Falling

Category : Flash Friday

This week’s flash fiction prompt from our Sparkly Badgers writer group was Falling. As I was writing it on #ShakespeareSunday (a Twitter hashtag thing) I decided to write a poem in iambic pentameter. Just FYI, iambic pentameter is REALLY hard… Anyway…

Falling

It’s stupid. I mean, I am an adult.

I work a 9 to 5 in a dull job.

I had a plan. This so isn’t the plan.

I’ve completely lost control. I’m falling.

Literally and figuratively.

Probably not metaphorically.

Can you metaphorically fall, though?

No idea. This isn’t a metaphor.

I don’t even remember how it started.

I can’t recall who started it, or why.

I can’t remember when things were normal.

They must have been at one point, mustn’t they?

I think shouldn’t have opened the note.

But if I hadn’t, if I’d just ignored…

What would my life even be if I had?

I’d still be in control, I know that much.

I wouldn’t be falling. Ears ringing loud.

Earth plummeting towards me. Wind so hard.

I cannot see, hear or think. This is it.

It’s over. I’m going to crash. I knew.

Always knew. It was inevitable.

I have always been so guarded ‘til now.

And now it’s over. My end’s nearly here.

It’s my fault. I know it is. I can’t stop.

Then I hear your voice in my ear. Cool, calm.

“Pull the shoot,” you say. “The chord on your left.”

I remember, I’m not falling alone.

I pull the chord and jolt. My decent slows.

We’re falling together. I’m not alone.

Falling’s not so bad if you’re falling too.


Rainbow Snippets

Category : Rainbow Snippets

I joined a group on Facebook called Rainbow Snippets, which posts 6 sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction every week and everyone follows on like a blog chain!  Make sure you check out the Facebook group for more snippets, or follow the #RainbowSnippets hashtag on Twitter.

Thank you for all of your help with the audio snippet of My Dream Woman. We’ve submitted it for approval, and hopefully it will be available soon.

This week I have a snippet from Curtain Call, which is also in audio production. Exciting!

 

“A P.A.?” Eleanor gaped at her for a moment. “Why on earth would I…” then she rolled her eyes. “Buni. She wants me to have a chaperone, not a P.A.  Well, come on in, I wouldn’t be much of a host if I left you in the corridor, would I?” She opened the door to reveal the messiest room Jen had ever seen.  There were clothes strewn over every possible piece of furniture, and pieces of highlighted paper in various places around the floor. “I don’t have a prompt,” she offered apologetically. “So,” she indicated the floor.

I am also taking part in a Halloween giveaway with a group of other authors. Click interested on the event to play the game, find the hidden word and be in with a chance of winning a clutch of fantastic eBooks…. uh oh… what’s that…?


Rainbow Snippets

Category : Rainbow Snippets

I joined a group on Facebook called Rainbow Snippets, which posts 6 sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction every week and everyone follows on like a blog chain!  Make sure you check out the Facebook group for more snippets, or follow the #RainbowSnippets hashtag on Twitter.

We have finished work on the audio version of My Dream Woman and I am absolutely thrilled with the fantastic job Natalie Husdan has done with the narration. She has really captured all of the characters perfectly and brought them to life. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter, you’ll be offered the chance of a free download code when it’s released, as well as automatically received an ebook code for Curtain Call,

So, final selection for the retail sample, what do you think?

“Dragons, really?” I roll my eyes.

 

“Hey,” she laughs at me as the enormous lizard comes in to land.  “Dragons are awesome, and you know it.”

 

I have no argument, dragons are awesome.  “Come on!” I call to the soldier, and we run towards the creature as it breathes fire at the hoods, scattering them in its wake.

 

There are two more dragons, circling in the air, covering our escape as we take off into the moonlight.


Rainbow Snippets

Category : Rainbow Snippets

I joined a group on Facebook called Rainbow Snippets, which posts 6 sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction every week and everyone follows on like a blog chain!  Make sure you check out the Facebook group for more snippets, or follow the #RainbowSnippets hashtag on Twitter.

