dicembre 27, 2011

Goodreads M/M Romance Member's Choice Awards

Hello, everyone :)!
How are you? I hope you're enjoying the holidays and having a lovely time with your loved ones. I certainly am - I'm back in Italy, spending time with my family and boyfriend, catching up with friends and eating lots of wonderful food ♥



Also, I have great news - I just discovered (because I'm about as internet-smart as a possum) that my short story Apples and Regrets and Wasted Time is nominated in four categories at the Goodreads M/M Romance group's Member's Choice Awards :).

It's nominated for:
Best Story that Should/Must have a Sequel
Best Title
Best Short Story 25 pages or 15K words or less (book)
Best Cover


Also, the anthology Wild Passions, which includes my urban fantasy short story City of Foxes, is nominated for Best Anthology. Exciting :)!

Voting ends on December 30th. If you haven't voted yet - head to the survey HERE and check out all the awesome nominees :)!

dicembre 22, 2011

Release: City of Foxes

Hello, everyone :)!
I'm a disaster as far as blogging goes, I know :) - I still haven't celebrated the fact that my short story City of Foxes, originally published as part of Storm Moon Press' Wild Passions anthology, has been released as a stand-alone! The call for submissions was about humans with animal traits - I just couldn't resist. I have a soft spot for twitchy furry ears and bushy tails moving gently or cutting the air nervously, betraying the mood of the character... so I went to town on it. Fox people, dark, gritty urban fantasy metropolis, a civil war tearing the community apart...




The last thing Jake Sullivan wanted to do upon returning to the city was get involved in the ongoing struggle between the organized militia and the fox people. After saving a fox child from bullies, however, he finds himself in the heart of the foxes' slums, where showing his face as a human can be just as dangerous as messing with the militia in the city proper. The proximity of Liam, a white fox with healing powers, certainly doesn't make things any easier. The attractive fox throws his own powers into an uncontrollable overdrive, not to mention his libido.

When several of the fox people are captured by the militia, Jake's presence is like salt on old wounds. Prejudices and politics flare, and Jake's secrets threaten to ruin his shaky alliance. If they are to save the foxes taken by the militia for experimentation, it will take all the cunning and power the clan can muster. Unfortunately, that also means they'll have to put their trust the one place they'd never imagined: in the hands of a human.


You can grab a copy on Storm Moon Press' website!


Here's an excerpt from the story ;)!

Excerpt:

Jake woke up with a gasp, and hauled himself upright.

He was in a small, cramped room with walls a collage of metal scraps, a plastic roof. Assorted junk lay on the floor, arranged in neat piles in the corner. Jake craned his neck to the side, spotting a small old stove. The fire was reduced to dying embers.

He was lying on a rickety camp bed, his jacket folded at the bottom. He pushed himself up, shaking his head, trying to clear the—

Wait.

He wiggled his shoulders, puzzled. Tentatively, he leaned back, resting his weight on his arms. Nothing. He reached to touch his left shoulder, pressing down with his fingertips, half-expecting an explosion of pain, and all he found was a neat round hole in a sleeve stiff with dried blood, and perfectly whole flesh underneath. He sure wasn't about to complain, but... what the hell?

He toed into his boots and made his way out of the shed, pushing the door closed behind him. A gray sky hung over a cluster of small buildings of scraped metal and plastic panels. Thin paths snaked between the shanties, crisscrossing apparently at random.

Jake stepped on, alert and on guard. The few people in the street stopped to stare at him, some uncertain, some plain curious, some with frightened, wide eyes. Jake swallowed as he took in their appearance. Broad triangular ears poked out of their hair, covered in a fine fur, red-rust colored. The same shade was matched by the long tails Jake could see poking out behind them, some held stiff, some twitching nervously. A large man caught his gaze and slowly drew his lips back, uncovering sharp fangs.

Jake swallowed. Fox people. All over the fucking place.

That did not bode well for him.

"Hey. Glad to see you woke up, man," a warm voice said.

Jake whipped around, his arms instantly raised in a guard, fists clenched.

"Whoa. Calm down, big guy." A lean fox was standing a few feet from him in worn grey jeans and a t-shirt, hands raised in mock surrender and a smug grin on his lips. His eyes were a pale gold, observing him with a cross of arrogance and amusement.

Jake lowered his hands, feeling vaguely idiotic. "And you would be?" he asked, trying to look menacing. The fox just smirked.

"Name's Liam. I also happen to be the guy who saved your ass, so you can relax. You're in no danger here."

Read the rest of the excerpt - here be rat people, mutant pigeons and bickering!

dicembre 09, 2011

New release: Bounty Hunter



Hello, everyone :)!
I have great news - my latest short story, Bounty Hunter, is out today as part of Storm Moon Press's epic gun!kink anthology Weight of a Gun. As soon as I saw the call for submissions, I couldn't stop thinking of worn-out leather, stubbles, sun-burned skin, scorching heat, yellow dust, dry heat, and a gorgeous, gleaming, burnished old fashioned Colt... and what's hotter than a Bounty Hunter finally catching his prey in the merciless Wild West?

William Hunt is hot on the trail of lover-turned-outlaw James Campbell. But when William finally catches up with James, bringing him to justice is the last thing on his mind.

You can grab a copy on Storm Moon Press' website!

Here's an excerpt from the story ;)!

Excerpt:

The man walked in the saloon, the wooden doors swinging heavily behind him. Gravel crackled under his boots as he was welcomed by the reek of cheap alcohol and gin sweat. The handful of drunken men barely spared him a glance. Someone was singing a crooked, out of tune, love song. Worn out cards slapped on wooden tabletops, the tired clinking of glass against glass as someone poured a drink.

William Hunt didn't pay attention to any of it.

He had the best part of a whiskey flask in him, a gun heavy at his side, the stubble of four days on his face, and a sure lead. A lead he might have dragged out of a whimpering man, pressing the barrel of his gun hard into his cheek and wondering out loud whether at this particular angle the man's eye would explode as the bullet tore through it before it blew up his brain. The man couldn't speak fast enough to tell William what he wanted to know.

William hadn't shot the man, of course. He hadn't even intended to. He was just good at knowing what it would take to make a man talk; it came with the job after all. This one you could scare into spilling, that one you had to beat up, that one would crack after you broke a couple of fingers.

Whatever it took to get information.

William knew where James Campbell was holed up, and that was all he needed.

dicembre 06, 2011

The Tea Demon reviews :)



Hello, everyone :)!

