Verily Setting Ye Scene, Forsooth…

I recently tried writing something new for me, a historical story. In fact, an early medieval story, set in the twelfth century.

In all my writing, I try hard to set the scene in my readers’ minds (yes, revealing my naked ambition by aspiring to multiple readers) by “painting” in what I hope is enough detail for their imaginations to fill in everything else they need to see the scene in their mind.

I blame being exposed to Len Deighton’s The Ipcress File at an impressionable age. But it’s a style I like for being economical and usually engaging.

But how can I imagine being there, watching my characters do their twelfth century … stuff?

Research? As a leisure-time writer with no access to academic libraries, opportunities for “proper” research are a bit restricted.

Yes, of course I used google for some things, but you need to have a good idea of what your real question is before you can figure out which hits are helpful answers.

Some answers are just pretty simple, of course, assuming we remember to ask ourselves “is this right?”

Not long ago, I read a novel set in the 1920’s, in which the main character produced a Glock pistol. A fine choice of weapon for self defence, I’m sure, but an implausible one… Glock wasn’t founded until 1963.

Want to set a scene in a fast-food restaurant in London in say 1970? McDonalds won’t open their first branch there for another four years.

Sometimes it’s kind of convenient to rely on other people’s research, particularly if you’re confident it’s reliable enough, and it looks pretty good.

I found a lot of helpful information in Ian Mortimer’s The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England. He’s a professional academic historian as well as an historical fiction writer, so has access to the right resources, and can probably even read Latin and Middle English. He wrote this book to help readers see the past as real rather than as history, describing what you might see and experience as a visitor to the period. It gave me some insight into how people lived, what they ate and wore, and about their world. He’s since written two similar books, covering the Elizabethan and Restoration periods.

And of course Dr Mortimer isn’t the only writer whose work we can benefit from, if only for some ideas and scene-dressing.

A few examples? Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose paints a vivid picture of a 14th century Italian monastery. Edith Pargeter (aka Ellis Peters) set her well-known Brother Cadfael murder mysteries in early 12th century Shrewsbury, in western England. Sarah Woodbury’s Gareth and Gwen mysteries are set in 12th century Wales, when it was still a separate country from Norman-ruled England, and Dublin was a Viking city. Or there are the Stanton and Barling mysteries, by EM Powell, again set in the 12th century, where the two main characters were the nearest thing the English justice system had to detectives.

There are factual TV shows and series which can help us “see” the past a little more clearly as a real time and place, particularly the “re-enacting” ones. There were several excellent British TV series about agricultural life in the past – the Tudor Monastery Farm, the Victorian Farm, the Edwardian Farm and the Wartime Farm (ie 1939-1945). The “supersizers” series by Giles Coren and Sue Perkins were factual entertainment about the history of food, including the two of them trying out things from the period, like clothing and historically accurate meals. It’s worth remembering our ancestors ate a far wider range of animals, birds and fish than we do. That wasn’t because these were notably tasty, more of an “eat it or go hungry” choice. I’ve read that swan tastes pretty awful.

I’ve read plenty of books (or listened to the audiobooks) which conveyed the period nicely for me. The Sherlock Holmes stories, written between 1887 and 1927, mentioned telegrams, daily postal services, messenger services, the introduction of telephones, and using frequent train services. The unrestricted access to opium and cocaine is surprising to modern readers, but both were readily available at the time, when it’s been estimated that a quarter of doctors were addicted to opium.

Other books I’ve enjoyed which were set in the early 1950’s in Britain described a time of post-war austerity, limited private car ownership, commonplace use of trains with helpful station staff (including porters), and, in some areas, telephone calls still connected via operators who might just be listening in.

On the other hand, books actually written in earlier periods may not be that helpful, as the authors expected their readers to at least be familiar with the world the characters lived in (eg Fielding, Austen, Hardy or Dickens).

What about old TV shows and films, from the 1920’s on? These might show regular life in the US before air conditioning – wiping the back of your neck with a handkerchief in summer – everyone wearing hats and other period fashions, steam engines in widespread use on the railways, horses and steam traction engines being used on farms, manual typewriters, rotary dial telephones, telex machines, card index systems, hot metal newspaper printing…

Some modern shows and movies made a big effort to create realistic-looking settings, and I thought Versailles, The Musketeers, Taboo, and Poldark certainly gave the impression of being true to period. The 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with Matthew Macfadeyn and Keira Knightly was a notable hatchet job of the book which had some fabulous background details about life for the rural “comfortably-off” around 1800.

Although it’s primarily fantasy, there’s a lot of historical accuracy in the Game of Thrones world. Not the dragons, obviously, but the background details of life in a castle and so on.

The TV series Britannia ran rings around historical accuracy and even plausibility. But what the heck, it’s only a story.

