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Guest Diva Mari Carr

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Today we’re handing the blog of the Mari Carr to help her celebrate her next release.

 

I would like to thank the Divas for allowing me to stop by with some treats (no tricks) this Halloween. I have a new book, Bachelor’s Bait, releasing on Tuesday, November 7 and my Aussie mates are helping me get the word out.

 

Starting tomorrow on my website (www.maricarr.com), I’ll be holding a weeklong “Cocktale” party to celebrate Bachelor’s Bait’s release. There will be drink recipes, excerpts, and a contest!

 

As part of the celebration, I’m visiting the blogs of several friends and telling “cocktales”. Today I thought I’d share the story of how Sami Lee, Lorelei James and I ended up doing Cowboy Cocksucker shots with Jimmy Kimmel’s drummer at the hotel bar in L.A. Then I remembered I have no idea exactly how this came about! I think it was as simple as Lorelei invited us over to try her signature shot and this good-looking fellow sort of honed in on us. He was no fool. He’d heard there were erotic romance writers in the bar and he was ready. Unfortunately he found three happily married erotic romance writers who were very happy to accept his offer to buy the shots…but nothing else!

 

And then there was the time I got a wee bit tipsy and convinced Jess Dee to let me do her makeup, but, well…maybe I’ll tell that story another time.

 

Bachelor’s Bait is number three in my Cocktales series about a group of four friends who open a bookstore-slash-bar called Books and Brew together. Party Naked and Screwdriver, the first two books, are available now.

 

Bachelor’s Bait

Cocktales, Book Three

 

Sophia Kennedy is determined to chase her own success, rather than ride her father’s coattails. She’s devoted herself to Books and Brew, the business she owns with her three best friends. She doesn’t feel the need to explain herself to anyone, least of all the free-aid lawyer who’s determined to judge her as a society princess. She’d ignore him altogether…if it were up to her mind. But nooooo. Her body just has to have its say—and it’s using words like “gorgeous”, “hot” and “sexy”. Soon, annoyance turns to attraction, verbal sparring to physical satisfaction as the couple is drawn together by a common cause.

 

Marc Garrett has no time for a relationship. And he certainly doesn’t want a rich society fixture, though the damning evidence below his belt suggests otherwise. The more he comes to know his hardworking princess, the more he wants her, again and again. Marc’s falling hard, but after holding Sophie’s wealth against her, how will she react when she learns of his own rather prosperous roots?

 

Excerpt:

“Charlotte?” Sophie was annoyed to find the coat-check room unattended. She’d been an idiot to trust Charlotte to keep an eye on it. The woman was too flighty to take the task seriously. She was a regular at the bookstore and when Sophie had foolishly mentioned her problem finding volunteers to help work the event, Charlotte had stepped forward. Sophie had accepted the offer, ignoring the voice telling her Charlotte only wanted to help so she could ogle the cream of society’s crop in a glitzy setting.

Now she was staring at an unprotected room full of expensive shawls and jackets.

“Shit,” she muttered. “Can anyone say liability?” She stepped behind the check-in counter and into the room, intent on finding the extra flyers. Then she’d track down her “volunteer” and read her the riot act for leaving her post unattended.

Spotting the box in a corner, she crossed the small space and bent to retrieve it.

A wolf whistle sounded from the doorway.

Sophie rose quickly but the damage was done. Clearly she’d given someone an eyeful of her ass wrapped in its tight skirt.

Marc leaned against the doorframe, looking far too pleased with the view she’d offered.

“Wow. Sexist much?”

He gave her a seductive grin. She wished her body would stop responding to him so forcefully. Her stomach clenched, her pussy dampened and she was grateful for the box in her hands or Marc would see them trembling.

He was unapologetic. “When I see something beautiful, I feel the need to appreciate it.”

“And being the classy guy you are, you thought you’d whistle at me like a construction worker.”

“I thought you might prefer that response over the first idea that popped into my head.”

“Which was?”

“Stroking my hands over that gorgeous ass you just displayed for me.”

The battle between Sophie’s head and body flared. Her ass cheeks clenched, longing for that caress. Her less visceral side offered a reply. “Then you made the right call because I would have kneed you in the balls. Hard.”

He nodded. “That’s what I thought. Hence my whistle from all the way over here.”

His tone was light and friendly, making it impossible to take offense at his comments. The closet wasn’t that large but his assessment was correct. Several feet protected his balls from her knee.

Sophie subtly pressed her legs together and tried to force air into her lungs. Apparently the space between them wasn’t that safe after all. She flushed as her body heated at their proximity—and semi-privacy.

The observant man’s dark-blue eyes narrowed.

He must be hell on juries. He notices far too much.

He stepped into the room. She tried to hide her shock when he closed the closet door behind him. The darkness was cut by a mellow glow provided by the low-watt fixture hanging in the center of the ceiling, and instantly she was reminded of nights spent beside a dying fire in her family’s large living room. She was a sucker for a fireplace.

Marc’s deep voice cut through the silence. “Maybe I was wrong.”

Her eyes tried to adjust to the dim lighting as he continued to move closer. “About what?” Her throat tightened, making her words sound thick and far too loud in the small room.

