Friday, 30 April 2010


Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather... it's a Portia book release day today and I didn't even know!

My naughty BDSM themed women's erotica romp CONTINUUM is now available as an ebook for the Amazon Kindle. It'd be a bit of a stretch to say this one is a romance, but it does have a romantic element in that the heroine Joanna finds her hero during the story and at the end they live happily ever after in a kinky but loving relationship.

Here's the blurb...

When Joanna Darrell agrees to take a break from an office job that has begun to bore her, she takes her first step into a new continuum of strange experiences. She is introduced to people whose way of life revolves around the giving and receiving of enjoyable punishment, and she becomes intrigued enough to experiment. Drawn in by a chain of coincidences, like Alice in a decadent Wonderland, she enters a parallel world of perversity and unusual pleasure.

Get Continuum for your Kindle!

Pervy excerpts here and here

Thursday, 29 April 2010

A fond farewell to Numb3rs

I'm just in the middle of watching the final episode of one of my favourite TV shows, the quirky cop drama, Numb3rs. I loved the show from the first time I saw episode one, and particularly fell for the brilliant, dorky and adorable Professor Charlie Eppes. But it was one of those shows with a great ensemble cast too, so I loved following the storylines about Charlie's dad, his friend Larry, and his brother Don, and the other FBI agents on Don's team. With six series, Numb3rs is one of those programmes that so wormed its way into my heart that the characters seemed to become part of an extended family... and now, I'll sorely miss them. 

Of course Numb3rs isn't the only show to become 'family'. I think millions of people all over the world will consider the characters of the various different Star Trek shows to be family. I certainly do, with Next Generation having made the most impact. Just as I've been sobbing over Charlie and Amita's wedding, I sobbed at the final episode of TNG, where the main cast assembled for a poker game with Picard one of the players at last. 

Of course, prior to Numb3rs, and concurrent with it, Law & Order Criminal Intent has been a major, major extended family show for me too. Detective Robert Goren was/is an astonishing character and profoundly inspiring in terms of hero templates, for me. Goren might be gone from our screens, alas, but a version of him still lives on for me as Robert Stone, the hero of ENTERTAINING MR STONE.

The characters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel were also part of my life for a long time, especially the wonderful bad boy Spike, who eventually endured a long, painful climb towards goodness. Something I very much liked. Spike too, inspired a book hero. He 'became' Lukas, the gorgeous blond super model in DESIGNED FOR SIN, one of my X Libris titles under the pseudonym Dorothy Starr.  

Now, of course, I have another show that's captured my heart and imagination, and is also proving inspirational in terms of hot male totty. I refer of course to THE MENTALIST, and it's glorious central character Patrick Jane, who's already provoking a new spate of yummy blond heroes, including a certain Mr. Edmund Ellsworth Ritchie. It's too soon to know whether The Mentalist will become 'family', but it's shaping up that way, because it's another show where the supporting characters are all appealing and entertaining too, and I'm very fond of Lisbon, Cho, Rigsby and Van Pelt as well as their gorgeous 'consultant'. The man who hides a tortured heart behind his sunny smile.

And so, back to Numb3rs. And to paraphrase Rick, from Casablanca, Charlie and I will always have IN TOO DEEP. In which Professor Hottie McHotstuff aka Daniel will always bear a startling resemblance to a certain Professor Eppes. 

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


Am very excited today, as A GENTLEWOMAN'S PREDICAMENT has just gone live at eHarlequin for pre-order!

This is a big thrill for me, as I'm sort of officially a historical romance author now, and this is a first peek into the overall 'world' of IN THE FLESH, too, although the characters from the novel don't actually appear in this short. Sofia Harewood, the heroine of Gentlewoman, does however go on to appear not only in the sequel, A GENTLEWOMAN'S RAVISHMENT, but also as a supporting character - under her new married name - in IN THE FLESH.

