Monday, 16 October 2017

Portmeirion

I was in my favourite place last week – the amazing Portmeirion in North Wales.

This was a three night writing retreat staying in Bridge House 4 with views over the estuary and the village and is my fourth visit.

To recap the history of the village from previous posts: Clough Williams Ellis began creating the resort in the mid 1920s and was still building cottages 50 years later just before his death. Although it is called ‘the village’ – all the cottages are entirely for hire for guests. You can stay in either of the two hotels or in the very quirky cottages which are self catering or suite or just double rooms. It is quite pricy, but in the suites or double rooms you get a range of luxuries – robes and slippers, L’Occitane toiletries, sherry, bottled water and a large range of teas/ coffees.

Clough’s vision was that different architectural styles should work next to each other, so you have Georgian and rustic and Norwegian and maritime, etc, and around the site are arches, bridges, statues, ponds, gazebos, grottos, gardens and 20 miles of fabulous woodland walks which I absolutely adore. There are also a few cafes and shops on site.

In the evening, all day visitors have gone and the site is very peaceful.

During my stay I got some writing done on the children’s fantasy story I am writing with my great niece (well, I am doing most of the writing, she is providing ideas and illustrations) which uses Portmeirion as a setting in the story. I hope that book will be self published in the next year under my other pen name, Joanne Patrick.

I also worked on a book of woodland walks which I will self publish in due course giving details of starting/finishing points, length of walk, what to look out for and difficulty of walk.


It was all very relaxing.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Wicked Weekends

WICKED WEEKENDS

Title: Myths, Moons & Mayhem
Authors: Rebecca Buchanan, Elizabeth Coldwell, Rhidian Brenig Jones, Morgan Elektra, Greg Kosebjorn, Clare London, Dale Cameron Lowry, Carl Redlum, Rob Rosen
Publisher: Sexy Little Pages
Genres: anthology, paranormal, menage, LGBT, MMM romance, MMM erotica
Date of Publication: Oct. 13 (preorders begin Oct. 3)
Length: 212 pages
ISBN: 9781386972891 (ebook); Print book will also be available
ASIN: B07654NZQ2

Myths, moons, and mayhem make the perfect threesome—and so do the men in this anthology.

Enjoy nine erotic stories of paranormal ménages a trois fueled by lust and magic, where mystical forces collide with the everyday world and even monsters have their own demons to conquer.

A werewolf gets a lust-fueled lesson on fitting in with the pack, a professor unlocks ancient secrets and two men’s hearts, and a pair of supernaturals find themselves at the erotic mercy of a remarkable human. Ghosts, fairies, aliens, and mere mortals test the boundaries of their desires, creating magic of their own.

Penned by favorite authors such as Rob Rosen and Clare London, as well as by newcomers to the genre, Myths, Moons & Mayhem is an eclectic mix of paranormal lust and polymythic beings that will spark your fantasies and fuel your bonfires.

Inside Man by Clare LondonAt a London pub, a tear in the veil between the dead and the living opens up new possibilities for a ghost who could only ever watch the men he desired, but never touch.

The Secret of the Golden Cup by Rebecca Buchanan—A classics professor finds himself at the center of a magical war. With an unfairly attractive student and a campus janitor as his only allies, can he stave off the forces of evil?

When The Big Moon Shines by Carl Redlum—A college student is intent on hunting down the man who turned him into a werewolf. But his mouthwatering neighbors keep getting in the way.

Careful What You Wish For by Elizabeth Coldwell—Josh dreams of meeting Mr. Right, so his roommate offers help with a love spell. Neither man is prepared for what happens when the spell begins to work.

The Cave by Dale Cameron Lowry—Losing sleep to the sounds of his tent-neighbors’ nightly lovemaking has nature photographer Ethan at his wit’s end. What kind of magic can convince the two men he should join them?
The Endless Knot by Morgan Elektra—The fiery romance between a vampire and a werewolf threatens to burn itself to the ground until a human teaches them to temper the flame.

Squatchin’ by Greg Kosebjorn—Two Bigfoot hunters get more than they bargained for when they set out on an overnight camping trip to trail the legendary beast.

Celyn’s Tale by Rhidian Brenig Jones—A young Welsh farmer is haunted by visions of his future lover, only to discover that the lover is not one, but two—and not exactly human, either.


Close Encounter of the Three-way Kind by Rob Rosen—In this quirky comedy, aliens arrive from another galaxy, but they’re more interested in consensual exploration than invasion. Alien probing never felt so good!

Monday, 9 October 2017

The Art of Listening and Communication

Had the second of the Yorkshire writers’ writing retreats for some of my fellow Yorkshire writers. We had the first at my house in May. This time the lovely Ashe Barker offered her house as a venue and we had a goodly bunch in attendance.

I did a session for these lovely people which was on the Art of Listening and Communication using the well known fairy story, Goldilocks. After reading it I then made 12 statements based on what I had read and they answered true or false depending on what they heard. Often we make assumptions based on what we hear, eg, the statement ‘Goldilocks woke up and was frightened when she saw the bears and ran away in fright’. I only said, “Goldilocks woke up, saw the bears and ran away.” So in that circumstance, the statement was false. People often impose their own feelings on what they hear, because they would be frightened in that situation. If you are in a position of dealing with customers, it is important to listen and not decide on an outcome based on your own emotions.

As authors though, the point is – have we made the character’s emotions clear enough? Or are we relying on implication? And is it necessary in this instance to be specific? Food for thought.

I am not going through each of the statements in case you should ever do this quiz yourself as it would give it away, but it was a fun session to do.

Other sessions included using Triberr, and setting up a newsletter. It was great to see everyone and a fabulous day was had by all.