I watched Die Hard the other night (my go-to Christmas film), made in 1988 complete with women’s “big hair” styles, clumsy-looking computer systems, CB radios, but no mobile phones. Richard Gere’s character in Pretty Woman (1990) had a mobile phone, which looks hilariously clunky today, like two house bricks. Even Dirty Dancing had a wealth of background detail you could study – the idea of annual month-long stays at the same stuffy resort centre, the entertainment, fashions, and manners.

It’s probably wise to resist overdoing your scene-setting. While you might be tempted to include things in the narrative like books or albums popular at the time, unless these are subjects discussed by the characters, it might come across as “telling”. Perfect incidental visual details in a TV show or film, though.

We may be fortunate in Britain with our long history, as we have some great places to visit which can help our imaginations. Neolithic constructions, iron-age hill forts, Roman forts and buildings, assorted castles and historic houses, and some decent museums…

The Weald and Downland Museum has more than forty historic buildings representing a thousand years of history. Blists Hill Victorian Town, operated by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, recreates a Victorian town for visitors, complete with a cast of re-enactors. The Beamish Open-Air Museum lets you glimpse industrial life in the northeast of England during the 19th and 20th centuries. I know the US has something similar at Colonial Williamsburg.

A lot of historic buildings and sites in Britain run events where visitors can meet re-enactors and get a brief glimpse of a version of the past, such as a medieval camp, or a Victorian mill or kitchen.

And then there are jousting displays and re-enacted battles and skirmishes, typically Viking or English Civil War. There are groups of enthiasts who do Roman, Napoleonic, Victorian and WW1 or WW2 military displays.

How about the large-scale annual Battle of Hastings rematch? Somehow, the bloody Normans always win, but maybe one year…

One thing we can’t get from these museums are some of the grim realities of even our recent past, which can be invaluable for the historical fiction writer. Dreadful poverty. The feudal system. Insanitary living conditions. A monotonous and limited diet. Frequent poor years for farming, with not infrequent famines. Thousands of people affected by ergotism. Half of children dying before the age of twenty-one. Huge numbers dying and suffering from disease, with no health or dental care, aggravated by malnutrition. Lives ruled by superstition and religion. The acceptance that the rich and noble were more important simply by right of birth. An almost matter-of-fact indifference to cruelty and suffering. Crusades, literal witch-hunts, wars, revolts and uprisings. The high death toll on long sea-journeys from disease, including an expected 50% from scurvy.

Or how about a disaster story set during one of the many fires which destroyed or severely damaged largely-wooden medieval European cities and towns? London had three great fires (1135, 1212 and 1666) and twelve major ones (two in Roman times, then in 675, 798, 892, 1087, 1130, 1132, 1220, 1227, 1299 and 1633). Lots of other towns and cities had similar incidents: google “list of town and city fires” and feel relief for modern building codes and well-equipped professional firefighters.

The past has all sorts of “detail” things which can help or hinder a writer, too. These are often overlooked for convenience in fiction.

Clothing

Between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries, various European countries and the Massachusetts Bay Colony in America had “sumptuary laws”, restricting people’s choice of clothing. And fashions changed in the past almost as rapidly as today.

Religion and religious practices

In England, until the fifteenth century reformation, fast days (or meat-free days) occupied almost half the year – including every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and all of Lent. Vegetables, or if you were lucky, fish. The selection of vegetables available was surprisingly limited, too. And don’t forget that people then were generally incredibly devout and very superstitious compared to us.

Language

As an example, for 200 years after the Norman Conquest of England, the general population spoke English, the ruling classes spoke Anglo-Norman and French, and very few of either group spoke the other’s language. Church services were conducted in Latin, of course. Legal cases could only be conducted in English from 1362, and the court switched to English by the end of the fourteenth century. By English I mean Middle English – check out Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” in the original text for a written form in the modern alphabet. And language use changed as fast in the past as it does today. There were also a wealth of local accents and dialects in all languages, some even more strikingly different from the norm than we have now.

Actually, language raises another question – dialogue. How closely do we follow what we think the speech styles would be in that period? It might sound perfect to someone from that time, but seems at best flowery and roundabout to us. How “realistic” does it need to be in order to convey a sense of the period? At the time, it was everyday language, after all.

Inevitably, there are a few books available to help those keen to write historical fiction.

Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders caught my attention when I perused Amazon, if only for the title. Historical Fiction Writing – A Practical Guide and Tool-Kit by Myfanwy Cook and Bernard Knight looks like a useful book, based on popular workshops Myfanwy has run. She’s a successful writer herself.

As with all other aspects of writing, there are no hard rules, only conventions. Even spelling’s just a convention, after all.

Readers who enjoy lots of historical fiction may well have expectations, so it’s probably worth becoming familiar with the genre or sub-genre you’re writing in.

