glinting—hard as ice and twice as cold. “It’s been fifteen years since your first album, Nicky. Since your first success.”

Nick’s gut clenched. He swallowed, staring at his record producer. Walter Winchester stared back, his expression set. The man didn’t top Australia’s Most Infamous List for nothing—Walter knew Night Whispers would make a truck-load of dollars with a re-release, especially after Nick’s two years of self-imposed recording and performing silence. The predatory, hungry gleam in Walter’s eyes almost made Nick laugh. Almost.

If it wasn’t for the song Walter wanted him to sing now.

Out today – Bondi Beach Boys

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What’s a girl to do with two sexy Aussie surfers? Ride the waves, of course…

After weeks of lusting over a couple of hot surfers, Piper Doyle has the opportunity to turn fantasy into reality. There’s just one problem—they’re her new clients. When the men offer a no-strings-attached affair, Piper has a decision to make, one her body made for her weeks ago when she first started watching “her boys.” She can’t risk the job that could make or break her career, but she sure as hell isn’t going to pass up this chance to live out her wildest dreams…

Sam Bridges and Nate Russo share everything, from their home to their business to the occasional woman. Even themselves. But they’ve never shared what they feel for Piper. What starts out as hot sex with a willing woman turns into something none of them expected—but what’s wrong with a few strings on a hot summer day at the beach…

Warnings: This book contains graphic sexual content that some readers may find objectionable (including ménage a trios with male/male sex, anal sex)

Excerpt

She turned and slammed straight into a wall of hard muscle. Air rushed from her lungs at the impact, warmth surrounded her, enclosed her in a fiery grip that sucked every last atom of oxygen from her body. Strong arms banded around her, and Piper went soft and melted like chocolate on a hot summer day. She leaned in, pressed her breasts against the solid chest, and moaned.

“Piper.”

Her name, whispered against her ear, flowed over her. Like warm honey, it coated her skin and sent heat bursting through her veins, teasing every nerve ending. A shiver started in her curled toes and traveled up. Up, up, up, striking at sensitive places with a rush of arousal and need. Desire and want like none she’d known tore open the cage of restraint. She pressed closer, ran her hands over cloth-covered muscles that shuddered beneath her touch. An answering tremor vibrated down her spine.

Hands curled around her ribs, pushed between them, and cupped her breasts as delicious heat covered her back. Piper arched, thrusting her tender mounds and taut nipples into waiting fingers. Lips skimmed her jaw, teeth nipping at her skin. She moved her head to the side at the nudge of a nose and was treated to delicate licks and sucks along the column of her throat.

“So responsive.”

“So sweet.”

It took a moment for the twin comments murmured against her jaw and neck to register, but when they did, shock bloomed and panic erupted. Piper broke away, jumped from the embrace Nate and Sam held her in. Harsh breaths burned in her chest, scored at her throat, as she stared at the two men before her. How could she have allowed them to touch her like that? To stand between them as though it were the only place she should be?

“Oh God.” Piper brought her hands up to cover her face. She had no excuse for what she’d done, no explanation. Heat seared her face as embarrassment at her behavior flooded her, doing its best to drown the arousal still swimming in her blood. But nothing short of a tidal wave could douse the flames blazing inside her core. Pip spun on her heel, ready to bolt for the door, but she hadn’t taken two steps when she found herself once again caught between two hot male bodies.

Gasping and trembling, she buried her face against Nate’s soft cotton shirt and prayed for the ground to open up and swallow her whole. Why was there never a good sinkhole when you needed one? And why think about stupid holes in the ground when she was trapped between two of the most gorgeous men she’d ever met? Had she gone mad?

BUY HERE!

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