I am being utterly and completely spoiled with all the great reviews my Tea Demon short story is receiving. I'm so very grateful to all readers & reviewers who take the time to let me know how they feel about it :)! I'm going to post some snippets and links, because I'm a tidy freak and I like having them all rounded up in one place... :D

Blurb:

Thief Eric Devon wishes one thing: for people to leave him bloody well alone. And maybe for more whiskey. Until a mysterious stranger offers him a job so dangerous that no one has ever attempted it and survived to tell the tale: recover a priceless object from the Turtle Merchants’ impregnable palace. Intrigued by the man and the challenge, Eric accepts—but the stranger is none other than the legendary airship captain known as the Tea Demon, terror of the Sea of Clouds. Eric must come up with the best plan in history if he wants to complete his job... and survive it too.



There's a very flattering 4.25 stars review by LadyM at Reviews by Jessewave:

There is an old fashioned adventure feel to this story which was perfectly fitting for this setting and both main characters. They come across as daredevils with a taste for adventure and intrigues and, while we don’t learn much about their backgrounds, what we did learn about them was enough to charm me. Their attraction was palpable and the promise of more believable. I particularly liked the humor, some of it very tongue-in-cheek. It was clear that the author had a lot of fun writing this. I know I had a lot of fun reading it. The writing was tight and, at times, truly beautiful. I like how the author is capable of capturing the mood or the situation in a few brief sentences.


Also, a lovely 4 stars review at Jenre's Well Read blog:

This steampunkish fantasy story begins in an electrifying way. Semi-retired professional thief Eric is approached by a stranger in a bar who wants him to steal something for him. After a passionate kiss followed by a bar brawl, Eric accepts and is amazed to discover that he's working for the notorious Tea Demon, scourge of the skies.


Then a great 4 hearts review by Pixie at MM Good Book Reviews:

I think with this one it has a lot to offer as you have adventure, excitement, hot steamy sex, explosions, a bar fight, air ships, a giant floating turtle and the promise of something more for Eric and Jonathan.


And finally, a lovely 4 stars review by Alex at Between the Covers:

Grey made the steampunk background come to life with beautiful, succinct descriptions of the world and the characters. In a few pages she creates a world, building upon the reader's basic knowledge to expand it into a fantastical environment. Although we are just given the bare bones, it's enough to provide a full-color illustration and support the simple--and amusing--plot.

novembre 23, 2011

New release: The Tea Demon + lovely review!



Hello, everyone :)!
I have wonderful news - my latest short story, The Tea Demon, is out today at Dreamspinner Press. It was an experiment for me, in which I got to explore my favourite writing genres - steampunk and humour. I've always loved light-hearted, wildly creative, vaguely ridiculous stories, like the ones my father and I used to make up together when I was a kid, driving around in his aqua green Panda. Needless to say, I had lots of fun writing this!

Blurb:

Thief Eric Devon wishes one thing: for people to leave him bloody well alone. And maybe for more whiskey. Until a mysterious stranger offers him a job so dangerous that no one has ever attempted it and survived to tell the tale: recover a priceless object from the Turtle Merchants’ impregnable palace. Intrigued by the man and the challenge, Eric accepts—but the stranger is none other than the legendary airship captain known as the Tea Demon, terror of the Sea of Clouds. Eric must come up with the best plan in history if he wants to complete his job... and survive it too.


You can grab a copy on Dreamspinner's website!

Here's an excerpt from the story, involving a handsome stranger, a hot bet, and some... intense action ;)!

Excerpt:

ERIC DEVON sat at the inn’s counter and wished people would just leave him bloody well alone.

A middle-aged man dressed in purple clung to his arm, drooling and cajoling. “Please, Eric. You’re my last hope,” he slurred. “You know what my wife will… do to me if I don’t recover that doily? You have got to help me….”

The tall pendulum clock in the corner struck eleven. Eric groaned and pressed the heel of his hands to his eyes, then drew his fingers back, messing up his already tangled black hair. It was nearly lunchtime and he was nowhere near drunk enough. He gestured for the innkeeper. That needed to be fixed, and fast.

“Eric,” the purple-robed man whined. Eric kept his eyes steadily on the glass being filled in front of him. “You know I’m no good at stealing. We’ve known each other for... for at least two days. Help a man out....”

“Piss off, Olaf.” Eric snatched his whiskey up. “I told you I’m not looking for a job.” He shoved his way past the wobbling man and through the crowd to a tiny empty table crammed in a corner. He plopped down on the chair, shoulders hunched, feeling his mood sink even lower.

“Well, isn’t that a shame.”

Eric lifted his gaze, malevolent. A stranger was straddling the chair across from him, leaning forward on the backrest, arms folded. He was smiling, lips curled up in a too-smug grin on his impish face.

“What’s a shame?” Eric grunted.

Clever green eyes twinkled beneath a mess of chestnut bangs. The stranger was wrapped in a red cloak, and a thick braid rested over his shoulder. He lifted his hand to carelessly push his bangs back, without much success. A thick leather strap was tied around his wrist. “You. Not taking jobs.”

Eric rubbed at the stubble on his chin. “How come?” he couldn’t help but ask. The stranger shrugged, and there it was again—that crooked smirk. Annoying, Eric thought. But also....

(Read the rest of the excerpt!)


Also, the story already got its first review, which is incredibly exciting - I couldn't have wished for anything better than this lovely 4 stars review by Ami on Goodreads:

Wow, this book feels like an adventure of Aladdin, straight from 1001 nights. There thrilling adventure and romance as thief Eric Devon helps a stranger -- who turns out to be an infamous airship captain, Jonathan Tea or is well-known as "Tea Demon" -- to retrieve a priceless object. Their first meeting is sensual (love the bet, and the outcome of the bet) follows by action (bar fight!). Then there is hot love-making on the airship. And well, the promise of long and budding relationship. It's a satisfying read most definitely. And it comes in 52 pages!! Impressive.

novembre 21, 2011

New cover + lovely review!



Hello, everyone :)!
I have a brand new, shiny cover to share - it's for my upcoming novella, The Ronin and the Fox, which will be released by Storm Moon Press in February. Nathie, the artist, is just amazing - I'm a little bit in love with all her art!

Here's the blurb for the novella :).

In feudal Japan, Kaede Hajime lives as a vagabond ronin, a samurai without a lord. As he spends the night at a village's inn, the innkeeper begs him to help stop a mischevious kitsune, a fox spirit, plaguing their village. But when he captures the spirit - in the form of a hauntingly beautiful man -Hajime learns that the kitsune has troubles of his own. The pearl that contains the fox's soul has been stolen, leaving him a slave to the new owner, who is forcing him to attack the village.