Unless you’re writing an alternative history or steampunk, if you include significant factual details, do check them as best you can.

Other than that, well, have fun developing your ideas and writing your stories.

Oh, and do keep an eye open for intriguing historical discoveries. Spotting a mention of medieval underpants in a story might not actually be something to snigger about…

Oh, by the way, the comments I had back on my story from some of my collaborative critiquing group certainly left me feeling I’d got the “feel” right, which was rather nice to know. I’ve got some revisions to do, then I’ll see if I can get the story published.

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Multiorgasmic! No, not a boast, but a new anthology…

I’ve just finished reading the enjoyable new release from Lucy Felthouse, Multi-Orgasmic Volume 2, an anthology of short erotic stories. And I’m more than happy to support her marketing release blitz with this blog post, to help other potential readers find out about it.

My own review on Amazon (I gave it five stars)…

This book is a collection of nineteen entertaining and very saucy short stories. With stories of only a few hundred words, there’s little scope for character development or a complex plot, and if you’re eager for that, there are plenty of other excellent books. But this is an ideal anthology for dipping into for a quick read, and every story will probably leave you feeling happy for the characters. And maybe just a teeny bit envious!

 

multi-orgasmic-vol2-lucyfelthouse-FINALIf you’re a fan of erotic short stories, then get your hands on this collection from the pen of award-winning erotica author Lucy Felthouse.

From famous movie stars to sexy farmers, holiday flings to seducing delivery drivers, and even unusual household items being used as bondage, this book has variety galore. It’s sure to get you hot under the collar and eager to turn just one more page.

Enjoy nineteen titillating tales, over 54,000 words of naughtiness packed into one steamy read.

 

Please note: many of the stories in this book have been previously published in anthologies, as standalones, and online, but three are brand new and never seen before!

Buy links

Amazon: http://mybook.to/MOV2

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/multi-orgasmic-vol-2-lucy-felthouse/1129829792?ean=2940155871637

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/multi-orgasmic-vol-2-a-collection-of-short-stories/id1441592585?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/multi-orgasmic-vol-2

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/905453?ref=cw1985

*****

Excerpt:

“Yvette!” Jack snapped. “Are you even listening to what I’m saying?”

“Yes, Sir!” I’d only missed a bit. Maybe a couple of words. And it wasn’t my fault.

“So what’s the problem? Are you uncomfortable? Would you like a cushion?”

“No, Sir. I’m fine, thank you. It’s just…” As another noise filtered in through the double glazing, I was unable to stop my gaze slipping in that direction.

“What—?” Jack strode past me, all stompy and masterful.

I allowed myself a shiver of pleasure at his demeanour. He was sexy when he was grumpy, though naturally I didn’t enjoy it when he was grumpy with me.

He peered out the window to see what had distracted me. “Neighbour is mowing his lawn, that’s all. Can’t very well go around there and complain about that, can I?” he muttered.

Jack stepped back in front of me. “The window is closed, Yvette. I can’t really do any more than that.” He shrugged.

“It’s okay, Sir. He’ll be done soon. I can ignore it. It’s not that loud.” Ever since he’d given me that look and ordered me into the bedroom, my pussy had ached, and I had yearned for his orders, to do his bidding. To please him. I certainly didn’t want to displease him by allowing the next-door-bloody-neighbour’s garden maintenance to get in the way of our scene, but it’d be tough to remain entirely focused with that racket going on.

“Hmm. All right, then. Let’s continue. So, where were we?”

I hoped like hell that was a rhetorical question, because I’d been distracted enough by the noise outside that I hadn’t, in fact, heard all of what he’d said. I bowed my head and waited, mentally keeping my fingers crossed that Jack would answer his own question. Luckily for me, he did.

“Come here, take out my cock, and suck it.”

“Yes, Sir!” I almost got carpet burns on my knees as I eagerly shuffled forward. I reached out and undid his zipper. Slipping my right hand through the gap, I manoeuvred until my fingers closed around his shaft—which was rigid, red hot, and irresistible.

Carefully, I popped his cock out through the opening in his boxers and trousers, where it stood proudly, looking just as irresistible as it felt. All purple and swollen; raring to go. Licking my lips, I pumped my fist up and down his length a couple of times, before closing my mouth around his glans. Immediately, the delicious musky, salty taste of him hit my taste buds and I hummed happily and prepared to start sinking further onto him.

Just then, a high-pitched roaring sound reached my ears.

Jack picked up on my flinch. Stepping back—and slipping his dick out of my mouth in the process—he exclaimed, “Oh, for heaven’s sake! It’s really distracting you, isn’t it?”

I sat back on my heels and pouted. “I’m sorry, Sir! I can’t not hear. If I could switch my ears off, trust me, I would.”

