FREEBIE! (Holding On, and the rest of Gratis)

gratis2-boxsetsmallThe day is finally here! Gratis : New Beginnings, an erotic story anthology I’ve been involved in is officially live. And the best bit is, the ebook is free.

Summary:

After the well-received Gratis: Midwinter Tales, published in December last year, familiar as well as new names present a hot-off-the-press collection of quality erotic literature to follow in its footsteps. Gratis: New Beginnings is a refreshing look at the as yet young year in all its glorious potential. Themes of rejuvenation, redemption and personal growth mingle with the tantalising imagery and intense emotion our existing readers are already familiar with.

Spring is a time perfect for falling in love or lust and the ten authors of Gratis: New Beginnings are keen to sweep you up in their erotic fantasies. This collection contains stories by Erzabet Bishop, M.J. Carey, Km Dylan, Jason Jaxx, Kay Jaybee, Livilla Sanders, Hedonist Six, Molly Synthia, Chloe Thurlow and Elizabeth Woodham.

My own contribution is something a little different, titled Holding On.

Five years as a sexchat operator have been more than enough for Charlotte. She can’t wait to leave it all behind: the late nights, the dirty talk and the mouthbreathers on the other end of the line.

But there’s a little hitch, a hiccup in her plan. There’s one client she would rather not quit talking to…

Download totally and utterly free of charge now:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | All Romance Ebooks | Smashwords | Google Play

Of Gratis: Midwinter Tales and a Virgin

cover2-kindleIf you’re following me on Facebook, you will have had an impossible time to get away from this news: there’s an erotic short story collection coming out soon (on the 12th). It’s called Gratis: Midwinter Tales, and it will feature  – among works by eight other extremely talented writers – a brand new story of mine.

About Gratis
In what is hopefully the first of many instalments, a selection of amazing writers have bundled together some of their short stories to create an anthology which will be made available free of charge just in time for the Holidays.

Contents
Snow Falls Softly by Chloe Thurlow, In the Mood by E.A. Chapterhouse, Wicked Games by Elizabeth Woodham, Virgin by Hedonist Six, White (Lights Out) by Jason Jaxx, A Pair Well Met, Blinked, and The New Year Dancers by Kay Jaybee, The Future First Lady of France by KM Dylan, Irrecusable by Livilla Sanders, Glove, and A Penheligon Christmas by M.J. Carey.

More information: www.gratisanthology.com
Preorder: Google, Kobo

Virgin (The Rebound List #1)

The idea for this story has been months in the making, a girl in her 20s who is single for the first time in her adult life, exploring a few of the fantasies she has had to shelve while playing the squeaky-clean committed girl friend. See the blurb below:

After nearly four years with Jeff, everything fell apart. I found myself single, scared, but somehow liberated as well. Rather than stumble into another ill advised relationship, my best friend Sally helped me find focus. I would spend the next few months “finding myself” sexually. That’s how The Rebound List was born.
And -this- is how my journey begins: with a virgin. Number one on my naughty bucket list…

What (or whom) would you do to celebrate your freedom after your first serious relationship breaks down?

As this is only part one of what I’m expecting to become a four part story, the follow-up is already in progress. To stay up-to-date with its release as well as any others I have planned, why not sign up to my mailing list.

About Heroes and Perfection

God knows why I’ve spent almost the entire day today reading up on Romance / Erotic Romance and the debate of whether the genre should feature physically perfect heroes / love interests or flawed ones. As one would expect, there are a lot of opinions out there both amongst writers and readers of Erotic Romance.

Actually this so-called research happened by accident because I wanted to read a certain type of story. I wanted to find authors and books to fulfil a craving I had for some lunchtime / bedtime reading (I like to be prepared).

Personally – if you’ve read most of my work you’ll already know this – I don’t tend to go for what most people might consider physical perfection. With the exception of Ladies’ Day, where the male lead is what you might call “perfect” in the sense that he’s buff, none of my other men are. If I had to find stock images representing the main characters of my books, I’d have issues because they don’t fit the chiselled 6-pack mould!

I have my reasons and these are mostly selfish in nature. This may sound harsh, but I didn’t start writing to fulfil everyone else’s fantasies, rather I did to record my own. Hopefully through self publishing I’ll find a readership that agrees!