Hajime agrees to help the fox retrieve the jewel, but living with a fox spirit isn't easy, and the budding trust between them is constantly tested. Kitsune are tricksters above all, and Hajime must decide how much of the story the fox tells him is truth. What's worse, an old comrade of Hajime's is in town, bringing with him the sour memories of Hajime's time as a samurai. Hajime must find a way to locate the thief and steal back the jewel before the thief turns the kitsune's considerable power against him.



Boy, what a month this has been. I'm in my final semester at uni, I have exams and a final project to write and a job and I'm basically surviving on coffee and frozen pizza. Also, me and my flatmates have been without heating or hot water for a few days now (hopefully tonight it will be sorted). So, to fight the cold and unwind a little after spending the whole day sitting at various desks, I've started coopting the flatmates for traditional dance parties in the kitchen every night. Feels amazing - I love traditional Occitan dances (Occitania is a tiny region in the Italian mountains). Half an hour is enough to make all my muscles ache and get me drenched in sweat. It's such fun!

In other news, I got another lovely 4 1/2 Hearts review for my short story Apples and Regrets and Wasted Time, from MM Good Reviews. I'm thrilled with it:)!


Review:
I don’t believe that I have ever been as enthralled with a book as I was with this one. I don’t even know where to begin as this is a story with no names.

It’s been three years since he last saw his old lover and now here he is sneaking through his window, to get cleaned up before leaving again. Even though his old lover doesn’t seem happy to see him they put aside their hurts as their passion is re-ignited.

Even though this is a short story do not be fooled that it will not draw you in with its intense emotional longings and the devastatingly hopeless love. These two lovers have not seen each other in three years but neither has forgotten or stopped loving the other. They remember everything about each other and they both do things ‘just in case’. but they both know that it is hopeless between them, that it can never be.

Incredibly written, so full of detail, so full of emotion, so poignant, this is a masterpiece just waiting to be read. I have to recommend that you don’t miss this book, it is a ‘must be read’ and enjoyed.

ottobre 23, 2011

interviews @ BookWenches and Romance Lives Forever

Hello, everyone :)

How are you all? I hope things are great. Me, I'm on week 4 of my final semester at uni, and panic hasn't quite kicked in... not yet! I've started working on a translation project, which is awesome. While in Italy, I came across so many books with sloppy translation mistakes, and it never fails to make me angry; the translator has a big responsibility to the story he or she is working on, a responsibility to do right by the author. If the translation is sloppy, it's the author who's going to lose readers and sales. Me, I love words, I love stories, and translating gives me a way to show that love, taking care of that story to make sure it comes out on the other side in the best possible way.

In other news, I have another couple of interviews out, thanks to Storm Moon Press' October blog tour. Here's an excerpt from the one on the awesome Book Wenches blog:

Many authors have told me that they don’t just want to write, they need to write. Would you say this is true for you?

I usually do. Writing is my favorite way of thinking ‘out loud’, so to speak – it helps me put things into focus and find the crux of the matter. And whenever something’s wrong, whenever I have a big decision to make… I write. Sometimes I write to myself. It’s always been my chosen way to understand and cope with the world.

Story-wise, I sometimes can’t write fast enough to jot down all the ideas tumbling around in my head. And sometimes, it feels like all the ideas are pushing together to come out and they end up clogging the way, so I spend a few days sternly refusing to write… and circling around the notebook like a shark. Other times, I don’t even want to write, because the story looks so shiny and pretty in my head and I’m not quite sure it will come out as good on the page. But the truth is, I actually can’t function very well if I’m not writing. I feel a little lost, like I’m not quite sure about what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. So, yes, I guess I’m one of those authors who need to write!

Read the rest of the interview HERE.



And here's a snippet from one at the great Romance Lives Forever blog:

Q: Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...?
I usually start with research. It's one of the best sources of inspiration – every little detail discovered can set off a whole set of ideas, be it a moment, a scene or a whole subplot. After I've jotted down all the interesting details, chunks of dialogue, and scene ideas, then I work on the storyline. For me, that's the most important phase. First I pinpoint four big points – the inciting incident, the moment when things go wrong and everything's about to go to hell, the big climax, and the end. Then I fill in the events in between, and I end up with a storyline where every scene is marked. Of course this is flexible, and I usually end up modifying the outline as I work, but I like having a list of scenes when I start writing. I work on one scene at a time, breaking the story down in smaller bites, and it helps me take one step at a time and not freak out trying to work on the whole thing at once. Then, once all the little bits are in place, I read the whole thing a couple of times and make sure it's cohesive, that I didn't miss any loose threads and that the tone/narrative voice is consistent.


Read the rest of the interview HERE.

Thank you all for stopping by :)!

ottobre 10, 2011

London, interview & new contract :)

Hello, fellow writers and authors :)

So I left warm and sunny Italy behind, and I'm now all settled back in London. I'm two weeks into my last semester of uni, and I'm still not quite freaking out about exams, final project and life after graduation... not yet! I've been catching up with friends and meeting new ones, and had a wander around Camden, which never fails to cheer me up when I'm homesick. I also may have purchased a lovely pair of Indian earrings and had a plate of my beloved Camden Town sweet n' sour chicken noodles :)

I've also recently signed another contract, which is very exciting! It's for my novella The Ronin and the Fox, which will be published by Storm Moon Press in February. It's the story of a Japanese ronin who finds himself stuck with a mocking, annoying and unbearably hot fox spirit...



In other news, today I'm being interviewed over at It's Raining Men blog, on my favourite writing genres, my relationship with het romance, and the always thorny issue of women writing gay fiction.

Interview extract:

What is your favorite subgenre to write?

At the moment, steampunk, hands down. I always love the steampunk feel and aesthetic, even before I knew there was a name for it – brass, brown, cream, odd machinery, the dusty, untidy, mysterious feel of it, clockwork and airships, elaborate technology that’s not modern… and then I discovered steampunk existed, and I’m very happy playing in that sandbox now. It’s still largely uncharted territory, flexible – the possibilities are endless! For example, I prefer to insert it not in a Victorian city setting, but rather in imaginary worlds, usually mixed with post-apocalyptic elements – say, people living in drought in dusty towns while a powerful minority can afford shiny steam-powered technology.
Post-apocalyptic is another of my favorites. It’s got that dusty, gritty feel again – the urban society that’s collapsed in on itself, the people that have to scrap together new lives in the remains. And since my one true love is mixed genre fiction, in the style of China Miéville’s Weird Fiction and Jonathan Barnes’ ‘The Somnambulist’, I often have post-apocalyptic settings where technology has never progressed past steampunk level, with a sprinkling of fantasy elements, say supernatural creatures or some form of magic. I don’t believe it’s necessary for authors to pick a genre label and stick to the blueprint, nor am I interested in pinpointing a genre in order to enjoy a story as a reader. But then, I always like to be surprised, and I’m always fond of unusual and unpredictable things :).


