Wednesday, 28 February 2007

he's doing great, I feel like cr*p

Here's Kuffer again, having a nice kip. He's on good form today, happy and cheerful and having eaten plenty of breakfast. No gurgly tummy either. I'm feeling much more optimistic about his prospects today, hoping that the blood test pinpoints the thyroid probs, and a suitable treatment can quickly begin.

Me, I feel terrible! I had a gruesomely broken night's sleep! Not worrying about Kuffer, really, but with my mind churning and turning about writing. Last night, aware that I've got the first draft of Buddies done, and both my agent and my editor are asking for new ideas, I decided I had to start thinking of some... A bloody sight easier said than done! Idea finding [and plotting] are my hugest problems, and last night was no exception. I lay awake for an age, turning bits and pieces over in my mind, and nothing but nothing transpired. Everything was either :
  1. stupid
  2. too fragmentary, not a real story
  3. I've bloody well done the same idea before... at least once
I couldn't pull anything together, and none of the vague bits were even worth writing down they were so poor. But, my mind continued to churn... and I kept waking up, almost every hour, with it still fruitlessly churning. I eventually fell asleep and ended up dreaming that I was managing a large, British country estate for absentee owner, Kevin Costner! And everything was in uproar because he was finally coming to visit... Go figure! He turned up and seemed quite friendly, then the dream morphed into a kind of posing contest between two rival drag queens, one of whom might have been Bernadette from Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Then I woke up...

None of the above was in the slightest bit useful for a novel idea, but when I was in the bathroom - as ever - some more useful fragments began to coalesce... it's still bitty, but some sort of rudimentary story idea is germinating, I think. Although it's still pretty daft, and it'll probably come to nothing... I also had one or two possible extra plotty bit ideas for an existing story. Although that too, is very vague and very slight, as yet...

Gosh, I don't half wish I was one of these writers I keep encountering on boards and lists who say they have a constant stream of ideas for books pouring into their heads!!! So many they can't write them all... Maybe I should offer to buy some of these ideas from author friends who have an embarrassment of idea riches???

Telly: CSI
Chocolate: Tesco Belgian Milk
Mood: OK
Writing: just a few ideas
Reading: Radio Times
RSI/FMS: not too bad

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

latest on Kuffer

Well, we're recently back from the vet, and the doc suspects that Kuffer may have an over active thyroid. The gland in enlarged, and his general symptoms are consistent with that problem. He's had a blood test, and we'll have results in the next couple of days, and we'll take it from there. It could be an operation, or medical intervention.

This is a relief, actually, as I was fearing that Kuffer might have the same condition as Boy, who died last September. But it seems not.

Will keep you all posted on Kuffer's condition... but you'll be pleased to know he's cheery in himself and has been eating.


Well, I was going to post saying how pleased I was with my progress yesterday on Buddies, and how helpful I'd found the chatroom challenges I've been taking part in are... but the shine has been taken off that to a large extent by my current worries about Kuffer.

For a few weeks we've been noticing that he seemed to have lost a little weight, but he's been happy and contented in himself, and eating okay, so we just marked that down as something to raise with the vet on his next six monthly trip for his Program injection. However, I was woken up this morning by the sound of his tummy gurgling... really loudly. His tum has gurgled a bit now and again, but so do the tums of the other cats occasionally, and so does mine! So didn't think too much about it really... But this gurgling is loud and it's been going on since around 6.30am... He's also not eaten anything, and has been restless... so I've v. concerned about him. He's sixteen years old, so naturally, we're watchful with a cat of his age. Fortunately, his Program visit is actually tonight, so at least we were already going to the vets today, and this won't be another, extra, stressful visit for him...

Please have a good thought for my furry little lad.

Monday, 26 February 2007

another reprint in the works... hopefully...

I've just been exchanging a few emails with my editor about another reprint of one of my books that's in the works. This time it's my 2000 title HOTBED... He needs a refresh about some details about the characters' appearance in order to come up with a suitable cover image, so I was flicking back through the manuscript, looking for clues. To my dismay, I'd forgotten a lot of what happens in this book, and the fine detail of most of the characters in it, but one thing jumps out at me in that it's yet another book of mine with a cross dressing character in it!