Jack’s expression softened. “Hey, it’s okay. It’s not your fault. It’s just… kinda ruining what we’ve got going on here.”

I bit my lip. “Yeah, I know. But what are we supposed to do about it?”

*****

About Lucy

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

ABC Destiny

I’m posting this to help fellow author Val Portelli publicise her recently republished novella ABC Destiny.

ABC Destiny by [Portelli, Val]

It’s the story of six characters and how their lives become entwined by destiny with unexpected results. After being deserted by her lover when she falls pregnant, Delphine loses the baby and goes to work for an unsavoury character with a villainous reputation. Many years later, she is reflecting on what might have been when fate reveals the connection between her, the three girls and the two men who were involved in her past.

The three girls (the A, B and C in the title) were from very different backgrounds; Abigail from a comfortable, middle-class home, Beatrice manipulated the system in an endeavour to escape a life of poverty, and Cecelia had a pampered upbringing where her every wish was indulged by doting parents.

The chapters are told in the voices of the individual protagonists.

To give you a flavour, here’s an extract to let you know a little about Beatrice.

I’m called Bea.

Don’t know why you want to know about me. Everything in my life is crap.

Yeah, life’s a bitch.

My mum brung me up as a single parent. Was gonna say the taboo F word but don’t know if that would be allowed.

No idea who my father was, but I’ve had plenty of so-called uncles for as long as I can remember. Think Mum is trying to regain her lost youth and goes for anything in trousers what makes her feel good.

Some of them were okay, but most treated me as a nuisance getting in the way of their sex life, which was the only thing they were interested in. The rest looked on me as fair game despite my age.

I grew up quick and learnt to defend myself from groping hands by a quick kick in the B…, which was the only language they understood.

When I tried to tell Mum, she thought it was just jealousy or teenage hormones, so I learnt to look after myself. I was on my own.

If you want to know anything about how to get through the social form filling or how to get a pay-out from the system, ask me. I’m an expert.

If things get hairy, all you have to do is move to a different address and by the time they’ve caught up with your past record you’ve moved on again.

Playing the game. You have to take advantage when you can, just to make life worth living.

If you want something special and haven’t got the cash, well the shops are full. If you get caught you go into the poor little me routine and most of the time the courts accept it.

As I said life’s a bitch but you learn to fight it, however and wherever you can.

Most of my mates let the hormones take over and ended up at the social with squalling kids, nowhere to live and a boyfriend who had done a runner as soon as he found out she was pregnant.

The boys wanted the fun but not the responsibility. At least I learnt from their mistakes.

By the time I was fourteen I was at the local family planning clinic and insisting I be put on the pill. Mum had to give her consent as I was underage. Either she understood or just wasn’t interested enough to care either way.

At least I could have some fun without the risks, even if the boys did call me a slag.

 

It’s available in e-book and paperback forms on the Amazon UK and Amazon US sites, where you’ll see a number of enthusiastic reviews, all but one giving the story five stars.

Val says her pen name ‘Voinks’ started as a joke then gradually spread through the family, so it was an obvious choice when her first book was published. Although unique it was not memorable, so her books have been published under a mixture of both names.

Despite receiving her first rejection letter aged nine from some lovely people at a well-known UK women’s magazine, she continued writing intermittently until a freak accident left her housebound and going stir crazy. The rainbow saving her sanity was completing and seeing her first full length novel published. This was followed by a second traditionally-published book before entering the world of self-publishing.

In between writing her longest novel to date (over 100,000 words), and another shorter work to be published next year, she produces weekly stories for her Facebook author page and web site. She writes in various genres, although her short stories normally include her trademark twist of ‘Quirky.’

She says reviews are always welcome… they help pay for food for the Unicorns she breeds in her spare time.

There are links to her three other published books, and an anthology including one of her stories, on her Amazon UK and Amazon US author pages. All these have a lot of five-star reviews, too.

Her social media links: 

Facebook  – www.facebook.com/Voinks.writer.author

Blogs:

https://Voinks.Wordpress.com

www.QuirkyUnicornBooks.wordpress.com

New erotic romance – Later

Today’s blog is about the forthcoming publication of a new erotic romance, Later, by Charlotte Howard.

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I’ve read and enjoyed some of her other stories, and I’ve taken advantage of the special launch price by pre-ordering a copy for myself. I’ll post an honest review once I’ve read it. It will be published on October 26th, initially priced at $1.39 or 99p.

Book Blurb:

Claudia Martins and her boss, Elliot Shepherd have worked together for five years, and have become close friends. After her boyfriend cheats on her, Claudia turns to Elliot for support. But, she’s been offered a job with a rival company – one that comes with the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder and make something of herself, and one that means leaving Elliot behind.

Would you pick a man over your dream job?

 

Buy Links:

Later is available on pre-order at a special price of $1.39 from Amazon US, and 99p from Amazon UK.