Read the rest of the interview HERE :)!

settembre 28, 2011

Sicily and new contracts!

Hello, everyone!

I hope you're all doing great. I'm enjoying the last warm september afternoons before I fly back to London to start university next week. I'm a sucker for warm - and the thing is, the area of Italy where I live isn't all that warm even if I'm just half an hour from the seaside. In the winter, the river freezes for two months and the snow easily gets one meter deep and the roads leading to all the little hamlets get blocked. In the summer, we might get a blazing hot august, but in the evening the temperature drops and we still have to wear long sleeves. Basically, the whole time I'm in London, I walk around wrapped in cardigans and scarves and I keep picturing the moment when I'll be able to just stand in the sunshine in a sundress and feel nothing but the sun's warmth roasting my shoulders.

So anyway, June and July were grey and windy, which was really odd, but we're having a September with very warm afternoons. And I'm soaking it all up, preparing myself for the long winter!


I went to Sicily for a week, in a little seaside town surrounded by amazing archaeological wonders, where a friend lives. A little present me and my boyfriend got ourselves for our sixth anniversary. It was just so amazingly warm. And the water was the most transparent, glimmering sea I've ever seen. And the food, oh, don't get me started on the food, all the savoury shellfish...


Saint Nicola's island, a few miles off Licata's coast.


In other news, I signed two new contracts this summer, which is very exciting. They're both with Storm Moon Press, which is a joy to work with! One is for a short story, Bounty Hunter, which will be published in their Weight of a Gun anthology coming out in December. And the other is for a novella, The Ronin and the Fox, a paranormal romance set in Feudal Japan, which had been in the works since August 2010. They'll be respectively my last 2011 release and my first 2012 one :).

agosto 17, 2011

Cross Bones release + excerpt!



Hello, everyone :)!


With a couple of days of delay - blame a long weekend of friends' gigs and way too much delicious food :) - I finally join in the celebrations for the release of Dreamspinner Press' pirate-themed anthology, Cross Bones!

• Captain Merric by Rebecca Cohen
• Rough Trade by Cooper West
• Touched by the West Wind by Ellen Holiday
• The Winds of Change by Maggie Lee
• My Hand in Yours by Emily Moreton
• Ghost of Jupiter by Jana Denardo
• The Golden Galleon by K.R. Foster
• Objectivity by K.J. Johnson
• Worth the Price by Cornelia Grey
• Peter and the Lost Boys by Juan Kenobi
• Officer and a Gentleman Pirate by E.S. Douglas
• On the Wings of Lir by Riley Shane
• From a Simmer to a Burn by B. Snow
• Irish Red by MJ O'Shea
• Black John by Piper Vaughn


Here's the blurb for my story:

Worth the Price

Lieutenant Edward Moon has been chasing the infamous Captain O'Shea for longer than he can remember. When he falls into the pirate's hands, however, things take a turn he'd never imagined. Edward finds himself torn between his duty and a dangerous loyalty to O'Shea. When the captain faces the gallows, Edward must take the hardest decision of his life - but will it be worth the price?


I always had a thing for pirates, so I can't wait to read all the other stories. Here's an excerpt from Worth the Price, all about the sizzling tension between Edward and O'Shea...

“So,” Edward rasped, trying to catch his breath. “What are you going to do with me? Murder me? Hang me from the mizzen and celebrate?” (click to read the excerpt!)


Here's the link to the DSP page to check out the other blurbs :) here.




agosto 04, 2011

New cover + interview :)



Hello, everyone :)!


Today I have a shiny new cover to share, for the upcoming pirate-themed Dreamspinner anthology Cross Bones. Here's the blurb for my story:

Worth the Price

Lieutenant Edward Moon has been chasing the infamous Captain O'Shea for longer than he can remember. When he falls into the pirate's hands, however, things take a turn he'd never imagined. Edward finds himself torn between his duty and a dangerous loyalty to O'Shea. When the captain faces the gallows, Edward must take the hardest decision of his life - but will it be worth the price?


The anthology will be up for sale on August 15th. Here's the link to the DSP page for the other blurbs! here.


Also, I realized I completely failed to post the link to an interview of mine that was kindly hosted by the Top2Bottom Reviews blog in May :).

Excerpt:

Will you share three things you’ve learned about the business of writing since your first publication?

- The essential thing is to actually put yourself out there. I see many of my writer classmates get lost in wishful thinking and end up not acting on it: maybe for fear of rejection, maybe because taking the actual step to make something real is always hard to take. But it’s important to power through that gap.

- Rejection isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Ultimately, I got to spend hours figuring out and writing a story that I loved, I had fun with the characters and along their adventure. Of course I’m happy if I get validation and other people get to enjoy the story too. But I had my share of the fun, and it’s time to jump in the next adventure and enjoy that too rather than brood.

- Editors are great teachers, especially for someone like me, who is writing in a second language. Even though I’m attending university in the UK, no one ever takes the time to check my sentences and pinpoint that this word is used incorrectly or that sentence structure sounds too Italian. Having someone explain to me things I still don’t know is priceless, and it’s helping me get constantly better.


Read the rest of the interview HERE.

luglio 25, 2011

Double guest post - bittersweet endings + interview

Hello, everyone :)

Today I'm being spoiled - TWO lovely bloggers are having me over for a guest post!

Naught Boys in the Backseat is hosting my considerations about my love for non-traditional happy endings. As a writer, I'm particularly fond of them, and here I try to analyse why.

Excerpt:

Bittersweet endings: 'it's complicated'

Bittersweet endings: love them or hate them, they never fail to stir up a reaction. As for me – both as a reader and as an author – if I had to Facebook my relationship with bittersweet endings, I’d pick ‘it’s complicated’.