Something fun, on the Harlequin page, that I hadn't expected, is that the two Gentlewoman books also have a series title - THE LADIES' SEWING CIRCLE! At the moment, there are only the two Briefs, and a reference to the Circle in the novel, but now I'm fancying writing some more short stories about the Ladies who gather, not so much to embroider but to sew seeds of mischief amongst one another. Maybe they could even feature in longer works, such as another novel, or novellas?

Writing more Victorians would be lots of fun for me to do, and also, more stories set in that era would justify my extravagance on books and magazines about those times! Only this morning, I received a copy of The Times from 1889... fascinating stuff!

ps. as the Brief becomes available at other outlets, I'll post info here and on its page at my site.

Monday, 26 April 2010

IN THE FLESH has a blurb!

Indecent Proposal - 1890 style...

When headstrong and impoverished gentlewoman Beatrice Weatherly accidentally poses naked for the camera of the man she thought was her fiancé, her conventional Victorian world is turned upside down. Abandoned, reputation in tatters, and with her own debts and her brother's to contend with, she accepts a radical solution offered by a notoriously attractive and fiendishly wealthy man.

Successful man of business and noted womanizer Edmund Ellsworth Ritchie is stunned and beguiled by the lush sensuality of a model he espies in a series of erotic cabinet cards. Used to having any woman he wants, he sets out to possess the beautiful Siren of South Mulberry Street and make her his own for the duration of a hot affair. The fact that Beatrice Weatherly needs money, and he has plenty to offer, only makes ensuring her compliance all the easier.

Embarking on a mutually advantageous and pleasurable liaison that's only supposed to last a month, both parties quickly realize that the best laid plans of sirens and seducers can quickly and easily go awry. Beatrice's resolution to be sensible and practical and just enjoy the experience is rocked by her fast growing feelings for the sexy, enigmatic Ritchie, and Ritchie too experiences a new level of tenderness and emotion that he thought he'd put behind him with his dark and painful past.

So, with both their hearts in jeopardy despite their best intentions, can two strong-willed lovers with issues and secrets a-plenty navigate their way to a future together beyond the boundaries of their month long 'indecent proposal'? Or at its end will they kiss and go their separate ways?

In the Flesh will be published in early 2012 by Harlequin Spice

Click here for a mini excerpt from Chapter One

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

A Very Useful Book

This little beauty arrived this morning, via Ebay. It's MANNERS OF GOOD SOCIETY, written by "A member of the Aristocracy". A research book, obviously, but the best thing about it is that it was published in 1890 ie. the very year that Victorianoid is set!

So, this is the real deal about etiquette of the time, not a second hand source such as an internet search. And it's full of advice to the socially unsure about visiting your friends and acquaintances, leaving your calling cards, how to address various toff and nobs, going to parties, balls and picnics and generally behaving with propriety in the later Victorian age.

Now, I must admit, my story doesn't involve a lot of the activities described in this worthy little tome [especially not the behaving with propriety, quite the reverse!] but at least dipping into it will give me an idea of the mindset of the society conscious folk of the time, and a flavour of the way they wrote and spoke, and even if I don't use it directly, I'm hoping some of its wisdom will seep into my subconscious and maybe lend a little veracity to my Victorian historical writing.

I've actually amassed a few contemporary items for this book: bound volumes of the Illustrated London News and Punch. Bound copies of The Young Ladies' Journal and even a Mother's Companion. I love to handle these original books, and think that people were reading them and enjoying them and looking at the illustrations over a century ago. It makes the Victorian age feel very real to me, and not just some dry, theoretical historical time period.

I think that's what draws me to the Victorian era. You can still get your hands on so much of the stuff they made and used. :)

Eating: Jaffa Cake Bars
Watching: various
Reading: The Moor/Laurie R. King
Writing: Victorianoid
Feeling: so so

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Sherlock Holmes for Dummies

Sherlock Holmes For Dummies Sherlock Holmes For Dummies by Steven Doyle and David A. Crowder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A wonderful guide to the world and the cases of Sherlock Holmes. Being a Dummies book, the information is presented in a lighter, easy to follow, slightly humorous way, but still the main author, Steven Doyle, shines through as meticulous Holmes scholar whose enthusiasm and love for the Great Detective makes for a super read.