The e-book will retail at £3.80 from November onwards, when a print version  will be available for £8.49.

 

Extract:

Later -ebookShe stared at the computer screen and the letter that stared back. Her finger hovered over the mouse; the white arrow-shaped cursor sat on top of the button marked ‘PRINT’. She took a deep breath and clicked it. The office printer whirred into action. It groaned loudly at having to work so late at night, blinking a single green light into the darkness. Claudia stood up when it finished and retrieved the paper. She folded it into a neat rectangle and pushed it into an envelope, scribbling Elliot’s name on the front. She went into his office and placed it on the keyboard of his computer. It was an impersonal way of handing in her notice, but she couldn’t face giving it to him in person, and it had to be done.

Her phone sang out, alerting her that she had an hour until Charlie’s gig started. It was more time than she needed. She checked her bag to make sure the VIP pass was still in her wallet.

“You’re working late again.” The sound of his deep voice made her jump. She glanced up to see Elliot leaning against the doorframe. He was still dressed in the same dark trousers and white shirt he’d been wearing all day, although he’d shed the jacket and tie. The top two buttons of his shirt were undone, and his sleeves had been rolled up to his elbows, yet he still managed to look smart and professional, where a lesser man would have looked unkempt.

Claudia’s breath caught when she remembered the letter she’d left on his desk. She’d hoped that he wouldn’t find it until morning, when the office was a little bit busier, and he wouldn’t be able to make too much of a scene. “I…” She stumbled over her words, her tongue tied into knots, searching for a reasonable lie.

“Go home,” he said, folding his arms across his chest. “Get ready for Charlie’s gig. I don’t want him blaming me for keeping you here.”

She tucked a stray hair behind her ear and felt her cheeks heat. Standing up, she hoicked her bag onto her shoulder. “You’re right,” she said. “I’ll see you in the morning.” She walked towards the door, but he blocked her path. He had a good eight or nine inches on her, and she had to glance up to look at him. Elliot stepped to the side. She felt his stare burn into her neck as she walked out of the office. She wondered if he’d already found the letter, if he knew that she planned on leaving Aries Limited within the next four weeks.

About the Author:

Charlotte says her career as a writer started when she was young, writing poetry and flash fiction for her friends and family. After a few minor successes of having pieces published in anthologies, and later on-line, she decided to have a go at writing a full-length novel. That first attempt was a bit of a disaster, but after years of practice, she finally got that coveted First Contract. Since then, she’s written several more novels and short stories, and doesn’t intend to retire for at least another 50 years.

​​Award-winning author, Charlotte lives in Somerset with her husband, two children, and growing menagerie of pets and can always be found with a cup of tea in her hand. When she’s not writing or running around after small people and animals, she loves to eat curry and watch action films.

Charlotte is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association.

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.charlottehowardauthor.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CharlotteHowardAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Shy_Tiger

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/choward_author/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charlotte-Howard/e/B00935EFFE

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5829768.Charlotte_V_Howard

 

Other Titles Available:

Tirgearr Publishing –

SEVEN DIRTY WORDS

FOUR LETTER WORDS

THE BLACK DOOR

THE FINAL STRAIGHT

CITY NIGHTS: ONE NIGHT IN ABERDEEN

CITY NIGHTS: ONE NIGHT IN EDINBURGH

CITY NIGHTS: ONE NIGHT IN INVERNESS

 

Totally Bound Publishing –

TAKING CARE OF LEAH

 

Evernight Publishing –

A DIFFERENT KIND OF THERAPY (Winner of Evernight Readers’ Choice Awards 2017, and LR Café’s Best of 2017)

 

Self-Published –

STRANDED

 

It Isn’t All In The Mind

Today, I’m blogging about A Werewolf State of Mind, the new book by UK author Lucy Felthouse. I’ve read and enjoyed it myself, and happily recommend it to anyone who likes steamy paranormal romance novellas.

In my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, I gave it five stars:

I thought this was a fresh and interesting idea for a werewolf story, where an unsuspecting new shifter approaches a psychiatrist for help with disturbing dreams. Fortunately, the psychiatrist just happens to be an empath. The fact that they both have an instant attraction for each other adds a nice twist and something they try to put to one side. I liked both characters, and enjoyed the climax of the shifter side of the story. And the romantic resolution was rather fun too!

 

Blurb:

Anneke’s typical day at the office is thrown into disarray when she finds her next patient is an unwitting werewolf. And it doesn’t end there.

awerewolfstateofmind_teaser02From the moment Caleb Kitt walks into Doctor Anneke Lund’s office for his psychiatry session, she knows his problem isn’t mental. He’s been experiencing night terrors, having violent and bloodthirsty dreams, and waking up naked in strange places. But he’s not losing his mind, as he suspects. He’s actually a werewolf—he just doesn’t know it yet.