Marc didn’t answer immediately. Instead, he took the box of flyers out of her hands, setting it on the floor. “You know I’m going to start coming by the bar, right? I feel the need to become a regular.”

“Why? You get some sick pleasure out of annoying me?”

He shook his head, his voice laced with humor. “No. That’s just a bonus.”

The answer was completely unsatisfactory, even though Sophie liked the idea of him stopping by. Despite her better judgment, she wanted to see him more too. “Then why?” she repeated.

“Because I’ll want to do this again.”

He leaned forward and kissed her.

 

Bachelor’s Bait is available for presale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

 

 

Hoist the anchor…I’m Setting Sail On A New Adventure…

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Okay, that was a really lame way to begin this post, but it was the first thing that popped into my mind so I’m going with it 🙂

Why the nautical theme? Next week (the 6th of November, to be exact) my very first non-erotic (but still spicy) contemporary romance, Suspicious Ways is released. Yay!

I’m part excited, part nervous. Let’s face it, Lexxie Couper is known for her erotic romances (my Ellora’s Cave editor told me once I should teach classes on how to write hot sex scenes), so why the hell would I do something like write a non-erotic romance? Simple. Because the story told me to. And I’ve discovered in my years of writing that when the story speaks to you, you listen or suffer the consequences.

I’ll tease you all next week with an exclusive snippet, but for now, here’s the cover and the blurb and the buy links (if you want to pre-order it).

I really can’t for you all to read this one….but I’m definitely a little nervous too 🙂

Tame their desire? Better to try and tame the wind.

Four years after her father’s tragic death, Ali Graham is still trying to piece together her shattered life. However, with her mother’s worsening illness and mounting medical bills, Ali is in danger of losing her inherited yacht-chartering business. Things can’t possibly get worse—until the man who broke her heart sails back into her life.

After that night when desire to comfort spilled over into lovemaking, Jackson McKenzie’s crushing guilt drove him to say things he didn’t mean, to leave when he wanted to stay. But when he discovers Ali is partnered with Sydney’s most notorious entrepreneur, he has no choice but to step in.

If Jackson thinks Ali is going to let him swoop in and claim Wind Seeker as his own, she has a news flash for him. She can take care of herself, and as much as her traitorous body still craves Jackson’s touch, she’ll fight for her father’s legacy, tooth and nail.

Suspicion and distrust slice through their reignited passion like a gale force wind through the rigging. But failing to weather the storm risks more than a second chance at love. Their very lives could be at stake.

Product Warnings

Love is never easy. Especially when revenge, guilt and scorching desire all fight for control of the helm.

Pre-order at Samhain, Amazon and Barnes and Noble

The One That Got Away releases today!

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It’s new release day over at Musa Publishing, which means my short, erotic story from their Finally Ever After line is now officially available.

The One That Got Away: The Blurb

Sometimes its impossible to know whether he was the one who got away or the one you’re definitely better off without…until he comes back into your life.

Lily Kember never dreamed a causal introduction to a friend’s friend would change her life, but three days after meeting Kai Jettison, she’s fallen deeply and irrevocably in love.

Kai falls just as hard, yet minutes after telling her as much he has no choice but to rip her heart to shreds, leaving whatever has blossomed between them lying in tatters on the ground.

It’s been five months since that fateful day. Five months of no contact. Now Kai is attending the same end of year bash as Lily, and bumping into him seems unavoidable. Lily’s choices are limited: either steel her emotions against Kai or risk losing her heart to him all over again.

The One That Got Away: An Excerpt

It seemed like eons passed before she floated back to earth. Eons before she registered her surroundings again, registered the sated, replete thrumming in her body. Eons before a satisfied smile curved her lips and she happily accepted Kai’s weight as he settled above her, his muscled chest resting against her breasts, his hard cock nestled on her thigh and his hot mouth seeking hers.
His kiss was as wicked as his lovemaking had been. He tasted of him and of her and of carnal sex. She couldn’t get enough.
“Christ, Lil.” Her name emerged as a soft groan. “What have you done to me?”
“Exactly what you’ve done to me, I hope.”
He shook his head. “You…move me,” he breathed. “Shake my world in ways I never knew possible. Never expected.” And then he spoke no more as he took her lips in another stunning kiss.
His cock strained and thumped against her thigh, and she wound her legs around his waist, wanting him inside as much as he seemed to want to get inside her. She rocked against him, inviting him in.
He released her mouth with a growl.
“Make love to me, Kai. Shake my world.”
The brown of his eyes was almost invisible around his huge pupils as he stared down at her, his expression haunted. “Lily…”
He sounded tortured.
“Kai?”
“I…” His body shuddered violently. “Lily… Fuck!”
Instant apprehension hit her in the chest. “W-what’s wrong?”
“I— Shit, I don’t wanna say this.“ His face contorted in self-disgust. “But there’s something you need to know.”

—————————

You can get your copy of The One That Got Away for the bargain price of $0.99.

It’s available now at Musa Publishing and at Amazon.