I tell myself I don’t really like them, that what I want for the characters is a full-blown, shiny, unicorns-and-rainbows-dipped-in-glitter happy ending to put all happy endings to shame. They deserve it, after all: I’ve come to love the characters, I’ve followed them in their ups and downs and after all they’ve been through, they deserve peace and happiness. They do. And yet, as the ending approaches, I find myself eyeing them furtively as a little, guilty part of me considers that it would be… too easy. Now, when I’m a reader, all I can do is lay back, keep reading and be quiet. But when I’m the author… my characters better start worrying, ‘cause I see a bad moon a-rising in their near future...


Read the rest of the post HERE.




Lou Sylvre's is utterly spoiling me, sharing an excerpt from my bittersweet story Apples and Regrets and Wasted Time HERE and a 18+ exerpt from my novella The Mercenary HERE.

She also interviewed me about my latest release, Apples and Regrets and Wasted Time, my use of language and my future projects ♥.

Excerpt:

Q: I know of several short stories (in addition to Apples and Regret) that you’ve had published. If readers look at several of your stories, will they find a common thread, or theme? How do your stories come in to being—do you create characters and the story grows up around them, or do you start with a plot and invent characters as they’re needed? (Or some other mixture?)

A: I noticed there’s definitely a common theme. My stories are mostly set in alternative realities, worlds that are either urban fantasy, post-apocalyptic, steampunk… or just plain weird :). And often these worlds’ societies are flawed, deeply unfair, crushed under some oppressive power. The stories revolve around the underdogs, random and unconventional, who strive to fight against this oppression, even if in small ways. Another common element in my stories is that the protagonist is originally on the side of the oppressors, or at the very least completely uninvolved in the events, and his perspective changes completely when he gets to know the underdogs. This is a storyline that comes to me naturally, and even though I’ve used it more than a few times, it’s still my favorite.

I’m also usually a plot person. I tend to think up an ending, the more climatic and explosive the better, then a beginning (in this order!) and then I plan out the intricacies that come in between. By the time I start actually writing, the skeleton of the story is ready, complete with a fairly accurate bullet point list of the scenes. I like to have the full movie, complete with sound and fancy special effects!, all flowing in my head before I start putting it down on paper.

The characters sort of come naturally as the plot flows. Often I don’t know much about their back-story – heck, sometimes I don’t even know their names! – as if I was stumbling across two strangers at the beginning of the story and just stalked them around to see what they’ll do. I think that sums up rather nicely how the whole process works for me, actually – the story’s unfolding almost by itself and all I have to do is keep lurking and be quick to take notes.


Read the rest of the interview HERE.

luglio 18, 2011

Guest post @ Gabriella Hewitt!

Hello, everyone :)!

Popping by to say that the lovely Gabriella Hewitt is having me at her blog today! I'm blogging about the much dreaded writer's block, and my personal methods to try and overcome it - The Piranha, The Stuffed Turkey, The Birdwatcher... (I promise they're not as creepy as the names might suggest ;)!

Snippet:

Tell me if this sounds familiar:

You’re sitting in front of your laptop. A stark white Microsoft Word page is giving you the evil eye. You try to stare it down but it doesn’t seem to work. You swim round and round in your head like a fish stuck in a muddy puddle – to no avail. There’s not a scrap of inspiration to be found, and it feels like your brain will refuse to provide ideas for quite possibly the rest of your natural life.

Congratulations: you’ve directly reached Writer’s Block, without passing GO and without collecting $200...


Read the rest of the post :).


luglio 08, 2011

Guest post + complimentary mancandy :)

Hello, everyone :)

Today the lovely and talented Sue Brown is having me at her blog for an interview - how I started writing, sources of inspiration, the elements that make a great erotic romance for me, and more :)

Snippet:

How did you get started writing?
Well! I remember that when I was little, I must have been around 5, I used to watch quite a lot of TV. My favourites at the time were the Power Rangers series, and some Japanese anime about people stranded on a desert island with giant robots. And I was re-watching on a loop Disney’s ‘The Rescuers Down Under’. Now, the only problem was that the stories were going nowhere near the way I wanted them to. I was very unhappy. So my dad provided me a small blue checked spiral notebook (I remember it with strange clarity!) and I set out to write my own adventures, in wobbly capital letters. Looking at it now, it was a giant crossover fanfiction with the Power Rangers ending up on the island and the Rescuers thrown in for good measure. I think the spiral block might still be somewhere in my attic.
And that’s just how it continued. The world isn’t giving me the stories I want to read, so I write them myself...

Click here for the rest of the interview. Hope you'll pop by and say hello :).

giugno 30, 2011

Filament Magazine - women pirates article




Hello, everyone :)!


Finally Italy is behaving properly and ponying up some nice and warm sunshine. I can't wait to pop to the seaside and have the first swim of the season :). And thinking about shiny waves, I realized I failed to mention that the Wet Issue of Filament Magazine finally came out!

For those of you who don't know Filament, it's a gorgeous women's magazine featuring interesting cultural articles, pictures of hot men to please every taste, and erotic fiction (M/F and M/M). Here's a link to their website. I warmly invite you to check it out - interesting and droolworthy, it doesn't get any better!

I'm really happy to say that this issue also features my article on the women pirates of piracy's golden age! You can read the first page in the issue preview, here.

Also, an excerpt from my short story Apples and Regrets and Wasted Time, published by Storm Moon Press, was highly commended in their erotic fiction competition :).

And I have good news! Both stories I sent Dreamspinner Press for the Cross Bones pirate anthology have been accepted - one for the anthology and one as a stand-alone nap-sized dream. It seems like pirates is the way to go for me of late - must be the summer vibe :)!

giugno 18, 2011

Wild Passions release + review



Hello, beloved readers and fellow authors,

I have some wonderful news today! Stom Moon Press' new M/M anthology, Wild Passions, is finally out :). In different realities, even different world, humans are not the only sentient race. Creatures with mixed human and animal traits populate the six brilliant stories of this anthology. You can have a look at all the blurbs here: Wild Passions anthology.

The anthology is officially available for purchase both as EBook and paperback on Storm Moon Press Website and on Amazon.

I'm happy to say it already received a wonderful four star review from Between the Covers :). You can find it here.


My contribution to this collection is a story called City of Foxes.
Jack Sullivan hasn't been back in the metropolis for eight years. And the place still sucks. The underground community of the fox people, hunted by the human militia, is a bomb waiting to explode - and Jake will end up smack in the middle of it all. What's worse, it seems his heart has decided to get involved too, and that can't lead to anything good...

Click to read an excerpt from the story.

maggio 27, 2011

'Apples and Regrets and Wasted Time' release

Hello, everyone :)!