1. My idea of attractive does not match up with the mainstream media’s interpretation.

If I write about a man who objectively could be described as fat, it is because that’s what I like and what turns me on. I’m not running a charitable operation here, churning out stories to make often overlooked types of men feel good about themselves. (However, if I have that kind of effect on some readers who can see themselves as a certain character and this makes them happy; awesome, it’s a bonus!)

2. Looks aren’t everything.

Attractiveness and arousal can be related to looks, but that’s not the whole story. Not for me, anyway. I fantasise about lots of situations, lots of different types of people getting up to all sorts with each other. Ironically, Peter in Ladies’ Day is “conventionally hot” in a mature mid 40s sort of way. Visually he would not do it for me because of what I’ve already mentioned above. But he’s attractive anyway because he is a confident, attentive lover.

Similarly I hope that my more unconventional characters (John in Just Another Day at the Office, and George in Just for One Night) might appeal to readers who might not find them physically as attractive as I would. They might find John cute because he’s shy and quite innocent in a way. George could be appealing because he’s got that manly & rough, long-haired biker thing going for him. Or perhaps such readers would appreciate that in the eyes of their respective love interests, they are perfect.

Again perhaps (and this is something I came across in my pseudo-research multiple times today) some readers don’t care what I imagine my characters look like, they’ll simply imagine what they want them to look like and get their kicks that way. That’s fine and I do expect it; that’s why I try to keep physical descriptions fairly vague.

3. Realism vs. Fantasy

I get that (Erotic) Romance is a genre that a lot of people read to escape reality. A lot of these readers may want to imagine a perfect world where beautiful people have mind-blowing sex. Good for them.

Personally, I enjoy some realism because it allows me to identify with a story. I want to read about that guy I saw on the train or at the supermarket, not a billionaire who looks like an airbrushed magazine cut-out.Happily I also tend to fantasise about that same guy, Joe Average or even the guy sitting in the corner of the pub by himself who nobody notices.

So for me, realism merges with fantasy and I combine elements of both. While the characters show realism, I do like a bit of unrealistic hot fantasy sex where everyone always has an orgasm and instinctively people know how to please their partners.

4. The classic, tortured hero

I’ve touched upon this in an earlier, ancient blog post about 50 shades, but a lot of us women like “damaged goods”. Even if they are otherwise perfect alpha males, if they are scarred in some way that requires us to “fix” them with our love, the appeal grows exponentially. Whether this is due to some kind of misplaced instinct to mother the men in our lives, or something else, I’m not sure.

All I know is, give me a man who is honest enough to express some kind of self doubt and I’m like a moth to a flame. Not only do I feel like he’s a complete and genuine person rather than a one-dimensional arrogant prick, I also need to prove him wrong. This is especially the case if the issue he has is basically subjective (appearance related?) and not really a problem for me or my female characters. So you think you’re too old / too fat / too poor / too inexperienced or shy and therefore unlovable? Wrong!

 

Alright that’s enough ranting for one blog post. I should probably do a bit more research because I want to read about my ideal man before bedtime and I haven’t found him yet. Perhaps I should just give up and write about him instead…

 

Sneak Peek Sunday (Just for One Night)

He shakes his head slowly before lifting the pint to his lips. I follow suit but can’t help wondering what he’s thinking.

“I don’t see how you’d have that problem. I’m sure you get plenty of attention without even trying,” he says finally, almost mumbling the words into his glass.

I look him right in the eyes and helplessly give in to my urge to grin before answering .

“Perhaps the attention I tend to get without trying isn’t the one I want.”

We just stare at each other for what feels like ages. Neither of us seem in a hurry to look away. I leisurely let my mind wander, still curious what his hands might feel like against my skin. And those lips.

Objectively speaking he looks like the sort of guy you’d avoid messing with if you can help it. I’m certain that when he walks down the street, people will instinctively part to make way. At the same time his mannerisms, his way of speaking have me convinced that behind the imposing facade, he’s a really sweet guy. I wonder what makes me so sure, I don’t even know him… yet.

Onenight2-siteThe above Sneak Peek is from Just for One Night.
A brand new release, exclusively available at Amazon ( US / UK ).

Check out other entries on the Sneak Peek Sunday blog!