I really must have a think for blokes in frocks... but I really don't understand what the psychology of this fascination is... It's happened a number of times though in my books. Each time though the cross dressing lad is also *very* masculine and alpha... They all love women, and they're all devastatingly attractive in their normal male clothing... and out of it. I seem to like to create this certain breed of very bold and experimental men who don't feel constrained by the usual gender 'rules' when it comes to expressing themselves. A sort of 'Sod it, why *can't* I have fun with gorgeous clothes and makeup?' attitude....

The best real world example of this is the fabulous comedian and actor Eddie Izzard.

I'm afraid I don't know andything about Eddie's private life, so I don't know what his sexual orientation is, but he doesn't come across as effeminate to me. He seems very much like a supremely intelligent and imaginative man who enjoys experimenting with beautiful clothing and makeup and making himself look great, regardless of gender. At least that's how I perceive him.

What do you think?

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Sort Out Sunday

Unlikely as it seems, this represents some progress. Many black trash bags have already been filled... But obviously, there's a long, long way to go with this major project!

I think this was a given... cakewise...

You Are a Chocolate Cake

Fun, comforting, and friendly.
You are a true classic, and while you're not super cutting edge, you're high quality.
People love your company - and have even been known to get addicted to you.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Another poll...

It's a bit similar to one I had before, but with more detail... I'd just like to know what readers want... So I can give it to them!!!! :)

Thursday, 22 February 2007

I've survived... and a bit of good news!

Well, I survived my trip to the dentist... apart from a bit of flutteriness due to the fact that my dentist, Nilesh, is so dreamy! :)

No treatment required, just the usual look-see and a bit of a polish here and there. I managed to drag the consultation out a bit by asking a bunch of questions, but eventually, sadly, I had to give him up to the next patient...

The other good news is that my short story Watching The Detective has been accepted for Black Lace's forthcoming Wicked Words: Paranormal Stories and Fantasies collection. This is a fun piece... about a television set that becomes possessed by some sort of demon or paranormal force during the course of a cop show... Clearly, I can't specify a particular show, for legal reasons... but I'll leave it up to my like-minded buddies out there to choose the show they like... cough... LOCI... cough...

Telly: UK History
Chocolate: Green and Blacks
Mood: good
Writing: not yet
Reading: magazines
RSI/FMS: rather achey

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

another mixed day....

Sigh... it's been another mixed day. Some progress on editing what I've done so far on Buds, and I am feeling quite good about the editing and refining I've been doing... but I've not been able to do as much as I'd liked. I was involved in a chat writing challenge this afternoon, at Romance Divas, and that was fun and v. good incentive to work, but the chat room was a bit on the blink and when I took a break away, I couldn't get back into it.

Am feeling a bit anxious at the moment because I have a dentist appointment tomorrow... eek! I don't have any particular problems that I'm aware of, other than the usual wear and tear of age etc, but I still freak out with worry when that prodder goes in my mouth and starts probing! The only good thing about going tomorrow is that I have a dishy new dentist, who also happens to be brill at his job... The trouble is though, it's no good him being so fanceable when he gets to look in depth into my mouth and see my less than dazzling white teeth, and also gets a good up close look at my aged mush and my lines and general frazzledness into the bargain. Sigh...

I won't be able to chill now [as if I ever do!] until I'm back safely from my dental visit tomorrow...

Telly: UK History
Chocolate: Green and Blacks
Mood: bit frazzled
Writing: editing Buds
Reading: nowt
RSI/FMS: very, very achey and tired

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

busy buddie day...

I've been busy working on Buddies today... Too tired to come up with a post now, but if you wanna sneak peak of Buds, go here!

It's rough and unedited, I warn you...

Monday, 19 February 2007

yesterday was Sort Out Sunday!

and that's why I didn't post.

Regular visitors here will have got some idea of the amount of chaos and clutter in my house from posts like this and this. Now things can only go on so long in this state before some sort of meltdown occurs... Last time it happened, our dining room was made into my office, but as my office is now the horrendous dumpster illustrated in one of those pix, and we have no more spare rooms, action has to be taken. So I've initiated Sort Out Sunday... which means that instead of writing on Sunday, as I often do, I will spend several hours sorting and throwing out, either in my office, or in other areas of the house where there's overspill... Hopefully, eventually, my productivity will increase when I can actually find things again... and I also would like to think I can take up the slack with the odd hundred or so extra words on the days when I'm not sorting out. One day, in the dim and distant future, I'll finish trying to sort out my clutter, and then I'll be back to normal.