Today is a really good day for a variety of reasons. The sun is out and shining after a few days of pouring rain, and there's few things I love as much as London in the sunshine. Also, today I officially handed in my last two assignments for the term, so I'm slightly drunk on the freedom :). And, most importantly, my short story Apples and Regrets and Wasted Time is out today with Storm Moon Press!

It's a bittersweet story, fairly different from what I've written so far. The characters are stubborn almost to a fault. Tension, conflict, desire, denial... I loved staying by their side as they struggled to find a way through it all. The story takes place over the period of one single night, but what a long night it is...

I leave you with the blurb and cover, made by the brilliant Nathie (you should check out her Deviantart Page - her characters are utterly gorgeous!).



Blurb:

He lives in the shadows of the law. Now, wounded and stranded in the city after a job only he could do, he has no qualms about climbing through the window his old lover left open—or stealing his shampoo, at that. He has, however, not taken into account the possibility of being surprised in the shower.

Three years is a long time to go between visits, especially if you’ve left so much anger and hurt and desire unresolved. They try to negotiate a truce for one night—over Chinese takeaway leftovers and apples, and between the sheets.



---


Also, Nathie's wonderful cover was the most voted in the 4th round of the cover contest organised by , see here. Congrats Nathie ♥!

Apples and Regrets and Wasted Time is available as an ebook on Storm Moon Press website and Amazon.

And, for your perusal, a not entirely worksafe snippet... click for excerpt!


.

aprile 21, 2011

Cornelia Grey and the adventure of the ITIN number

Hello, dear readers & authors :)

Since I'll soon be receiving my first royalties, I've had to embark in the much fabled quest of requesting an ITIN number for the dreaded W-8 Form of Doom. I'm an Italian living in the UK, which complicated matters a little.

Now, to request an ITIN, the author must send a filled W-7 form, a letter from the publisher and certified copies of passport or other ID. Here's how I tackled, rather clumsily, the matter.



• W-7 Form
Due to my utter lack of understanding of bureocratic anything, I was left staring at the thing with emptiness and despair in my eyes. But! I would invite you all to check the incredibly helpful tutorial Angela Stone posted here. I followed it and the dear man at the Embassy office gave the form his blessing, so it's officially approved :).

• Letter from publisher
My pulisher was very swift to send me a letter, which I took to the Embassy with me. Unfortunately, the dear man there told me that the wording was incorrect and that he was sure the application would be rejected. He was kind enough to write down for me what the letter should say, which I report here for you:

Letterhead

Please be advised that .... is entitled to receive US royalties that are subject to IRS reporting / whitholding requirements in 2011.

Signed


• Documents
There are a few choiches regarding which documents one can bring, and they're listed in the form instructions linked on Angela Stone's lj. The only stand-alone document is the passport; since I don't have one, I had to bring two documents instead. I brought my Italian ID and Italian driving licence. Since there was no way I would send the originals, I tried to figure out exactly what they mean by 'certified copies'. On the instructions there's an awfully complex paragraph in which they explain who and how can certify photocopies, mentioning notaries and appointments and making me sink in a feeling of impending doom. However, since a few reports I'd read said that it was enough to show up at the Embassy with the documents and they'd take care of the rest, I decided to give it a go and see what happened.

• Embassy
I live in London, so I decided to just pop at the IRS office with papers and documents and cry and ask them what the heck I was supposed to do with it all. Please note that while the Embassy is open all week, the IRS office is only open on tuesdays, wednesdays and thursdays from 9 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 4 pm (see their website page here).

It's not allowed to bring cellphones or MP3 readers or other electronic devices inside the Embassy, so a friend kindly agreed to meet me outside Bond Street station to collect mine before heading off to university (I had to skip the morning class). However, when I got in front of the Embassy, I noticed that some people were being sent off to deposit their phones and such in the lockers offered by some shop nearby, while others were being allowed to keep them in plastic sealable bags which, I believe, were then stored at the Embassy's security checkpoin. I'm a little confused regarding which criteria they were using.

Anyway, I settled in the cue for the Citizen Services, which was much longer than the one for Visas, at that (probably due to the impending tax season). Luckily it was a warm and sunny day, so waiting in the open was kind of pleasant. Then I was called in this little glass square construction where I went through airport-like security checks - ID check, X-rays for the bag and metal detector for me. Then I was buzzed through a door and inside the Embassy's gate, and instructed to walk around the building to the door on the left side.

Inside, there's an info desk with lots of signs saying that you have to get a number at the desk before proceeding, but when I asked, I was told I didn't need one for the IRS office and sent downstairs. I rang the bell for the IRS office and was let in, where a nice middle-aged man with a really pleasant southern drawl welcomed me at the desk.

So! He went through my form and confirmed it was ok, signed it and dated it. He told me that the letter from the publisher wasn't going to work and wrote down for me the correct wording. Then he took my documents, made a photocopy and stamped it, and that was it, with no need for notaries and whatnot. He signed and dated everything and handed it back to me, then instructed me to get a new letter from the publisher, add it to the pile and mail everything back to their office, where they would proceed to ship everything off to America for me. Gotta love the nice men at the desk ♥.

So now I've mailed everything back and am now anxiously waiting for the verdict from the tax gods.

aprile 14, 2011

London Book Fair + rant re: Italian publishing industry

So! On tuesday afternoon, I joined a couple of classmates and we headed off to Earl's Court for the London Book Fair. It was of epic proportions and very interesting! We wandered for hours among the hundreds of stalls (most of which, I should confess, belonged to publishers I'd never heard of before!), grabbed piles of catalogues and promo postcards from the Illustrator's Corner. I could only find one single stall with m/m books, the one belonging to Xcite Books. It was nice to see a representation - and I should note that when I picked up one of their anthologies to skim through the authors, the first name I glimpsed was 's ;)

After some aimless browsing, I spotted the Italian publishers' corner, and decided to go investigate. Prepare yourself for much disappointment and learning things you maybe didn't want to know about how Italy works.



Some of you already know that I'm Italian but, almost three years ago, I moved to London to study Creative Writing at university. Of course it's been much, much harder than what it would have been if I could have just stayed home, without leaving my family and boyfriend and especially writing in my native language. So the question I get more often is: why did you change country and switch language, then? And there's two simple answers: one, in Italy there is no such thing as a writing course; and two, the publishing industry in Italy is a honest to God nightmare.