The book will soon be available from Barnes and Noble, but if you can’t wait til then, you can buy it in .ePub format direct from Musa.

Jess

FREE! Assassin: The Boundaries is FREE on Amazon Kindle!

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“…reminscent of the creative genius behind Star Wars,Lexxie Couper provides for her readers a sexy, darkly erotic tale of passion and commitment to principle…” – TwoLips Reviews

The Boundaries ~ Book One

Boundary Guardian Zeric Arctos knows trouble when he sees it – and Raavelian sex-slave Jaienna Ti screams all sorts of trouble. Tracking a nefarious Bliss dealer, Zeric must stay focused on the job, something almost impossible to do with Jaienna in his midst. To make matters worse, the seductive Raavelian brings out the ‘animal’ in him – an ancient blood curse he has struggled to control his whole life. The beast now threatens to consume him and Jaienna’s intoxicating kisses makes the primitive call so much harder to resist.

Jaienna Ti is out for revenge. And she’ll stop at nothing to achieve it. Posing as a sex-slave isn’t the worst thing she’s done – she is, after all an Intel-Patrol Corp termination agent, albeit a rogue one – but it’s definitely one of the more interesting roles she’s assumed. And it gets even more interesting when Zeric Arctos ‘rescues’ her.

Surely being an intergalactic sexual assassin has to come with some perks, right?

 

Head over to Amazon (here) to download it for FREEEEEEEEEEE 😉

EXCERPT

Chapter One

The Rim of the Outer Boundaries

 

Zeric Arctos folded his arms across his broad chest and bit back a low curse, struggling to control his exasperation. His partner hadn’t been able to take his eyes off the beautiful Raavelian slave-girl since she’d entered the Suck and Blow Inn, and now she was walking right past them. Close enough for Jak’s highly attuned sense of smell to pick up the delicate scent of her perfume. He rolled his eyes, shooting his partner a quick look. Oh no, here we go again.

Jak V’t’an was a sucker for Raavelian females. It had something to do, Zeric suspected, with the way they looked, like the gods of sexual torture and pleasure decided to create the perfect woman. Hypnotic violet eyes, smooth tight asses, breasts that filled a man’s hands to perfection, thick wavy hair that shined like spun silk and long, shapely legs that just wouldn’t quit. Zeric moved his gaze to the slave girl walking past them, casting her a slow inspection. This one, well, this one was an excellent example of her species.

A hand slapped at Zeric’s shoulder and he flicked Jak another look, dismayed at what he saw on the Yrathian’s face.

Pure, unadulterated rapture.

This is not going to end well.

“I think I’m in love,” Jak murmured, tracking the Raavelian’s slow progress past them both.

Zeric turned back to the Suck and Blow’s filthy bar, waving down the droid serving behind it. “You fall in love every hour.”

“Yeah, but this one’s different.” Jak leaned away from the bar, watching the barely-dressed slave thread her way through the rowdy crowd.

Zeric nodded at the droid as it placed a whiskey shot in front of him. “They’re all different, Thorson.”

Jak stuck his elbows on the bar and grinned at Zeric, pale grey eyes glinting with what Zeric could only describe as lust. “Didn’t you see that mouth of hers? Those lips? And those eyes? Gods, Zeric, a man could drown in those eyes! I’ve never seen a Raavelian with green eyes before.”

Zeric let out a slow breath, fighting the urge to cast the slave girl one last look before she disappeared in the crowd. Jak was right. He’d never seen a Raavelian with green eyes, either and he had to admit, they were damn striking. He hadn’t missed their unusual power, nor had he missed the soft fullness of the woman’s lips. They were the kind of lips made for kissing.

Jezu, Arctos, you’re getting as bad as Jak.

The disgusted thought made him scowl. When it came to women, his cock left well enough alone. It was safer that way. Unfortunately, when it came to women his partner was ruled by his cock. Thank Jezu Jak’s instincts ruled when they were on duty. Boundary Guardians couldn’t afford to be anything but switched on. If they weren’t, they were dead.

A sharp bang to Zeric’s left made him jump. He snapped his stare to Jak, his hand automatically blurring to his right hip.

Jak stood beside him, his palm flat on the bar’s surface, his grin replaced by a serious frown, the elaborate scars on his cheeks marking his Master Pleasurer status bone white. “I’m going after her,” he said.

Zeric gave his partner a hard look, returning his hand to his glass. It wouldn’t do any good for someone to see him reaching for his gun. Not yet, at least. “No you’re not,” he told Jak, lifting his drink to his lips. “We’ve got a Bliss dealer to catch, remember.”

Jak let out a sharp sigh. “Yeah, you’re right.” He gave one more lingering look at the Raavelian, watching as she slipped with nimble grace between a group of drunken Ornithions. He returned his attention to Zeric, reluctance written all over his face. “But after we nail this bastard I’m coming back here and taking her away from all this shit.”

Zeric cocked an eyebrow. “And take her where? To The Reaper? A Boundary ship isn’t exactly the place for domestic bliss.”