Mind you, not that I'm doing all that much writing at the moment. I still haven't got back into Buddies Don't Bite, apart from one tiny bit of tweakage last night. Which was probably the first time I've looked at it in a fortnight! But I did have some thoughts about it whilst showering and dressing this morning [in the bathroom again, where I do some of my best creative thinking]... I've decided to slightly change Teresa's status at the beginning of the book, in respect of her so called boyfriend who's just dumped her. In the first version, she's supposed to have slept with this bozo, but now I think I'll have it that she hasn't yet done the deed... which will make her less likely to seem like a bit of a slag for fancying Zack at the same time!

Right, I suppose I should get on with that... although I'm sort of tempted to have a go with my new vacuum cleaner! Given my slatternly household skills, you'd think this would be the last thing I'd want to do... and it just proves the lengths of procrastination I'll go to in order to avoid writing... But we went to Makro yesterday and purchased an all singing all dancing Vax machine, to replace our old Hoover that went kerpuft, and I'm dying to get into a few corners here and there and massacre those dust bunnies!

Telly: not yet
Chocolate: not yet
Mood: not bad
Writing: not yet, but thought about it
Reading: ComputerActive
RSI/FMS: very achy from lugging stuff about on SOS

Saturday, 17 February 2007

I made another purty thing!

But I really must get on with the naffing thing today! Haven't written for over a week, and I've still a big scene or two that need doing!

Telly: UK History
Chocolate: not yet
Mood: okay
Writing: not a sausage
Reading: bits and bobs
RSI/FMS: not too bad

Friday, 16 February 2007

For Maria...

Maria! Hotel Chocolat is a completely fabulous online chocolate shop that sells gorgeously sumptuous goodies! Selections, great big slabs of choc, novelties... just pure heaven! I'm a member of their Chocolate Tasting Club, which means they send you a collection of yummy new chox every month or so. You can have a box *every* month if you like... but I only have one every three or four months. For the sake of my thighs!

And no, I'm not on commission, I just *love* HC!!!

Telly: UK History
Chocolate: see above
Mood: distracted, unable to focus
Writing: nothing
Reading: magazines
RSI/FMS: achey, but not quite as bad as yesterday

Thursday, 15 February 2007


Had a fantastic time with Rosemary yesterday! We had a lovely lunch out at a local cafe pub, with lots of chat about writing paranormals and other general writerly talk. Afterwards we adjourned to my gaff for more gossip, coffee and some Hotel Chocolat... yum yum.

Today, I've been trying to catch up on some stuff from my to do list... v. slowly. Am feeling a bit tired and achey, still in the midst of that FMS flareup.

Thassabout it for now... sorry this is so sparse. I promise to do better tomorrow!

Telly: UK History
Chocolate: Hotel Chocolat
Mood: not bad, but v. tired
Writing: nothing today, naughty naughty
Reading: Cosmopolitan
RSI/FMS: very very tired and aching all over

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

I nearly forgot....

And while we're on the subject, nip over to LustBites today and win hot Black Lace prizes!

busy day...

Have a busy day ahead! A lovely writing friend from America, Rosemary Laurey, is dropping in to see me today, and we're going out to lunch!

I've known Rosemary for many years and we've got together lots of times before, mostly in London but last year also in Leeds, when she's come over for writers' events and to visit her family. She's an expat Brit now living in Ohio, and a fantastic writer, best known for her fabulous vampires! So I will be picking her brains today about Buddies!

The proofs of Suite Seventeen went off back to the editorial assistant yesterday... thank God! I love the book, but checking its proofs has been horrendously gruelling. I got myself so worked up over them that I've been quite tearful with relief to see the back of them... Trouble is, I now have a huge backlog of jobs to do that I just didn't have time for while I was checking them... not least of all to begin sorting out the 'problem' and the 'bigger problem'... But these are humongous tasks that can only be tackled in baby steps, and while constantly telling myself not to panic and just work gradually... It's got to be gradual, because writing and web design has to continue too. And they take priority...

Anyway, must go now, as I have a whole bunch of last minute cleaning and tidying jobs to do before Rosemary arrives!

Telly: not yet
Chocolate: hopefully
Mood: weird
Writing: probably not today
Reading: probably not today
RSI/FMS: quite sore all over due to stress

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

It's official!