We’re in the process of launching My Dream Woman into the heady world of audiobooks, and trying to choose the best retail sample.  It can be 5 minutes long, and has to really sell the book.  If you read last week’s snippet, do you think it would make a good retail sample, or is this one better?

I down my drink.  She’s super clever.  Way out of my league.  Something strikes me then.  A memory? A deja vu, maybe?  I have a flash of her lips on mine… shit!  Is she my dream woman?


Rainbow Snippets

Category : Rainbow Snippets

I joined a group on Facebook called Rainbow Snippets, which posts 6 sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction every week and everyone follows on like a blog chain!  Make sure you check out the Facebook group for more snippets, or follow the #RainbowSnippets hashtag on Twitter.

Last week I posted from Everything is Better with a Cape. This week I am posting from the first in my The Guild of Dream Warriors series: My Dream Woman.

I am super excited about the excellent job Natalie Husdan is doing on the audiobook, so watch this space for more on that!

“Swords? Really?” The woman standing over the body, pointing two smoking guns, looks disapprovingly at me.  Not only does she have a face, but it is an incredibly attractive face. Amazing, sparkling brown eyes, full lips… way out of my league.  Normally. But not here, this is my place, I can control it.

“Swords are way cooler than guns,” I say firmly as I resheath them, crossed across my back.  “Takes no skill to pull a trigger. I’m like a frickin’ ninja.”

Visit the book page to find out more.


Rainbow Snippets

Category : Rainbow Snippets

I joined a group on Facebook called Rainbow Snippets, which posts 6 sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction every week and everyone follows on like a blog chain!  Make sure you check out the Facebook group for more snippets, or follow the #RainbowSnippets hashtag on Twitter.

Last week I posted a snipped from I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse, so this week I’ll do the sequel: Everything is Better With a Cape.

So, without further ado, here’s my snippet:

“Nice pic of us,” Tyrone observed, handing it back. “I might need to set up a fan page.”

“They think we’re a couple,” I said in utter disbelief that he’d missed this massive problem.

“Well, that’s probly for the best, Babe,” he said thoughtfully. “You can’t have gay superheroes, people wouldn’t stand for it.”

“What?” I looked at him. “Of course you can, why not? What about Smithy? Won’t he be upset?”

“He don’t know my secret identity, Babe,” Tyrone spoke calmly. “I was wearing the cap when I rescued him, wasn’t I?”

“I… what… Why can’t superheroes be gay?” I gave up on the cap thing for now.

Find out more here.


Rainbow Snippets

Category : Rainbow Snippets

I joined a group on Facebook called Rainbow Snippets, which posts 6 sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction every week and everyone follows on like a blog chain!  I’ve mostly been lurking in the shadows and following the snippets, but today is Bi Visibility Day, so I’ve decided to stop lurking and actually post something!! Eeek! I’ll start with Heels, which is sort of like my “coming out” book, as it’s the first book to contain openly LGBT themes, to the point that some reviewers became very upset…

So, without further ado, here’s my 6 sentences:

“I’m gunna train Kerry in self defence,” Tyrone said determinedly. “She’ll be a kick ass lesbo in no time!”

“Thanks Tyrone,” was all I could bring myself to say, but I was weeping on the inside.

“It’s OK,” the badger reassured me. “There’s really no-one here to witness your humiliation, and if you turn this experience into a memoir, you can leave all the embarrassing bits out.”

“Be a pretty short memoir then,” I observed.

Find out more.


Landscapes

Category : Flash Friday

I haven’t done a Friday Flash for a while, but I’ve felt a bit blocked.  These are characters from my current WIP, A Walk in the Park.  This flash may find its way into the finished novel, or may just serve as background – I don’t know yet.  I do know that the prompt of Landscapes, managed to get me writing again, and I feel excited about my characters again.  Hopefully, you like it too.  Let me know what you think.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Don’t get me wrong,” Cathleen was lying on her side, face propped on her hand, studying Jules. “I understand the point of landscapes. They didn’t have cameras, it was a way of capturing a moment, recording it. But really, it’s just copying. Anyone can copy.”