Now, in Italy, pretty much all systems - how to get into politics, get work in theatre companies, get the best treatment in hospital, work in universities / the public sector in general - are warped. The mafia-structure is endemic and so yes, the general rule is that you have to be related to someone, to know someone, if you want to get anywhere. In alternative, you have to pay. Often there are no official ways for a newbie to even apply for consideration (queries, open calls...), and the only way to let someone know you even exist is by recommendation. The same general rule applies to submitting material to publishing houses. At the fair I sat down with a very nice editor from a Sardinian press, who seemed to have taken me in sympathy, and we started chatting about it.

Vanity Press epidemic ) Basically, most smaller presses accept unsolicited submissions, but they also require a 'contribution' by the author who wishes to publish with them. In fact, every time I tell an Italian I've been published, the first thing they ask is: "How much did you have to pay?" Since pretty much every Italian publisher does it, people just assume it's the normal route to go. No one that I've spoken with so far was aware of the term 'vanity presses' and that this isn't the way it should be. (although I should say my new Sardinian friend hurried to specify his press is a serious press and they'd never do that. Kudos to him.).

The big fish's absence ) The big presses, instead - and there's no more than 3 or 4 - don't ask for money, and thank heavens for that. But! It's been repeatedly confirmed that they won't consider your submissions unless they know who you are. If you haven't published with them before, how are they supposed to know you, you'll wonder? But by personal recommendation, of course. You have to know someone in the house who will read your manuscript. Two of them actually say on their website that they don't accept submissions at all. They rely entirely on who their editors know for a supply of manuscripts. But what of submissions sent by agents? Ah. Here's the biggest, nastiest catch of all.

The 'literary agencies' national scam ) Until a few years ago, there were no literary agencies in Italy. At all. They did very well with their personal recommendation system. Until someone realized there was the chance to make large wads of cash off wannabe authors who lacked social capital, and the first agencies were born.

I will have to try very hard to keep objective, because this particular topic makes me very angry.

I read several articles claiming that 'Anglo-American-style' agencies are budding in Italy, but that's a plain lie. These agencies state clearly that their primary function is the evaluation of manuscripts. That means you send them your manuscript with 300 Euros and they'll fill in an evaluation form in which they tell you what they liked/didn't like about the book. Then, you have the option to negotiate expensive rates for them to 'fix' what they didn't like in your book. Then, IF they really like it, they MIGHT submit it to their personal acquaintancies in some publishing houses, and if the manuscript gets picked, you have to pay them a further 10% fee.

ALL the agencies are like this. This is the official literary agency model in Italy. The industry standard. And as these 'agencies' spread, big publishers will begin to ask that you submit through an agent because hey, that's what the Anglo-American market does, right? And Italy's always been an America wannabe. Except as you've noticed, the agency system is just plain wrong.

I can't even wrap my head around just how wrong it is. But then again, that happens with most things going on in my country at the moment. I am saddened to find once again that my best option is to abandon my country and my language if I want to work in a decent environment and have a honest shot at succeeding.

aprile 10, 2011

Random London + Mercenary Reviews

London has been most pleasantly warm and sunny in the past few days. What a wonderful surprise! Apart from providing me with the perfect excuse to buy a new pretty summer dress (I have all summer clothes back home in Italy... never really got a chance to use them here!)... the sunshine was perfect for some exploration and gallery-going. I especially loved Gabriel Orozco's exhibition at the Tate Modern - the piéce de resistance is Black Kites, a human skull with painstakingly drawn graphite lozenges.

In the Turbine Hall there is still Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds installation, 100 millions hand-crafted porcelain sunflower seeds. Weiwei has been arrested by the Chinese police because of his political activism, and his whereabouts remain unknown. As I was there, a group of protesters were walking across the endless span of seeds placing rows and rows of printouts requesting he be freed. Among them there was a little girl, about 3 years old. An old Chinese man was handing her leaflets and she was carefully placing them down one beside the other.

I studied fine arts for 5 years in Italy and another year here in London, and I have to say... sometimes I really miss it. This weekend an artist friend came to visit me from Wales, and we've visited several galleries. It was great. ♥


Protester laying in the sunflower seeds from the Guardian.



On more frivolous matters... I got another couple of warm-and-fuzzy-feeling-inducing reviews for The Mercenary.

5 stars from Yzola Kitchi on Amazon:
Overall a clever, funny and beautifully written story. Would love to read more about these characters and their world!


4 stars from SMK on Amazon:
This was a short, fast-paced read with a setting and characters that were impressively fleshed out.


4 stars from Natasha on Goodreads:
I wasn't ready for it to end.


And that is all. Peace and pandas handing out pink candyfloss. ♥

marzo 15, 2011

Elementary Erotica anthology release!



The new Circlet Press anthology Elementary Erotica is out today! When I found their call for submission, I was beyond excited - Sherlock Holmes, steampunk, nad hot mansex? Hell yeah. Needles to say, I have been anxiously waiting for this release!



The Prophet’s Eye by Aoife Bright
The Hysteria Machine by Louise Blaydon
The Adventure of the Green Zeppelin by Elinor Gray
Research by Kate Lear
Upon the Use of Electrical Vibration in the Treatment of Hysterics by Violet Vernet
Emet by Cornelia Grey
Songs Without Words by Peter Tupper

In my story, Emet, I was able to indulge in several of my favourite topics - obscure alchemy, steampunk details, conflicted relationship, burning jealousy and of course... more hot mansex.

Emet:

The already strained relationship between Holmes and Watson tumbles toward disaster when Holmes is called to investigate a string of very peculiar murders. Watson falls under the charms of an extravagant European professor and his revolutionary experiments. Are Holmes' attempts at sabotage related to the case, or fruits of jealousy? The detective and the doctor must repair their relationship before they're driven apart for good - and, when the murderer crosses their path, they must also find a way to survive.

Click to read an excerpt of my story!

marzo 14, 2011

The Mercenary draft winner + reviews

Hello, beloved readers / authors!

As promised, it's time to announce the winner of the free copy of The Mercenary. I have asked for the collaboration of one of my handsome Colombian flatmates, who picked up from the orange cereal bowl...

Csi Librarian, who commented on my Blogpost entry saying: I would want to be a mad scientist-librarian with a mechanical/clockwork army of mice. Or scarab beetles. They could spy for me and hunt for books in the wastelands.

Dear Librarian, I'll send your copy as soon as I finish typing this entry. And I'll thank the handsome Colombian for you ;)
A warm thank you to everyone who entered ♥!



In other news, I've received my first reviews for The Mercenary, and I'm very happy with them.