Anneke isn’t just a psychiatrist—she’s also an empath, meaning she can read minds, and influence thoughts and behavior. She rarely uses her powers, but recognizes she may have no other choice as Caleb must be convinced of his supernatural status before the next full moon arrives. When it does, though, she finds herself going way beyond her duty of care to ensure Caleb doesn’t hurt or kill anyone when he transforms. But at what cost?

Please note: A Werewolf State of Mind was previously published in Coming in Hot: Rescue Me boxed set.

*****

Excerpt:

The intercom buzzed. “Anneke?” came the voice of her receptionist, Ellen. “Your one-thirty is here.”

Anneke pressed the button to respond. “Thanks, Ellen. Send him in.”

“Will do.”

Anneke took a moment—knowing she had a few as her patient made his way from the reception area, down the short corridor and to her office—to pull up and glance at his notes on her computer. There wasn’t much information, since he was a new patient, but there was a brief description he’d given of the problem, which had spurred him on to book the psychiatric consultation with her in the first place.

Caleb Kitt was a thirty-five-year-old personal trainer who, in his own words, thought he was losing his damn mind. He was experiencing night terrors, having violent and bloodthirsty dreams, and waking up in strange places—certainly not where he’d gone to bed.

A multitude of potential diagnoses popped into Anneke’s head, but she refused to jump to any conclusions. There was no way to know for sure what his problem was, not without speaking to him, hearing his story, finding out more. And if she struggled to get to the root of his issues using traditional methods, there was always her back up plan.

Anneke was an empath. Her unique talents comprised of mind reading, mild mind control, and being able to sense supernatural creatures. However, using those talents was always a last resort. She preferred to do things the right way, the way she had been trained to in her years at medical school. It felt like cheating otherwise, and she couldn’t help feeling it was unethical to tap into people’s brains without their knowledge or consent.

For the vast majority of the time, she didn’t have to use her gifts—just her skill and hard-earned education. But occasionally—very occasionally—when a patient wasn’t being forthcoming, or their problem proved elusive, tricky to diagnose, she would reluctantly tap into her powers. Rather that than have a patient suffer unnecessarily, when she had the tools to help them. This fine balancing act between using her paranormal abilities and her training and education made her an incredibly effective psychiatrist, and she had to be incredibly careful not to come across as too good, too quick at diagnosing patients, otherwise she’d attract attention for all the wrong reasons. She dreaded to think what would happen if people found out what she could do.

There came a knock at the door.

“Come in!” she called, minimizing all the programs on her computer screen, activating the screen saver, then getting to her feet.

The door opened, and a tentative looking, but incredibly handsome man entered the room. To her surprise, a millisecond later her gifts kicked in and she realized what his problem was—he was a werewolf. And he clearly didn’t have a clue.

She frequently sensed other supernatural creatures when she was out and about—in the street, the supermarket, the cinema. But this was the first time she’d ever had one walk in to her office, as a patient. This was going to be interesting, to say the least.

*****

Buy links:

https://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/a-werewolf-state-of-mind/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GPQ9GSM

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GPQ9GSM

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

 

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

Coming soon from Pandora Spocks – “Warrior Mine”

Pandora Spock’s new book, Warrior Mine (Dream Dominant Collection Book 4), will be released on August 14, 2018.

It’s a hot contemporary erotic romance of 116,000 words, with a great cover by Linzi Basset.

Best of all, it’s available for pre-oder at the special price of 99c until release day, at this Universal link: books2read.com/WarriorMine

I recently read one of her other books, “For Sparrow”, and enjoyed the way she wove the character’s very plausible emotions into the story, which made it particularly engaging.

Blurb:

She is the perfect combination of princess and warrior.

Warrior Mine 1 ebook coverScott Nielsen and Jackie Walker.
Their attraction is instant from the moment they meet.
But he’s Dominant.  And no way is she submissive.
Is it a missed connection?  Or a divine appointment?

Scott Nielsen is ready for change.  He’s walked away from his career as a wilderness counselor, planning to start his own outdoor survival school.  He looks up his old friend and former colleague Blake Walker, intent on leasing space at Blake’s family’s remote wilderness guest lodge.  That’s where he meets Blake’s sister Jackie, who runs the lodge with her brother’s help.  Her strength and independence intrigue Scott.  A single mom, Jackie has no intention of being anyone’s submissive.

In his personal life, Scott is tired of casual sex in the BDSM club scene.  Envious watching his buddy Blake fall head over heels for his own submissive, Scott thinks he might be ready to take the plunge himself.  As he and Jackie spend time together, he’s enchanted with her inner Warrior Princess.  But Jackie’s been burned before.  And she has two children who are her priority, not to mention the business to run.   As independent as she is, she can’t see relinquishing her power to a man, not even one she’s falling for.