Jak pulled a face, taking a quick gulp of his own drink, a vile Irithian concoction Zeric wondered how anyone could stomach. “Just ‘cause you’ve decided to be a lonely, miserable bastard for the rest of your life doesn’t mean I have. I don’t plan on being a Boundary Guardian forever, y’know.”

Zeric swallowed the sudden and far too unexpected lump in his throat. He looked at his reflection in the bar’s mirrored wall before turning away, the shadow in his eyes too tormenting. Being a Boundary Guardian forever hadn’t been on his list of planned situations either.

Neither had killing your—

“Hey!” Jak’s smooth voice cut over the dark thought, killing it immediately. “Looks like our friend’s just arrived.”

Zeric raised his glass to his mouth, checking out the raucous mob behind him in the bar’s filthy wall mirror. A Xolotlan barged through the crowd, mottled blue skin rippling over his enormous gut, his blunt snout and short tail both twitching nervously.

“Ugly bastard, isn’t he?” Jak said into his own glass.

Zeric unclipped his holster on his hip, freeing his gun for immediate use and straightened from the bar, focussed adrenaline filling his veins. Beside him, Jak seemingly adjusted his jacket, hands flicking briefly over his own weapons. He gave Zeric a slight nod—ready—and they moved into the packed bar, pushing through the unruly drunken patrons as they followed the Xolotlan toward the back rooms.

Zeric’s stomach knotted. It seemed their prey had a taste for the sex-dens. Jezu curse it.

He moved through the dank, narrow corridor, his fingers hovering over the hilt of his weapon, Jak close behind. The low moans and grunts wafting from the dark dens lining the passageway told him business was good for the Suck and Blow. His stomach knotted again, sour contempt in the back of his throat. If he didn’t have a Bliss dealer to shut down, he’d gladly spend the rest of the night fucking up the existence of more than one sex slaver operating from the inn.

A low growl rumbled in his chest and Zeric ground his teeth, locking his stare on the closing doorway through which the Xolotlan had disappeared. He had to keep his anger in check. He couldn’t do to let it get the better of him. Not tonight, not ever, no matter how much he wanted to. It wasn’t—

“Fucker’s locked the door.”

Jak’s mutter jerked Zeric’s stare from the closed entryway to the red light glowing above it.

“Do you think we should knock?”

Zeric cast his partner a quick look, knowing his glare told Jak now wasn’t the time for jokes. “Lyso knows we’re coming. He arranged the location, remember?”

Jak cocked an eyebrow. “Kick the door in then?”

The growl rumbled in Zeric’s chest again, far less human than it should be and he sank his nails into the palms of his hands. “Deactivate the lock, Thorson.”

Jak pulled a face, stepping around Zeric to flip open the door’s control mechanism. “You’re no fun anymore, Arctos.”            His fingers moved over the exposed circuitry with fluid ease before, with a clunk and a whirr, the door slid open.

As always, Zeric was the first in. In the time it took him to blink, he’d taken in the dimly lit sex-den and the situation unfolding within it and the knot in his stomach turned into rolling disgust.

The Raavelian slave-girl Jak had so quickly declared undying love for was on her knees, her luscious mouth wrapped around the Bliss dealer’s grotesque cock, her head bobbing up and down as she pleasured him with oral sex. The Xolotlan had his meaty hands tangled in her thick red hair, holding her head in place, a satisfied smirk on his round face as he watched her through heavy-lidded eyes.

Zeric ground his teeth, even as he forced his expression to remain indifferent. Damn, Jak isn’t going to like this.

Jak? It’s not making you want to smile, either.

Psy Lyso raised his attention from the woman at his feet and gave Zeric an indolent smile, his bloodshot gaze flicking over Zeric’s form. “Ho, Terran.” He removed a hand from the Raavelian’s hair and held it out, palm upward in a melodramatic show of welcome. “Come, join the entertainment.”

Sickened anger coated Zeric’s mouth and he curled his fingers around the butt of his gun just as Jak stepped into the den. Lyso’s bony eyebrow ridge shot up. “Two of you?” He turned his smirk to Jak. “A Yrathian Master Pleasurer at that? My, won’t this be fun.”

“Lyso.” Jak pushed past Zeric, the muscles in his arms and shoulders bunching. His distaste emanated from him in tangible waves and Zeric gripped his gun tighter. If Jak decided to shoot the fucker’s head off there and then—and it was entirely possible—their mission would be sunk. Zeric couldn’t have that—as much as he liked the idea of Psy Lyso’s existence obliterated from the planet.

He shot another look at the Raavelian. For a brief moment the overwhelming desire to rip her from Lyso’s cock, wrap her in his arms and take her away to some place safe burned through him.

A scowl creased his forehead. Get a grip, Arctos. Saving slave-girls isn’t your job. Grinding his teeth, he returned his attention to the Xolotlan. “Sorry to interrupt you while you’re busy. Maybe you should have locked the door.”

Pink, beady eyes drilled into him, Lyso’s stare far too thorough for his liking. “Funny,” the Xolotlan said. “I thought I did.”

Zeric shook his head, meeting the Bliss dealer’s gaze. “You have something for us, yes? Or did you just ask us to meet you here for the show?”