Reading this has made me eager to read more of the original Sherlock Holmes stories, to discover how different they are from some of the cinematic interpretations.

View all my reviews >>

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Forward momentum...

After a day and a half of backtracking, in order to re-engage with my characters after a brief writing hiatus, I'm pleased to announce I'm now moving forward with the plot again. Yeehah!

Have just written a prickly little scene that deals with the aftermath of Beatrice and Ritchie's 'first time' ie. the first time they doooo eeeet, as opposed to all the sensual play they've been indulging in up until now. As Beatrice was a virgin, it's a bit of a big deal for her, and already, rightly or not, she's staring to forge deeper feelings for Ritchie than she knows she ought to, given their relationship is grounded in an 'indecent proposal' arrangement. Ritchie too senses that he's getting in deeper than he planned [ooer missis] and being a guy with a shed load of emotional baggage and complications in his life, that could lead to even more of the same ahead.

It's going to be a bumpy road for these two, I guess...

Eating: more swiss roll
Watching: bit of British Superbikes
Reading: stalled on about four books, planning to read something different
Feeling: fairly chipper

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Back and forth

Have been back at work today on Victorianoid after a few days of procrastinating and doing other things.

I mostly find that when I've had a few days off from a book, I need to backtrack a bit to re-engage with the characters and the plot, and in this case, I went back about three [short] chapters, to rewrite and refine. I was going to change the 'action' in these scenes quite a bit, to follow what I laughingly call my outline, but on rereading the scenes, I think I'll keep the interaction between Beatrice and Ritchie pretty much as it is, and just change the outline! In my synopsis and outline thingoid, Ritchie was always the one pretty much calling the sexual shots, but as I've been writing, Beatrice has very much developed a mind of her own in these matters and is more sexually aggressive than I'd anticipated. I'm not sure how 'of her times' she is in this, but I'm sure that beneath the prim exteriors of many a Victorian miss or matron, there was a woman who knew what she wanted and wasn't afraid to reach out and take hold of it... much like Beatrice, beneath the tablecloth in the restaurant of Belanger's Hotel. Think about it... ;)

I've also been thinking about length again [much like Beatrice during her under the table manipulations!] and have been reworking the outline with that in mind too. Have cut out some scenes, and some unnecessarily non-relationship type aspects, to leave more space for Beatrice/Ritchie emotion and sensuality. I know a novel needs *some* plottiness, but not at the expense of the love and sex stuff in this kind of book ie. an erotic romance.

Anyway, feel better to be writing again... even if my wordcount has shrunk today, having cut out 300 words of dead wood and cringe-inducing clunkiness. I don't think super fast drafting will ever be for me, because the absolute tosh I write when I'm racing just makes me wince. I'd rather work more slowly, and go back and forth with the thing, and then know/hope that the prose isn't too horrendously awful when I've finished the first draft. :)

Eating: a lot of chocolate swiss roll
Watching: Victorian Farm/Victorian Kitchen Garden
Reading: my outline
Writing: Victorianoid
Feeling: not bad

Friday, 16 April 2010

Bit of a round up

Here are some bits and pieces of news and links.

First of all, I've been pottering with my web site and tidying up the links for most books. Instead of a raft of buy links on the home page, I've now put all the buying links on the excerpt pages, so that each book or story has its own area with blurb, buy links and excerpt. It's still not a work of art but it looks slightly less bitty now.

In order to shift the links to the individual pages, I've had to make individual pages for a few books that didn't have them... and add new excerpts. New naughty titbits include a snapshot of my story UNVEILING HIS MUSE, which is included in Alison's Wonderland and a smidge from my June Spice Brief, A GENTLEWOMAN'S RAVISHMENT. There's also a nugget from ANOTHER CHANCE, a Spice Brief out later in the year, although that's already appeared on Portia's Prose. [click the titles to savor these cheeky chunkettes!]