“It’s also a way of appreciating beauty,” Jules turned her head to gaze at Cathleen. This had happened far too fast, she wasn’t this person, was she? “People appreciate beauty in different ways.”

“They do,” Cathleen was studying her as though she was memorising her. The contours of her face, her body.

“Stop it!” Jules rolled over, suddenly self conscious and began to gather up her clothes.

“Where are you going?” Cathleen sat up, totally comfortable in her own skin.

“Nowhere,” Jules said over her shoulder as she hauled on her t-shirt and hopped into her jeans. “I just don’t like being naked in the middle of the day!”

“Hmm.” Cathleen made a sort of non-commital noise and continued to study her.

“I’d better not see myself in the next exhibit you do,” Jules warned, half joking, half not. “I’ll know, no matter how abstract you make it!”

“Some things are private.” Cathleen stretched languidly and climbed from the bed. “I’d rather have you there in person,” she smiled and took Jules’ hands.

“I… um…” Jules found herself struggling for words under the intense gaze. Suddenly her phone began to beep. She started as though remembering she was awake. “Shit! I have a meeting!” She pulled away and began to hunt for her shoes.

“Fine,” Cathleen took on a mock sulky tone. “Just leave me here with my paints.”

“I’ll call you later,” Jules offered.

“Yes, do, I’m not easy, you know.” Cathleen laughed. She’d already set a canvas up on an easel. “I think I’ll do a landscape, I feel inspired to capture beauty.”


Launch Parties and Torsos

So, I had my launch party for my latest release.  I didn’t want to do the usual, author takeover, marketing spam thing, it’s been done and overdone, and no-one’s interested, so, instead I asked my friend A. M. Leibowitz to torso bomb the event.  Regular visitors to my site will remember The Grumpy Badger Guide to Book Covers, where we took some (genuine) advice we were given about torsos on book covers improving sales, and satirised that baby to death.

Well, not quite to death.  There are so many books out there that could really benefit from a torso cover.  Rather than be negative and put those books up for mockery, we teamed up once more, to help the hapless authors improve their lots.  I would like to thank all the brave authors who put their covers forward for improvement.  And thank those who had their books put forward by others for being such good sports and taking this in the spirit in which it was intended. I have also spent some time improving their blurbs, so hopefully you can see the difference. Let us know what you think in the comments.

So, the first torso cover was a complete surprise! Amy created a cover for my Flash Fiction piece, Vehicles and Torsos. As there was no original cover, I simply created a blurb off the cuff. I will have to release a flash anthology, just so I can use this cover!

Blurb:

 Step into the steamy world of vehicles and torsos. There isn’t a dry seat in the house.

It even has a cover, thanks to the incredibly talented A.M. Leibowitz.

Our next victim… er… subject was the brilliant Darkly Dreaming by Chloe Hammond.

New Blurb:

Stuck in a dead end marriage, with a flabby torso’d husband, Rae longs for the adventure that death brings her. Step into a sexy story of the undead. Chloe Hammond writes vampires with real bite!


See how much better this is than the original cover by clicking here.

The next reimagined book cover was Watership Down which has been reimagined as Watership Down With Shifters… Yeah, it was a special request by a family member, sorry folks.

New Blurb:

Who doesn’t love a furry bunny? But you need a strong man too, right? Well, in Watership Down, Adams provides just that, and brings a new meaning to the phrase “doing it like rabbits”. Warning, you’ll probably cry…

See how much of an improvement this is on the original (which is not a shifter story, just a rabbit story) by clicking here.

The next book in our torso collective is The Wag and the Scoundrel by Debbie McGowan, imaginatively  retitled The Wag and the Torso.

New Blurb:

Gray is a man’s man, who likes sleeping with men. Step into this sizzling torso romance, from the author who brought you To Be Torsos, and Hiding Behind The Torso, is another hot bod…

Find out how much better this is than the original by clicking here.