Lyso grunted, shifted his hips in the oral-pleasure chair and let off a flat fart. The female paused for a second, finely-muscled shoulders growing rigid. Another fierce wave of protective desire rolled through Zeric, unnerving him but he shoved it aside. If he didn’t he would pull his gun and shoot Lyso before Jak got a chance to even draw breath. He glared at the drug dealer. “Well?”

“Possibly. Depends on what you’re after.”

Before Zeric could open his mouth, Jak stepped forward, his face a mask of controlled rage. “We’ll take the Raavelian.”

Lyso’s eyes narrowed. “She’s not for sale.”

Jak tensed, but before he could reach for his gun, Zeric took charge of the situation. They were posing as Bliss buyers—pulling a weapon when a fuck-wit wouldn’t sell his slave wasn’t part of the cover. “Get the Raavelian off your prick and cough up the product, Lyso. We haven’t travelled to this shit-hole of a planet to stand here and watch you get a blow job.”

That same intense, thorough stare drilled into Zeric again and he ground his teeth. Something felt wrong. Like you’re being played?

“I tell you what, Terran,” Lyso said, flashing his teeth in what Zeric assumed was meant to be a smile. “While you and I do business your Yrathian hothead friend beside you can entertain himself with the bitch in another den. How’s that sound? Save us all the distraction?” He slid his gaze to Jak, giving him a smutty sneer. “Be warned though. Master Pleasurer or not, she’ll suck your dick right off if you’re not careful.”

Jak snarled and Zeric shot him a warning look: You can fuck him up later. Play along for now. He turned back to Lyso, not even trying to hide his disgust for the Xolotlan. “Deal,” he said. “Now let’s see the product.”

“Excellent.” Lyso smacked his palms together over the Raavelian’s bare back. “I knew you boys would be smart business.” His smile stretched wider and again, a dark sense of foreboding rippled through Zeric. Something was definitely up. He gave Jak another quick glance, letting his apprehension show in his eyes: Be careful.

With a rough shove, Lyso dislodged the Raavelian from between his legs. “Get off, slave,” he barked, giving her hair a hard yank. “Go show the Master Pleasurer how it’s really done.”

The female stood, eyes downcast, long red hair hiding her face. Zeric’s gut twisted again, something about the situation telling him something was not right. But what? He quickly flicked his gaze over her slim, nubile body, searching for a weapon. Where she would hide it dressed as she was in typical slave attire—short, diaphanous loin cloth and nothing else—was beyond him, but something was making him uneasy and it had nothing to do with the unexpected, powerful desire to run his hands over her naked breasts, down her torso and over her belly to the sweet heat between her thighs. If she did have a weapon hidden there, Jak would be the one to find it, not him. He knew his partner well. Jak would search the slave all over—from head to toe—just to be sure before he did anything else.

An image of Jak doing just that, flittered through his head, his partner’s palms cupping those gloriously heavy breasts, his fingers skimming up the length of those smooth, toned thighs and for a split second, hot jealousy stabbed through Zeric. He jerked his gaze from the Raavelian, giving Jak a level look instead, hoping to Jezu Jak could keep his lust under control. “This won’t take long,” he said with a sharp nod. “Have fun.”

* * *

Habit? What Habit?

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Last week a couple of posts went back and forth between Jess and Lexxie about writing habits. They had opposing opinions of Stephen King’s much repeated writing advice—to paraphrase, the general idea is to do nothing with your writing time, except write. Lexxie gave up checking her social media pages during writing hours. Jess absolutely REFUSED to throw our her thesaurus (in fact I’m kinda ok with keeping a thesaurus by the computer. I don’t think looking up a word here or there is as distracting as the big bad internet).  Then Jess sent out a challenge of sorts—Sami should post her thoughts on this! (I think she wanted to break the deadlock :)).

Well lately I have to say my writing habits have sucked. I had the realisation several months ago that  the only time I would be able to write was when the house was quiet… which is before everyone gets up. So most days during the week I rise at 5am to write, I have til around 7am before mother duties call. And for a while that was working a treat. Even if I got 1000 words down in those two hours that was better than nothing. But the last 6-8 weeks? It hasn’t been working. Nothing has been working. I can’t seem to get the words to flow. I’m distracted easily—and I don’t have the internet on during those two hours (I learned my lesson there long ago). It’s just me and the computer. I turn it on, open my document and stare at it. Even now I’m writing this blog post when I’m supposed to be working on my manuscript.

And I keep thinking—I’m missing sleep for this?

I think it’s time I reread Stephen King’s phenonemal book On Writing. And yes I am very pro King in this regard. Three years ago, it pulled me out of a writer’s block that had lasted almost two years. I may have to go back to pen and paper for a while, as I’m once again approaching that point where I’m about to grow afraid of the computer and it’s intimidating blank page and that taunting, flashing cursor (blast that damn cursor!!!).  I know that book taught me a lot about fear and why we writers are so often plagued by it. It reminded me why I love writing so much, and I think right now I really need to be reminded why I’m getting up at the crack of dawn to do this to myself.

I’ll report back soon and let you know how I go.