I'm also excited to hear from my agent that my DOROTHY STARR novels and stories are now going to become available as ebooks. DESIGNED FOR SIN is already out as a Kindle ebook, but HOTEL OF LOVE and MIDNIGHT STARR [short story collection] are also now in the pipeline.

[ps. the Dorothy Starr web site is rudimentary and not really worth looking at, but I hope to make it nicer soon. Another procrastination technique.]

I've also had some good news about an older Black Lace title of mine. IN TOO DEEP has received a lovely review from Niki at Joyfully Reviewed. Here's a bit of what she has to say...

In Too Deep is hot , hot, and even hotter. If the letters don’t get you going, the sex when they finally meet will. There’s not a single page that doesn’t ooze passionate sex. If you are looking for a hot read, you will definitely find it here.

You can read the full review here.

Eating: Jumbo Chocolate Swiss Roll
Watching: various
Reading: Patience/Sherlock for Dummies
Writing: victorianoid
Feeling: ok

Thursday, 15 April 2010

The Long and the Short of it

Over the past couple of days I've been procrastinating. Not an unusual thing for me. I've actually been doing some quite useful stuff while I've been 'not writing', in that I've made inroads into some long needed tidying up and sorting out of both my web site and the book sidebar on this blog. You probably won't notice a great deal of difference in either of them, but it's part of a process of creating more order and uniformity [don't laugh]. It's not finished yet, but both in the blog bar and on the homepage of my site, I've been streamlining links and centralizing all the info for each book on its own individual excerpt page, hence the sudden appearance of a smattering of 'Info/Excerpt/Buy' type clickables [that one leads to IN TOO DEEP, picked at random].

Anyway, while I've been engaged in all this techy/semi creative type activity, hopefully my higher brain function [yeah, right...] will have been mulling over thoughts and issues to do with IN THE FLESH aka Victorianoid. The main thing at the moment is that it's turning out as if it's going to be far too long! I always start out each book worrying if I'm going to 'get the wordcount' ie. whether my undeniably tissue paper flimsy plots will stretch to the required number of words for the publisher's guidelines. I do always manage it, because all sorts of things occur to me as I'm writing and the stories usually turn out richer than I dared dream of when I began... But this time, with IN THE FLESH, I seem to be heading for a massive over-run if I don't streamline the plot a bit. Yes, even the slight plot I've developed for this one seems to be very complex by my standards and needs a goodish bit of wordage. Plus, it's a historical, and the defining historical characteristics of setting and world-building are like extra characters and plot twists in themselves. So they need space too.

So, it's a question of constant monitoring and balancing... One thing that HAS to stay in is masses of delicious, naughty sensuality between my characters, and their emotional and psychological voyage of discovery. Those elements are the bedrock and the raison d'etre [oooh, posh] of my writing and my readers expect and are entitled to those elements... in very large amounts!

I can do this. [I once wrote a 100,000 word long book under another pseudonym] And the challenge is exciting and fun and good for me because I need to grow as a writer. But it does need a fair bit of brain bashing and the occasional step back to review and reassess. Which is what I've been doing these last few days... And the good thing about a little 'holiday' from the writing is, I'm absolutely dying to get back to Beatrice and Mr. Ritchie and find out what incredibly sexy and scandalous thing they're going to do next!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Writing a baddie!

In the last couple of days, I've been thinking about and writing about the baddie in my WIP. Now this is tough for me, because I'm a sucker for sympathetic characters, even when they're sexy, somewhat domineering alpha heroes... but the dastardly Eustace Lloyd's actions have a pivotal effect on the plot of IN THE FLESH, so I don't think it'll work to have him simply referred to, rather than put in an actual appearance. In fact, come to think of it, a dirty trick that Eustace plays on my heroine, Beatrice Weatherly, initiates the entire plot of the book. Not that there's a *huge* amount of plottiness. I'd be the first to admit that my stories depend mainly on characters, erotic interplay and emotions, rather than a lot of racing around doing things.

