Getting used to pitching my book.

I’ve attended more than a few Christmas parties and gatherings in the last month – probably too many. And one thing I’ve learned is that I need to carry business cards (promoting my blog) with me at all times. Also, the pitch for my novel will get a massive workout.

Discussing my book with friends and strangers has been easier than discussing it with family. Family are excited, but the moment I say ‘erotic fiction’, the squirming begins. I might have a few takers, but definitely lots of love to my grandfather for saying that he’ll read it, but he might find it a bit weird.

Christmas parties with friends this year have turned into actual networking opportunities, as I was fortunate to meet a few other writers (television, mostly) and talk shop. At the one party I’m pretty sure that I repeated my pitch at least a dozen times over the course of the evening. That has helped in refining what bits work and what bits don’t catch much interest. (Using ‘Parisian cabaret singer’ has gone over better as it helps to set the scene as well as identify the character. The phrase ‘seducing a young Canadian student’ is nearly always awkward, and I’m going to have to figure out something better.)

This week I’m off work, so I plan to get as much writing done as I can. I’d like to finish the chapter I’m working on and start on the next. I hardly wrote anything over Christmas and I need to get back at it.

And a bit of a plug, just before the new year…
I learned a lot from the Calgary Public Library’s Writer in Residence this fall, the very awesome Gail Bowen. I’d recommend her books if you’re a fan of mystery novels, and her blog is a fun read!

Book Review: Mere Passion (and Mere Temptation)

…by Daisy Harris. (twitter, website)

This set of eBooks are the first of a series called Ocean Shifters and are set in an alternate universe, where mermaids (mere) and dragons (among others) live in our world. The first book, Mere Temptation, follows Isa, a mere woman who has to decide whether she wants to mate with a human (and live among humans forever) or become a full mere. Her best friend and lover, Sidon, is a dragon whose job it is to watch over the colony of mere. The drama begins when Isa returns to Key Sirena, and intensifies when it is found that a research vessel is capturing mere for experiments.

It took me a chapter or two to manage to understand the alternate universe that Daisy created, but it became easier as the story went on. Isa & Sidon’s story was the main thrust of the book, but there was also a subplot involving the research ship’s captain and his lover, a succubus. I would have liked to see a bit more of this subplot, as it created so many possibilities.

Mere Passion is the second book, and it follows a strait-laced dragon general named Kai Nasu as he helps a mere habitat in the north (near Norway). The research vessel and ship’s captain and the succubus have returned in this second story, to my delight. This very neatly ties the two stories together. The story ramps up the drama, and the stakes are higher as mere are being snatched and used for testing. Princess Alara, the leader of the mere military on the island, has to find out why they are being taken. Her father, the leader, enlists the help of dragons, to her dismay. What Alara doesn’t expect is to have an attraction to Kai. The additional complications (which shall remain unrevealed in case of spoilers) aside from their stormy attraction set the entire mere settlement in jeopardy.

The tale is engaging and there were times where I really had concern for the characters. Their situation seemed incredibly perilous and I wondered how things were going to turn out. Both Kai and Alara came from very set ideas of how they should act and what they should be doing and it seemed very unlikely that they were going to manage to set those ideas aside. These books are perfect for people who like their romance with a hefty slice of fantasy and alternate universe.

My only complaint about the books is that they don’t seem long enough for the stories they are telling. I’d love to see a longer work from Daisy Harris, and I hope that her next work will indulge my need for length.

Buy it here:
Mere Temptation, at Bookstrand, $4.99
Mere Passion, at Bookstrand, $5.99

Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars.

Music: Amelia Curran is incredible!

Have you heard of Amelia Curran? I hadn’t until I heard one of her songs on a sampler and then promoted by CBC Radio 3. To give you a primer:

I have yet to purchase the album “Hunter, Hunter” (where this song The Mistress comes from), but I bought her earlier album “Lullabies for Barflies” a few months ago and it is on current rotation in my writing playlist. Usually I choose albums and artists for the music rather than the lyrics, but The Mistress is one of the few recent songs where the lyrics take precedence.

I could listen to her voice for ages and never get tired.

Book Review: Seven Day Loan

…by Tiffany Reisz. (website, twitter)

Seven Day Loan coverWith a nod to the classic Story of O, Tiffany Reisz writes a compelling erotic tale of a shut-in librarian and his ‘seven day loan’. This fifteen-thousand word novella commences in the fashion of the Story of O, with a woman arriving at an estate and being left by her lover. However, from that point on, the story takes a different turn. Rather than being schooled in the art of submission, Eleanor’s task is to spend time with Daniel, who is unable to get over the loss of his wife.

If it’s delicious sex you want, it is contained within. But I’d like to think that this is more than just a stroke-story for a reader’s quick indulgence. Daniel and Eleanor are fully three-dimensional characters, strongly relatable because of their vulnerabilities and needs. Eleanor’s quick wit keeps the gloom of the estate and Daniel’s pain at bay, while Daniel starts to return to a semblance of his former self.

“Honest,” he repeated. “Yes, be honest. It’s been over three years for me, you realize. I need you to tell me if it’s something you don’t like.”

“What if. . .” she stopped and took another breath. His hand was on her neck now, his muscular fingers kneading her skin in a way that made her stomach knot up and the flesh between her thighs damp. “What if I do like it?”
 Daniel smiled at her question and for the first time she thought she caught a glimpse of the man he must have been before the pain burrowed in and made a home out of his heart.

This is intelligent erotica. Even if it is a genre that you wouldn’t normally read, you would do well to make this your introduction.

Buy it here: eHarlequin or for Kindle
Rating: 5 of 5 stars