(word count for the past two hours? 467 and this blog post. Sigh. But I’d like to focus on the positive. I made myself laugh once:

Are you talking about women?”

Summer rolled her eyes. “Don’t try to tell me you haven’t had a great time being free to date whomever you want all these years.”

“I haven’t been a monk, if that’s what you’re asking.”

“I’m not asking anything.”

“Seems like you are. So what is it you want to know? How many? My usual type? What positions I prefer?” He held up his hand and used his fingers to check the answers off. “I haven’t exactly kept count. I like women who make me laugh and I can stay friends with after. And I’ve always been partial to a good hard screw against the wall.”)

*snort*

 Sami

Pink via Harry Potter

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I’m on a two week hiatus from writing (I know, I can’t believe it either). That means today you get the funniest version of a Pink song I’ve ever seen.

Enjoy

(Now, how many of you actually sung that word for word?)

Embracing the habit

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It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote anything of substance, since any usable words came bursting forth to form a story.

Three months and sixteen days to be exact. That’s a long time for an author to go without any sense of creativity. Which is why today I have forced myself to sit down, in front of my computer, and write.

It hasn’t been easy. Each word written feels like an extraction, something pulled unwillingly from my head. (Yes, go ahead and make the association to a tooth extraction here, with all the excruciating pain, blood and gore involved. I have.)

But at least I managed to get something down. Just over a thousand words in fact. No, it’s not very much. (Especially compared to the previous blog post, written by Lexxie Couper.) But it’s something. I know that tomorrow I’ll sit down and rework the entire thing. Delete half of it and rewrite the rest, but that’s okay with me. At least for now I have something to delete and rewrite.

Having been stuck in this damn writer’s block for so long, I read Lexxie’s post with great interest, hoping to garner some brilliant tips and information to yank me out of my funk. Unfortunately, it didn’t inspire me the way it did Lex. And that got me thinking just how very different we authors are from one another. And how very different our writing processes are. For the record, on my absolute best days of writing, I have never gotten down more than 5000 words. And on those days, I’m usually so exhausted afterwards, the next day is spent in a haze where writing even a paragraph becomes impossible.

Now, back to Stephen King, I’d like to requote his words, so I can refer to them:

“Never look at a reference book while doing a first draft. You want to write a story? Fine. Put away your dictionary, your encyclopedias, your World Almanac, and your thesaurus. Better yet, throw your thesaurus into the wastebasket. The only things creepier than a thesaurus are those little paperbacks college students too lazy to read the assigned novels buy around exam time. Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule. You think you might have misspelled a word? O.K., so here is your choice: either look it up in the dictionary, thereby making sure you have it right – and breaking your train of thought and the writer’s trance in the bargain – or just spell it phonetically and correct it later. Why not? Did you think it was going to go somewhere? And if you need to know the largest city in Brazil and you find you don’t have it in your head, why not write in Miami, or Cleveland? You can check it … but later. When you sit down to write, write. Don’t do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off.”

Ok, so not only did this quote not inspire me, it had me hyperventilating by the second sentence:

throw your thesaurus into the wastebasket.

Hello? Put away my thesaurus? Are you kidding me? I’d use the same word fifty time in one page and sound so repetitive no one would want to turn that page to read the next. I use my thesaurus a lot. Tons. Heaps. Plenty. Oh so very much.

Then there’s Mr King’s thoughts about ignoring a misspelled word. Okay, have you ever worked in a word document, typed something, and immediately noticed that red squiggle under a word? I have. Very often. But please, don’t ask me to ignore it. Because honestly, once it’s up there on my screen, it’s about the only thing I can see. My gaze just keeps getting drawn back to that red squiggle, over and over, no matter how hard I might try to ignore it. In the end? I spend way more time trying not to pay attention to it, then I would have if I’d just corrected it there and then. So that’s what I do. I correct misspelled words when I misspell them and move on.

Oh, and about not knowing the largest city in Brazil? Sorry, but if it’s important enough to be in my book, than I won’t be able to get my thoughts past the name of the city. They’ll get stuck trying to work out what it is.  Hey, it’s in my book for a reason. I need to know now, otherwise how can I carry on writing?

And finally there’s the bit about going to the bathroom. Hands up if you’ve ever been pregnant. C’mon. You know the drill: When you gotta go, you gotta go. No point sitting there, squirming knowing you have to go, but putting it off so you can write. Because let’s be honest. All you’d focus on is how darn much you need to go to the loo!

So while I envy every single word Lexxie completed this week, and while I wish to God I had achieved the same as she did, I simply can’t write like her, or like Stephen King for that matter. And I can assure you, they can’t write like I do. They’d go nuts, tearing their hair out in frustration. But maybe, hopefully, I’ll soon have one of my best writing days, and instead of just 1000 words, I’ll get out a number closer to 5000.

Please wish me, and my very disorganized style of writing, luck.

Jess

Kicking the Habit

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I did something unbelieveable today. Something I didn’t think possible.

I went off-line for five hours.

I wrote for five hours without once jumping onto tumblr, Io9, facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

I wrote for five hours without constantly checking my email.