Because I mostly like 'nice' characters, I don't write many nasty ones. I think the last proper villain I wrote ie. one without much in the way of redeeming features, was Isidora, the wicked sorceress in my GOTHIC duo, Gothic Blue and Gothic Heat. Now she was a very bad girl, and totally ruthless, and didn't care what she did to people as long as she got what she wanted. Readers seemed to like her, and I must admit, she was fun to write, so maybe I can channel some of that irredeemable mojo into Eustace... although I'm already looking for reasons for him being the way he is. Not that I'll have much time to go into his back story. I've nearly got three quarters of my wordcount done, and I'm only half way through the plot!

Looks like this book is due some stringent and carefully considered cutting and compressing in the editing... or it's going to be a helluva sight longer than the projected 95K words!

Now then... shall I do a bit more Eustaceness? Or return to Beatrice and Mr. Ritchie and their delicious bedroom games? Hee hee!

Eating: far too much sweet stuff
Watching: The Mentalist, Numb3rs etc
Reading: Patience - Lisa Valdez/Sherlock Holmes for Dummies
Writing: IN THE FLESH aka Victorianoid
Feeling: so so

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Wahey, a new sale!

Totally thrilled to announce that [subject to contract, of course] I've made a new sale to a house that's brand new to me!

FAR FROM PERFECT is a category length contemporary romance, and it's going to be published by Samhain Publishing. This is what I'd call a sensual romance, rather than erotic. It has some hot sexy love scenes, but they're not described in quite the same explicit sort of language I'd use in my erotica and erotic romance. Still pretty sizzling though, hopefully, with a delicious and rather glam Italian hero.

I don't have a publication date as yet, but I'll be posting about it here as soon as I do have one! In the meantime, here's the blurb:


Enduring passion, turbulent emotions, and an engagement of convenience…

Four years ago, Anna Felgate seduced Nick Lisitano, a family friend she'd known all her life and always had a crush on. It was only supposed to be a one night thing, and the chance to lose her virginity with an experienced older man and legendary lover… but one taste of passion with Nick branded her soul for all time.

Four years ago, Nick Lisitano had a single night of peerless lovemaking with the one beautiful young woman he'd told himself he could never, ever have. Scarred by his parents' nightmare relationship, he'd sworn off commitment forever in favour of temporary liaisons, but he knew Anna deserved deep, enduring love.

A far from perfect match, the two agree to forget their ecstatic night and manage to maintain a cordial distance for four long years. Until a family crisis brings the two of them together again and Nick makes a daring proposition… that they enter into a temporary façade of an engagement, to lift the spirits of his dangerously ill father. Against her better judgement, Anna goes along with him, even in spite of the perilous emotional turmoil that she knows being close to Nick again will bring.

But with genuine feelings for each other, and a volcanic mutual attraction that's just bursting to reignite, can Nick and Anna keep to the terms their pragmatic agreement? Or will the passion of past become a present affair… and maybe more?


I'm thrilled to bits to be writing for Samhain, because it's a house I've admired and aspired to being an author with for ages, both for its peerless reputation and its wonderful stable of writers.

And in other news...

Don't forget that my first historical Spice Brief - A GENTLEWOMAN'S PREDICAMENT - comes out on 1st May! It's the story of a frisky and inquisitive Victorian widow, and what happens when she seeks "intimate advice to the gentlewoman"... hee hee!


Thursday, 1 April 2010

Celebrate with my buddy Saskia!

Today is a red letter day! My writing buddy Saskia Walker has a wonderful new book published by Harlequin Spice, a sexy, spooky paranormal erotic novel called RAMPANT. It's a contemporary, but it also has a mysterious historical twist too.

Saskia is celebrating over at her blog today, so why not nip across, say hello, and learn more about RAMPANT?