Many thanks, Ashe, for hosting us.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Steam train to Whitby







I recently went on the steam train from Pickering, North Yorkshire, to Whitby on the Yorkshire coast going over the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors with my lovely friend, Stef (who is so like me in so many ways that I call her my daughter from another mother! See pic below - no idea who the woman was in the shot to the right!) You can just see the steam train coming in (this was actually in Goathland).





It was certainly a blast from the past going in old 6-8 person rail carriages like this one (these days trains are all open carriages – in the UK at least, I don’t know about other places).

The moors were stunning.




We stopped half way at a place called Goathland for lunch – Goathland is the setting for a long running UK tv show called Heartbeat (pics courtesy of Stef).




Then back on the train to Whitby crossing under this fabulous viaduct (Stef's pic)









And into Whitby where I dragged Stef up all 199 steps to the gorgeous ruined abbey on the clifftop.


Then afterwards we went down to the harbour and the pier where we ate chips (proper thick English ones – and I am not talking about the American chips which we called crisps!).







Monday, 25 September 2017

Hello and Goodbye

I love learning the origins of common English words and phrases.

Hello apparently comes from hallo which was used to incite hunting dogs and is relatively recent (mid 1800s). It became popular after the advent of the telephone, although Alexander Graham Bell originally suggested Ahoy as a greeting!

Hi doesn’t actually come from Hello. It was first record in the 1860s being used by a native American from Kansas and is thought to be a variant of the middle English word hy or hey which/is was used to attract someone’s attention.

Goodbye, on the other hand, is much older (16th century) and came from an abbreviation of ‘God be with ye’ – it would have been written Godbwye which, over time, became, Goodbye!

Bye-bye also doesn’t come from goodbye but was used in the nursery to lull babies to sleep.



Information from dictionary.com / Wikipedia /Cambridge Dictionary

Friday, 22 September 2017

Wicked Weekends


WICKED WEEKENDS


Title: Symphony Amore: Erotic Stories of Love and Music

Author: Jordan Monroe is the editor. Authors include Rosalía Zizzo, Charlotte French, Rebecca Chase, Genevive Chamblee, Jordan Monroe, Laura Callender, Sionna Fox, Elizabeth Coldwell, and Nanisi Barrett D’Arnuk.

Genre: Erotica

Sexual orientation: F/M, F/F, and F/M/F 

Length of story: 124 pages

What's hot?: This collection stars musicians and the people who love them. There are sweet, romantic scenes that are beautiful to read, and wickedly sensual BDSM scenes that tantalize the senses. There's something for everyone to enjoy.

Blurb:

From deep DJ beats and dimly lit bars to sensual solos and classical crescendos, Symphony Amore introduces you to a dazzling range of musical performances.

In this collection of nine stories, there is a broad spectrum of musicians from all sections of the orchestra and beyond. Immerse yourself in tale of conductors and concert-goers, romantic encounters and hard-hitting BDSM play, and embrace the diverse cast that you'll meet.

Music truly is the universal language and these stories by Rosalía Zizzo, Charlotte French, Rebecca Chase, Genevive Chamblee, Jordan Monroe, Laura Callender, Sionna Fox, Elizabeth Coldwell, and Nanisi Barrett D’Arnuk will give you hours of reading pleasure.

Buy linksAmazonBarnes and NobleiTunes, and KOBO








Title: Torn Avenger

Author: Lea Bronsen

Genre: Dark Viking Romance

Sexual orientation: M/M

Length of story: 29K words / 140 paperback pages

What's hot: Mutual masturbation in a darkened barn full of sleeping people 

Blurb: 

Murder. Passion. Two worlds colliding.

As the second son of a Viking earl, Alv Gunnulfsen wasn't meant to inherit a throne or avenge a murder. But when his brother is slain during a raid and their father dies of grief, Alv is expected to take command and claim the killer's death. In a world of ruthless retaliation and strict social codes, he must also maneuver cleverly to protect a troublesome secret: his attraction for men.

Roeland van Dijk, a wealthy Dutch merchant settled in Norway, has done the unthinkable to protect his family — hacked off the head of a Viking rapist. The wrath of the blond savages will cost him his freedom, and possibly his own head… Unless he's willing to accept the love of another man.

Buy links:


Blurb for forthcoming book - The Audition:

Ruthless drug lord Ricardo “El Loco” Ferrer launders his black money by investing in movie productions. As a teen, he learned to enjoy blow jobs in jail. Now a man of power, his favorite pastime is checking out new acting talent…and convincing them to “please” the team of producers.

Young wannabe actor Jaden Moore comes to a shady side of town to audition for a movie part. He longs to shine, wants to walk the red carpet with cameras flashing and a crowd cheering. He assures the film director and the investors he’ll do anything to reach the top, but is he willing to comply with their dirty fantasies?

Monday, 18 September 2017

Race for Life Pretty Muddy Challenge

On Saturday I did the Race for Life Pretty Muddy Challenge with my friend, Liz! 



In case you have no idea what I am talking about, each year Cancer Research in the UK organise Race for Life events over 5k and 10k around the country, but they also organise Pretty Muddy Challenges as well, and I took part in the latter.




This involved going over obstacles over a 5k course such as up scramble nets, sliding down the other side into pools of mud (see pic), crawling under ropes through mud pits, climbing over durdles (sort of blow up fences), etc etc. All the while the marshals are squirting water or pushing mud in your direction with great (and nearly malicious) enjoyment.




Amusingly, the hardest part was bouncing around a circuit on a space hopper! And they were so easy when I was younger! LOL

It was a very worthy cause and great fun and I raised over £500 – many thanks to everyone who sponsored me and those who came and supported us.