I wrote for five hours without distraction and in that five hours I wrote…wait for it….SIX-THOUSAND, EIGHT HUNDRED AND ELEVEN WORDS!!!

I haven’t written that many words since Triple Dare (I wrote over eight thousand in one five hour session back then).

It was hard at first. It really was. I left my laptop and mobile phone upstairs and didn’t open Safari on my desktop. I usually write in my office with my laptop open beside me where I can twist and check any of the above listed things, while ALSO having Safari open on my desktop along with Yahoo IM aaaand Messages. I usually check any of the above the moment I find a sentence hard to start/finish/think about. It’s become a habit. A bad one. When I first started writing so many years ago, I had a pen and a notebook and I would write and write and write until the pen ran out of ink or the notebook ran out of pages. The only distraction I had was when I had to get a new bikkie from the biscuit tin (remember I started writing when I was six *grin*). Of late, writing has almost become the distraction to surfing the net, Tweeting, Pinteresting or facebooking. It has been, to be honest, worrying me.

So it seemed Fate was telling me something when I read THIS quote from Stephen King on Tumblr (*sigh* I love Tumblr *sigh* I love Stephen King*)

“Never look at a reference book while doing a first draft. You want to write a story? Fine. Put away your dictionary, your encyclopedias, your World Almanac, and your thesaurus. Better yet, throw your thesaurus into the wastebasket. The only things creepier than a thesaurus are those little paperbacks college students too lazy to read the assigned novels buy around exam time. Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule. You think you might have misspelled a word? O.K., so here is your choice: either look it up in the dictionary, thereby making sure you have it right – and breaking your train of thought and the writer’s trance in the bargain – or just spell it phonetically and correct it later. Why not? Did you think it was going to go somewhere? And if you need to know the largest city in Brazil and you find you don’t have it in your head, why not write in Miami, or Cleveland? You can check it … but later. When you sit down to write, write. Don’t do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off.”

This quote was, for me, like a kick in the head. Especially this line:
“…When you sit down to write, write. Don’t do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off.”
I’ve re-read that line over and over again. I’ve read it three times in writing this post. It is a profound line and if I ever met Stephen King in person I would thank him for that line and offer to send him a lifetime of Tim Tams for that line. That line changed everything for me.
And today was the first day of change.
I walked down into my office, leaving my distracting laptop and iPhone upstairs. I took a litre bottle of filtered water, a cup of coffee (only one, because I DID NOT want to stop writing to go to the loo) and an apple. I opened iTunes, selected an appropriate playlist (a combination of Mumford and Sons, Mark Knoffler and Train) and I wrote.
For the first fifteen minutes, every time I paused, I found myself wanting to turn to my right to check something completly distracting on my laptop. I couldn’t. It wasn’t there. I even considered opening Safari. I didn’t. I wrote.
And I wrote.
And I wrote.
And at 2:55pm when I had to stop and collect Peanut from school and the Demon Princess from preschool, I discovered I’d written 6,811 words. I am still in shock. But damn, did it feel good. No, that’s wrong. It felt AMAZING!! It felt like writing used to feel. It flowed out of me.
I really can’t explain how fantastic it was. Suffice to say, I’m going off-line tomorrow. Fingers crossed today wasn’t just a fluke. I need to finish Misplaced Hands by Wednesday and I’ve got a chapter and a half to go. And more importantly, I neeeed to feel that rush of writing like I did today. Really writing. It was amazing.

Bondi Beach Boys now in print!

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That’s right, Bondi Beach Boys is now available in print in the Beach Bums Collection.

Available from

AMAZON  ~  BARNES & NOBLE

Rhian Cahill

www.rhiancahill.com

Please welcome guest blogger…Kylie Scott

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Please join me in welcoming a new friend to the blog today: Kylie Scott.

I confess to not knowing Kylie until a few months ago. Don’t get me wrong. I’d heard about her. Heaps. In fact, no matter where I went, her name just kept popping up.

See, Kylie has just released her first book, Flesh. And she’s done it with Momentum Publishing. (Yep, the same publisher causing a stir through Australia, as a digital-only publisher.)

I could tell you more about Kylie and her new book. I could tell you about how hilarious she is too. But all you need do is read her post to find all of this out. (And believe me, the post is worth reading. Pay special attention to her last five answers if you really wanna laugh.)

Jess

Welcome Kylie!

1)    Who is Kylie Scott?

I’m a romance book fan with a fetish for ‘B’ grade horror from the 80’s. I love a happy ending and if there’s some chaos and carnage along the way, all the better. My family and I live in beautiful South East Queensland and have a plan in place should civilsation go to pot. Well….by plan I mean we did talk about it once over beers.

2)    What does Kylie Scott write?

I adore a steamy love story. Pair that with some scary fast-paced action and adventure and you’ve got Flesh. Plus grit. Grit is great.

3)    Why Zombies?

It was actually a dare, funnily enough. We watch Zombieland and George A. Romero films pretty regularly in my house. Romero is known as the Godfather of Zombie Films. I was working on an idea for a new project and nothing was grabbing me. My husband dared me to write a zombie book and here we are almost three years later.