Our next brave volunteer was The Elixir of War  by Margena Adams Holmes.

New Blurb:

War is hell, but when there are torsos it can be slightly more bearable. From the author who brought you Dear Torso, comes this epic, of torsos and drink, and more torsos.

Find out how much better this is than the original by clicking here.

Undisturbed by previous torsos, our next volunteer was author J C Steel with her vampire novel Death is for the Living.

New Blurb:

What is sexier that vampires? Vampires on boats with French accents, of course. Blood has never been so slick in JC Steel’s sexy vampire story.


And as this book doesn’t appear to be on Amazon yet, here’s her original cover idea. Maybe she’ll change it for a torso before it’s too late.

We also did a poll to find out which classic should be reimagined at a torso.  The winner, by a landslide was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

New Blurb:

Victor couldn’t get a man. He’d tried TINDER, Match, and all of the traditional sites. No luck. Not to be defeated, he decided to dig up a corpse and make his own, but has he made a man, or a monster…?

You can see how much better this is than the original by clicking here.

And finally, a reimagining of Curtain Call! I love this so much I contemplated changing my original cover, but then, I may lose my target audience…

New Blurb:

Jim has it all. Successful career, money, fans. The one thing he is missing is the perfect woman to share it all with, and well, he doesn’t find her here, because this is lesbian fiction, fools.

You can see how much better this is than the original by clicking here.

And if we can get Curtain Call into the top 10 on Amazon UK for Lesbian Fiction, Amy will do a Shrek torso poster, so get buying, let’s make this happen!

 


Vehicles and Torsos

Category : Flash Friday

Well, today’s #FlashFriday prompt was vehicles.  I, however, never being one to turn down a dare, promised Debbie McGowan that I would include a naughty scene with a torso, which I have dutifully done.  This post, therefore, contains naughty bits, so you have to be over 18 to read it. If you aren’t over 18, please go away and come back when you are. Thanks.

So, for those of you who have been following Grumpy Badger Guides, you may recognise a theme here… ahem..

It even has a cover, thanks to the incredibly talented A.M. Leibowitz.

Jamie ran his fingers tentatively down the smooth torso.  It was warm to the touch, and so hard. He hadn’t expected it to be so hard.  It shifted slightly under his touch, so he took it more firmly, a hand on either side, gripping it.  Leaning in he cautiously touched it, first with his nose, then with the tip of his tongue, exploring the contours, abs, chest, neck.  It was exciting. He’d never done anything like this before. He shifted in the back of the car. His excitement was growing, it was so intense.  He had to unbutton his jeans or he might just burst. The pressure of his swelling member against his fly was just too much to bear. He sighed as he released himself.  The torso shined in the sunlight that had been beating down on it through the car window. It was time.

“Oi!” A woman’s voice called from behind him.  “What are you doing in my car, weirdo?”

Jamie spun around, pulling the torso out with him to cover his front area.

“And what are you doing with my mannequin?” She sounded hysterical.

“I’m sorry…” Jamie stammered.  “It was just in there and I couldn’t resist… It’s so smooth and…”

“Oh, Christ!” The woman went grey, suddenly realising what was going on.  “You’re the bloke who was in the paper for marrying a pizza oven, aren’t you?”

“Please don’t tell my wife!” Jamie suddenly panicked tossing the torso at the woman and taking off at a run.

“Eugh… I…” she held the torso at arm’s length.  It was still damp from Jamie’s saliva.

“Hey, babe,” a man approached her. “Whatcha doin’ with old Horace, there?”

“The pizza oven guy was in the back of my car with him…” She held the torso out still, staring weakly at the open back door of her car.

“Eurgh…” the man stepped away from her. “How did he get in?”

“I must have left it open…”

“Right… well… stick him in the boot and be glad we didn’t buy a bread maker,” he said philosophically, as he climbed in the passenger side and opened the window.