The very first one I received (I couldn't have asked for anything better :) is a lovely 5 stars review by Mary on Goodreads:
(...)I truly loved Gabriel; this is a young man who can take care of himself...and Asher exceedingly well. He is an adrenaline junkie, a capable fighter, and someone who does what he needs to in order to save his people. He has an explosive chemistry w/Asher; their sex scenes are scorching (insert nosebleed here), and their relationship-while not defined, felt that it had the beginnings of something more.(...)


Then I found this lovely one from Elisa:
(...) What I probably liked the most is that, even if the starting point is quite violent and the two men start their relationship from the sex, the story and the relationship soon move towards the romance; true, they are still involved in dangerous situations, and they still need to fight, but even if the sex is still good, it’s somehow softened by the love that is clearly blossoming between the two.


And finally (I am being spoiled!) a brilliant 4 stars review by Bembo:
(...)A quite short story, set in this desolate, lawless and violent future world, in a very different society, is a touching love story, a love between two very different souls, the mercenary and the rebel.


What can I say? I am very very happy. But, despite the appearances!, I am managing not to spend my time hanging around Goodreads like a vulture waiting for new reviews ;) I finished recently a short story that I submitted to Dreamspinner Press (that one came out, as we say in Italian, as smooth as oil - it just poured onto the page by itself. Why don't they do it more often, I wonder?).

So now, happily ignoring my homework for university, I went back to happily typing The Stray, which is The Mercenary's prequel, for Samhain Publishing. It will be another novella and I'm just past the 24'500 mark. I reckon I might be able to keep it under 30'000 if I keep myself in check... I seem to like long things (stories, people! Stories! What were you thinking?) ;).

Thank you again to all who entered the draft, and I look forward to hear your comments if you decide to read The Mercenary anyway ♥.

marzo 08, 2011

The Mercenary release + win a free copy!

Hello, everyone :)!

I surface today from the depth of uni work and frantic writing to announce wonderful news. My first book, The Mercenary, is out today with Samhain Publishing. It is a post-apocalyptic action/adventure set in the UK, between the moorlands, Windermere and London, with steampunk elements and, of course, a core of gay romance.

To celebrate, I'm offering up a free copy to the winner of a little draft. I will randomly select the winner and contact them on Monday the 14th.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment to this post telling me, in a couple of lines or so, what type of character you'd be in a post-apocalyptic world. Would you be the hardcore mercenary? The evil ruler of a city? The vagabond poet travelling between the destroyed cities? The creepy scientist building incredible machines from scraps? Or...


Personally, I'd be the odd, geeky bookman who's in charge of the last, great library that somehow escaped the catastrophe. And I'd have an army of little rat-men to help me manage the place :).

I leave you with the blurb and cover, made by the brilliant Kanaxa.



There are more elusive things than water in this wasteland.

Now that a monstrous London machine has stolen the clouds from the sky, Asher Connor survives by selling his mercenary skills to transport water across York’s wasted moorland. Until his unit is attacked by a pack of Tamer-controlled wolves, and his ingenious mechanical arm fails.

He awakens, surprised to find he’s still alive—and dependent on a charming, attractive, utterly infuriating desert-dweller. The copper-eyed, untamed Gabriel is Asher’s only hope. At least until he reaches a technician who can repair his arm. Reluctant trust turns to desire in the wake of another Tamer attack, and the adrenaline rush locks them in a bond of wildfire lust.

Yet despite Gabriel’s deceptively relaxed attitude, he is dangerously focused. When they get to London, Asher manages to work out only part of the reason. His lover is connected to some kind of underground movement that’s got something big in the works. So big, even quick-with-a-comeback Gabriel is maddeningly tight-lipped.

When betrayal brings the plan crashing down, Asher is plunged into a battle that wasn’t his to fight—and if he doesn’t execute the final stage, Gabriel’s blood could be on his hands.

Warning:
This title contains hot mansex, mild but manly swearing, jealousy possibly leading to yet more hot mansex, ancestral rituals, frightening flying machines, clockwork owls, inopportune admirers and the complicity of odd scientists.



Also, for your perusal, a not very worksafe snippet if you follow this link... On to the - (almost) - smexy!

The Mercenary is available as an ebook on Samhain's website and Amazon.

febbraio 05, 2011

January round-up and Mercenary cover art :)

Hello, dear fellow readers & authors :)

In January I celebrated my birthday - with a brilliant day in Camden Town, midnight pancakes and an infusion of Jared Leto hotness in Mr. Nobody with one of my dearest friends, and a wonderful houseparty with chocolate cake and hours of latin music ♥. So many wonderful people sent me their birthday wishes - I am so grateful to everyone. It feels good to be surrounded by so much love :).

I also got the chance to blog over at Clare London's journal about my upcoming release and the artists that inspire me when I'm writing.

Since I realized I haven't shared it here yet, here's the cover of said release :). It's my first stand-alone work, a novella, which will be released by Samhain publishing on the 8th of March. Here's the cover and blurb for The Mercenary - I'm utterly in love with Kanaxa's work!



Now that a monstrous London machine has stolen the clouds from the sky, Asher Connor survives by selling his mercenary skills to transport water across York’s wasted moorland. Until his unit is attacked by a pack of Tamer-controlled wolves, and his ingenious mechanical arm fails.

He awakens, surprised to find he’s still alive—and dependent on a charming, attractive, utterly infuriating desert-dweller. The copper-eyed, untamed Gabriel is Asher’s only hope. At least until he reaches a technician who can repair his arm. Reluctant trust turns to desire in the wake of another Tamer attack, and the adrenaline rush locks them in a bond of wildfire lust.

Yet despite Gabriel’s deceptively relaxed attitude, he is dangerously focused. When they get to London, Asher manages to work out only part of the reason. His lover is connected to some kind of underground movement that’s got something big in the works. So big, even quick-with-a-comeback Gabriel is maddeningly tight-lipped.

When betrayal brings the plan crashing down, Asher is plunged into a battle that wasn’t his to fight—and if he doesn’t execute the final stage, Gabriel’s blood could be on his hands.



It's been a productive month. I wrote a short play, a short Steampunk story, a post-colonialism essay on hybridity and a feature article about women pirates. Also, a short erotic story about an unexpected encounter, late at night, in the shower... ;)

Now that I'm done with all those deadlines, I've finally started working on the Mercenary's prequel. Two days of writing and I'm on 2'340 out of the minimum of 20'000 I've set myself. The plot is already farly complete in my head, with just a few kinks and connection scenes to work out. Next week classes start again, and soon it will be once more Essay Season - time to dive into free-fall writing until the freedom lasts ;)

And how are you doing, my friends? What projects are you working on?