Scott’s heart aches at the idea of not having Jackie in his life.  Can she take another chance on love, or will she insist on ignoring her submissive soul?

If you enjoyed LOST & BOUND, you’ll love this spin-off stand-alone story.

Pandora has an official book trailer on YouTube: https://youtu.be/3prNO9ANWYY

 

As a tease, here’s a somewhat steamy excerpt…

Enjoying the view, she watched as he walked to the bed and reached beneath it, removing a Kink Ink bag.  “I went shopping myself today while I was in town.”  His bag was larger than the ones she and Amy had returned with.

Warrior Mine promo2From the bag, he withdrew a mass of black straps and silver chain.  Arching an eyebrow dramatically, he carried the device toward her, stopping beneath the massive log that served as the center beam of the cabin.  Belatedly, Jackie noticed a heavy black ring attached to the beam.

Reaching up, Scott secured a thick steel chain to the ring overhead.  From the chain hung a curved black bar, with black straps in various lengths that dangled beneath.

Scott crooked a finger.  “Come.”

Ignoring the butterflies performing dive bombs in her stomach, Jackie slowly padded toward him.

“Do you know what this is?”

She chewed her lower lip.  “I have a pretty good idea.”

“And?”

Jackie flushed crimson.  “It’s a sex swing?”  She eyed the device curiously.  Two padded straps connected the ends of the curved overhead bar, one longer than the other.  Two short straps with cuffs at the ends hung suspended from a chain at the center of the bar.  And at either end of the bar hung a longer strap with cuffs at the end, presumably for ankles.

He nodded.  “I thought,” with his hands on her hips, he turned her around, “we might try something interesting.”  He moved the lower strap behind her thighs.   “Sit, Princess.”

Heart pounding, Jackie did as she was told, grasping onto the straps that hung down.  Scott knelt, fastening a padded black cuff around each of her ankles, spreading her wide.  Then he moved the shorter padded strap behind her shoulder blades.  “Now lean back, Princess.  I’ve got you.”

Shakily, she lay back against the thickly padded strap, gripping the side straps for dear life.  With a smirk, Scott peeled her right hand off the strap, kissing it lightly before raising it to the cuffs overhead.  He followed suit with her left hand.

When she was completely fastened in, he gave her a little push and stepped back to admire his handiwork.

“Whoa,” Jackie gasped as she swung around in a slow circle.

Scott grinned.  “How does it feel to be completely under my control?”

Jackie tried unsuccessfully to suppress a nervous giggle.  “It’s not so bad.”

“Not so bad?  I’d rather it was oh, so good.”

As she swung around, she lost sight of him.  When he came back into view, he was holding a black satin blindfold.

“Tonight, Princess, is all about sensations.  We’re going to cover your eyes, so you can concentrate on what you feel.”

He stepped toward her and stopped suddenly.  “Did you come up with your own safe words?”

Her eyes widened.  “Oh.  Yes.  I did.”  She looked to him, feeling suddenly sheepish.  Maybe we should just go with the original ones, she worried.

He raised an eyebrow, waiting for her to elaborate.

“Well,” she gestured with a shoulder, causing the swing to spin to the left, “I thought I’d use earth, water, and fire.”

Scott pursed his lips in amusement.  “Earth, water, and fire.  What about air?”

As she spun, she shrugged.  “Well, I only needed three, so…”

Earth is the same as green?”

Jackie nodded.  “And water is like yellow, and obviously fire is red.”

“Obviously,” he smirked.  “Alright, I’m about to blindfold you.  Give me feedback.”

“Earth.”  She watched him carefully.

“Earth it is.”  He leaned down and kissed her tenderly before he slid the black satin mask into place.

The next time he spoke, he sounded further away.  “If at any time you feel uncomfortable, use your safe words.”  She felt a swish of air, as though he’d moved by her.

“I considered a ball gag,” his voice came from in front of her, “but I need to be sure I can read your body language before we take away your voice.”

Strong hands gently gripped her lower calves as he trailed kissed up the inside of her right leg, his facial hair prickling in a maddeningly sensual way.  When he reached the place where her thigh joined her body, he skipped her needy place to travel back down her left leg.

Jackie groaned with disappointment, and she felt the vibration of his chuckle against her inner thigh.  “All in good time, Princess.  The King will feast, I promise.”

When he’d finished his travels, he released her, sending her spinning in a slow, dizzying circle.  With the blindfold, Jackie had no sense of up or down, left or right.  She felt as though she were floating.

Then she heard a soft buzzing sound, followed by Scott’s sexy chuckle.  “Oh, this is a naughty toy.  Just what did you get up to with this?”

Mortified, Jackie was at once glad for the blindfold, and sorry she wasn’t gagged.  “I, um…used it.”