Buddies Don't Bite is go! It's to be in a Black Lace Erotic Paranormal Romance novella anthology called Lust Bites, and it'll be published on 9th November 2007!

If I can raise my game and belabour this recalcitrant sukka into shape, this should be a v. fine anthology, because the other novellas are by top spiffing authors Mathilde Madden and Kristina Lloyd, two very bright stars in the Black Lace firmament...

Telly: Gladiators of WW2
Chocolate: none yet
Mood: schizo
Writing: proof checking... agh
Reading: proof checking... agh
RSI/FMS: very achey in all parts

Monday, 12 February 2007

sorry for the gap

Yes, I really am... but I've been grappling with my proof checking and not feeling so great and generally frittering away time that could have been more productively spent... :(

Page proofs are great because you see the way the finished book is going to look, and it all makes it stunningly real... That mad idea that you thought was as thin as a wafer is suddenly an actual book, and when you read it, it almost seems as if somebody else wrote it.

Page proofs are nightmarish because you see things you wish you'd said a different way... and it's too late to change them. And, worse, you see inconsistencies that *HAVE* to be changed and you've got to work out how to do it with the least disruption to the text!!! Then there are things that niggle you, but could be left, and you have to have a fight with yourself as to whether you're going to ask for them changing... which involves big time decision making - which is one of the things I most hate and loathe in life. I HATE making decions!!!

I've also been feeling cruddy with my fibromyalgia, probably triggered by the stress of the proofs and by getting myself in a paddy over stupid things and stupid people which and whom I really shouldn't let bother me. I should just let it all flow over me, but it's not in my nature to do that. I niggle about every goddamn thing! And I get into cycles of negative thinking, which makes me depressed and anxious, which makes my FMS flare, and then I feel even worse than ever! Looking around on the web, I've been intrigued by something called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which is recommended highly for people like me... so I've ordered the For Dummies guide to it on Amazon. Even if it doesn't do anything for me, at least I can have a character who's into it in a book, can't I? Nothing's ever wasted...

On a brighter note, I may have some interesting publication news coming shortly. I'm more or less certain of it, given what I've read at a writing chum's blog... but I somehow daren't speak about it here until I hear some confirmation via my agent.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Lustbites post today

I've posted at Lustbites today... it's utter twoddle, really, but why not pop over and take a look? There are lots of pictures, even if the text I've written is crap... LOL

LUSTBITES - Casting Continuum and Gothic Blue

Thursday, 8 February 2007

GOTHIC BLUE out today in the UK!!!

At an archduke's reception, a handsome young nobleman falls under the spell of a malevolent but irresistible sorceress. Two hundred years later, Belinda Seward also falls prey to sensual forces she can neither understand nor control.

Stranded by a thunderstorm at a remote Gothic priory, Belinda and her boyfriend are drawn into an enclosed world of luxurious decadence and sexual alchemy. Their host is the courteous but melancholic André Von Kastel, a beautiful aristocrat who mourns his lost love. André has plans for Belinda... plans which take her into the realms of obsessive love and the erotic paranormal.

Available in the US from 3rd April

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

drive by.... proof checking....

The page proofs of Suite Seventeen arrived yesterday, and I'm hard at work checking them.

Checking proofs is a strange experience - half stressful, half enjoyable, all consuming. I'm really liking the book as I read it, even though there are bits I'd do differently of course, and bits that I'd love to change and improve, even though it's far too late to do so at this stage. In this particular case, the proofs have made me feel quite tearful... I know it sounds crazy, but as I read it, there's a part of me so wishes that the story, the characters and particularly Valentino were all flesh and blood real! There's a lot of emotion in this one... It started out initially as a woman's journey of self discovery tale, but I got so into Valentino that it very quickly became a deeply romantic, if slightly pervy love story. He's a very complicated guy, full of contradictions. An uber dominant Alpha male, yet he has vulnerabilities too. Exotic and unusual, yet he has a sort of sweet everyday side to his nature as well... He's arrogant, but he enjoys a laugh at the expense of his own foibles...

I've used the 'faux' cover above, because gorgeous as the publisher cover is, my own version of the cover really captures Valentino as I see him... complex, mysterious and beautiful.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Out today in the USA!

When financial executive Joanna Darrell loses her temper with a client it sets in motion a chain of erotic events beyond her wildest most fevered imaginings.