4)    Tell us about your new release, Flesh.

Ali has been hiding in an attic since civilisation collapsed eight weeks ago.

When the plague hit, her neighbours turned into mindless, hungry, homicidal maniacs.

Daniel has been a loner his entire life. Then the world empties and he realises that being alone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Finn is a former cop who is desperate for companionship, and willing to do anything it takes to protect the survivors around him.

When the three cross paths they band together; sparks fly, romance blooms in the wasteland and Ali, Daniel and Finn bend to their very human needs in the ruins of civilisation.

Lust, love and trust all come under fire in Flesh as the three battle to survive, hunted through the suburban wastelands.

An excerpt from Flesh:

53 Days Post Apocalypse

Daniel looked down the barrel of the shotgun all set to blow his brains out and grinned. These days even a gun-toting, trigger-happy female was a delight to behold, and she was perfect.

Sunlight streamed in through the kitchen window. She all but shone with it, like an angel or a princess or something. Something a little overdue for a bath and a lot on edge, but something very good just the same. The feeling of sweet relief rushing through him nearly buckled his knees.

Tall and curvy, around thirty at a guess, and uninfected, she was by far the best thing he had ever seen in jeans and a t-shirt. Not even the dried blood splattered on the wall behind her could diminish the picture she made.

Sadly, his girl did not appear to share his joy.

Wary gray eyes devoid of even a hint of elation watched him down the barrel of the gun. He refused to be discouraged; his smile did not waiver. “Hey.”

“Gun on the floor. Slow.” Her voice sounded dusty with disuse. “Eject the
clip.”

“Okay.” Daniel did as told, keeping his happy face on her the whole time, hunching a little when he stood back up. He gave the old rucksack at his feet a nudge with the toe of his sneaker. It currently contained the sum total of his worldly goods, but she was welcome to it. “There are just a few cans of soup, and Irish stew. Help yourself.”

Plush pink lips parted as though she might speak but then paused, as if she thought better of it. The grimy finger squeezing the trigger shook some. It was good to know she wasn’t completely okay with blowing his brains out right here and now. That was nice. Of course if her nerves got any worse, they might be in trouble just the same.

He softly cleared his throat, trying not to startle her. “You’ve, ahh, got the safety on. You see there?”

Daniel nodded to the dangerous firearm pointed his way and waited for the confusion to cross her pretty face, for the golden moment of distraction to appear. It didn’t happen. Her lips puckered but not for kissing. The withering glare confirmed it.

God bless her. She wasn’t falling for any of his bullshit. Which made it time for Plan C. Plan A would have had her falling into his arms, demanding immediate sexual gratification. He wished. And B was for the Bullshit, which had not gone down, thus leaving only C for Clusterfuck.

Then, everything happened at once.

5)    Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book? (You know the one you go back to over and over.)

I tend to re-read ‘The Stand’ by Stephen King every couple of years. He’s such a wonderful writer. His characters are all individuals with their own faults and follies. Plus, total downfall of civilization. It’s an epic book.

Okay, now let’s have some fun…

6) So, you took a cruise on a luxury boat. Unfortunately, the darn boat sprung a leak and is sinking. There are over a hundred passengers on board – and only one lifeboat. Why should the captain choose you to be one of the lucky ten who gets a seat on that lifeboat.

My in-depth knowledge of apocalyptic catastrophes will make me invaluable to navigating survival on the boat, and on the desert island upon which we will inevitably be stranded. Plus it would be unconscionable to deny the world the follow-up book to Flesh, which I haven’t finished yet. Play fair.

7) You don’t know anyone else on the boat. Well, not personally anyway. But there sure are a lot of familiar faces. Just before the captain lowers the lifeboat, he tells you that you can choose one other passenger to climb in with you. It could be ANYONE. Who do you choose, and why?

Richard Armitage, because I love him. No, he’s mine. Get your own imaginary second husband. Now where’s that desert island?

8) Your heart is now pounding a mile a minute. You know why? Because on board that lifeboat with you are two people you’ve always wanted to have a ménage with. (Told you there were lots of familiar faces on the big ship. J ) Who are they?

Richard, obvs. So my third imaginary husband, Michael Fassbender, must therefore be the other. Ah, what sweet love we shall make.

9) You had to get out of your cabin in a hurry to get on the lifeboat. What are you wearing, and what did you manage to shove into your pockets?

Jeans. I’m always wearing jeans. Sorry, it’s not skimpy lingerie. Maybe next time. Yes, jeans and a t-shirt. Hopefully it’s not my ‘Warning: Ninja Expert’ shirt because that could be embarrassing.

10) What is the last thing you say to the captain?

You’ve done the right thing. Be brave. Now get the hell off my lifeboat. There’s only room for me, Richard and Michael and that king-size bed I grabbed from the state-room. Goodbye.

Note fom Jess: See? Told you she was hilarious.

If you’d like to find out more about Kylie, visit her at:

http://www.kylie-scott.com/

www.facebook.com/kyliescottwriter

@KylieScott12

Or find her book, Flesh, at:

http://momentumbooks.com.au/books/flesh/

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