He whispered into her ear.  “Yes, but how?”

Oh. My. God.  “I pressed it against myself.”

“And where exactly did you press it?”

Jackie cleared her throat.  “I pressed it against my pussy.”

“Your pussy.  This glorious pussy right here?”

She yelped as he unexpectedly touched the vibrator to her sex.  “Yes.”

She felt him stiffen.  “Yes, what?”

“Oh!  Yes, Sire.”

He applied an open-handed pop to her pussy, and she yelped again.  “How quickly we forget.  Perhaps we should stop and allow you to consider the error of your ways.”

Jackie’s mind flitted to what Amy had said about orgasm denial, and she panicked at the thought of not being allowed to come during this play session.  “Um, no, Sire, really, it was merely an oversight on my part, I’m so very sorry, please, I didn’t mean it, I just—”

Scott laughed out loud.  “You’ve been talking to Amy, I see.”  He whispered, closer now.  “Don’t worry Princess.  I plan to wear you out tonight.”

 

About Pandora

She describes herself as “a sassy ginger and hopeless romantic, living her happily ever after in South Florida”.  She enjoys reading and writing literary erotic romance.

She is the author of the three-novel epic romance Rannigan’s Redemption, modern-day adult fairy tale Chasing Ordinary, and a naughty little romantic novella, Just One Night.  Her Dream Dominant Collection is a series of light BDSM stand-alone novels featuring sexy Alpha males and the strong red-haired submissives who can’t resist them.  The collection currently includes four novels: Luke & Bella, Lost & Bound, For Sparrow, and Warrior Mine.

Pandora is busy on her laptop, working on her next spicy romance.

Connect with Pandora:

Website: https://PandoraSpocksAuthor.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PandoraSpocksAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PandoraSpocksWP
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pandora.spocks.author/
MeWe: mewe.com/i/pandora.spocks
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/PandoraSpocksAuthor
Book+Main Romance Bites: https://bookandmainbites.com/users/18186
Bellesa: Porn for Women: https://bellesa.co/story?id=216/rannigans-redemption-1-resisting-risk
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2u03Gcm
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/pandora-spocks
Authorgraph: https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/PandoraSpocksWP
Pandora’s Box Unleashed Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cxLw-9

Award-winning erotic novel at a special offer price

Today’s post is to help a writer attract the attention of potential readers. I read and enjoyed this story myself in 2017, and posted reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, so I’m very happy to help Scarlett as best I can.

Until 10th July, author Scarlett Flame has a Kindle Countdown special offer on her award-winning dark romance  “From Willing Sub To Enslaved Captive”, just 99p in the UK and 99 cents in the US.

This book was a “Best Indie Book” finalist in 2017, and nominated for the Golden Flogger Award for “Best BDSM Book of the Year”.

 

Kindle sale Captive

 

captive-amazon-final

The Blurb:

After discovering her submissive nature, Suzie Foster finds a Dom who she believes can give her everything she needs. But after a time, his attitude and treatment begin to change. Even with her limited experience in the Lifestyle, Suzie knows she has to end their Dom/sub relationship.

Then, just when things seem to be going right for Suzie, she is taken from her life and held captive.

Will Suzie ever get to experience the true Dom/sub relationship she seeks? Or is the life of an enslaved captive; at the hands of a cruel Dom, the last thing she will ever know?
 

 

**BE WARNED: Some descriptions are vivid and can be a trigger for sensitive readers.
**Graphic
**Sexual Content
**Language
**Suitable for ages 18 and over

Links:

Customer Review

 5 stars Outrageously thrilling.

ByAnthony Mcmanuson March 1, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

A terrific and outrageous romp. Outrageous? For sure. Scarlett Flame sets the page on fire. How can she write this stuff? But I’m glad she has as it’s so exciting.

Though not the main ingredient of my reading diet, I’ve been reading erotica since I was sixteen. In those days it was illegal, under the counter in plain brown covers stuff. My first encounter was with a novel called, ‘The Libertine’ translated from French and printed in France. I read it at night under the bedclothes and hid it among innocent boy’s books, terrified that my mother would find it. Nowadays anything goes.

I still read erotica, but it has to be good. And I know very quickly if it isn’t. And so much of it isn’t. This one is. For a start it has a credible and original story, fleshed out believable characters and a delightful protagonist in Suzie. I fell in love with Suzie, and her adventure held me spellbound. I should add that it’s a very well written novel.

I enjoyed the book immensely and recommend it highly. I look forward to more of Scarlett Flame.

As a writer of thrillers, I have to say that writing erotica is not an easy genre. Many writers think it is. They see it as easy way to make a quick income on the side. That’s why there is so much junk out there. I would never attempt it. I recognize my limitations. Writing erotica is like playing the violin. You do it very well or not at all.

 

All Available to read for #FREEwith