At work Joanna is feisty, capable and supremely confident in her abilities, but when she takes a forced sabbatical she quickly discovers a new and shocking side to her sensual nature. She's a sexual submissive, and who better to guide her, coax her and initiate her than the sybaritic members of the mysterious society of the Continuum. The more she samples, the more she likes, and she's soon hurtling headlong towards the very heart of this exotic association of hedonists and devotees of erotic power-play.

Fascinated by the idea that the Master of the Continuum has singled her out for his special attentions, Joanna still finds herself falling in love with her naughty 'boy next door' fellow worker, Kevin Steel - who might be a computer geek but who still finds time for sensual experiments of his own.

How far can Joanna go? How much will she learn? Who will she choose?

Continuum is available from, and all good bookshops.

Read spicy excerpts here and here.

Monday, 5 February 2007

agh, naughty Jax!

She tagged me, the naughty scamp!

"The rules are: Once you have been tagged you cant be re-tagged, you have to write a blog with 10 weird random things, facts, or habits about yourself. At the end, you chose 10 people to be tagged and list their names. Dont forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" on their profile and tell them to read your latest blog."

I'm crap at this, but here goes...

  1. I eat chocolate twice a day
  2. I haven't seen my natural hair colour for thirty years
  3. I do all my writing in bed
  4. I have at least seven different pseudonyms, possibly more, I can't remember them all
  5. I wrote my first ever fiction when I was about twelve, inspired by a scene in James Bond
  6. James Marsters owns several of my books*
  7. David Boreanaz owns one of my books*
  8. I am ruled by my cats
  9. I used to be a Trekkie
  10. I used to have four televisions, three VHS recorders, and two DVD players in the house [v. small bungalow] but am now down to two of each
* but they've probably both binned them by now...

I'm not tagging anybody... Yeah, I know I'm a spoilsport but it's hard coming up with this stuff! If you do feel like participating, please go ahead... :)

Sunday, 4 February 2007

grappling with vamp/s

I've been watching two versions of Dracula today, trying to get in a vampy mood to write Buddies... I'm at a tough spot, and having to describe strong emotions, with issues to do with vampirism... and it's hard going. Only managing two or three hundred words per day, if that. There are two issues I'm grappling with:
  • trying go describe the rapture of vampire sex and express an ecstacy in the blood that goes far beyond the genital experience. I'm used to getting into the head of characters in the throes of passion, but this is different... there's an extra dimension
  • trying to express my hero's emotions being torn two ways at once ie. he wants to be with the heroine, and on a primal level, to change her, so they can be together, but at the same time, he doesn't want to deny her a normal life, and the sun and everything else she'd have to give up to be with him...
It's all very tumultuous stuff, which is why progress is slow.

Telly: Dracula/Frank Langella + Dracula/Gary Oldman
Chocolate: Tesco Belgian Milk
Mood: okay
Writing: 500 words Buddies
Reading: Dracula movie novelisation [not Stoker]
RSI: not bad

Saturday, 3 February 2007

in the press

Look who's on page 6 of the February Romance Writer's Report!!!

It's a very sexy book is Continuum... might be a bit strong meat for some romance readers. Even those who generally read erotic romance... But if you like the road to 'happily ever after' to be twisted, kinky and challenging... this is the book for you!

Thursday, 1 February 2007

now I know...

why I was in such a godawful mood yesterday. I had a migraine building, didn't I? It's arrived today, and I feel pretty crappy. Have taken my medication, but while that's brill at squelching the headache, it makes me feel generally weird, and I'm currently working my way through that weirdness...

In other news, well, no writing done again today, but at least I feel as if I might like to do some when I normalise again. So that's progress of sorts, at least. I've also been installing a few new bits and bobs of software, and I'm currently trialling a clipboard extender program called Clipmate, which looks as if it might be v. useful. I'm always wanting to save bits here and there, and past them into things, but it does my head in that I can only save one thing at once. Clipmate allows you to save a whole bunch of different things of different types, so that you can choose from amongst them to paste into your document or whatever. If it continues to be as useful as I'm hoping, I'll definitely be buying the full version...

Take a look here at Clipmate


I'm smiling today! The splendid and very discerning Ashley Lister has just posted a wonderful review of Continuum at the Erotica Readers and Writers Association...

Click here to read the splendiferous review!