Writer’s Block & Other Challenges

I’m a prolific writer! So, maybe I don’t suffer the dreaded ‘it shall not be named’. I do, though. It’s just I know how to get around it.

Writer’s block is a thing for every writer, even the biggest selling and most widely published, and I thought it might be helpful to other writers and my future self (when I hit a bad patch) to write about the dreaded BLOCK and other writerly challenges.

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I’ve already published ten books this year, some of which are novella-length, but trust me each book needs to make sense within itself and you don’t get away with half-done books, no matter what length. Some of the best novels of all time have been short in length and often a novella or short novel requires that extra bit of restraint to prevent yourself going off on a word spree/tangent.

You can imagine that after writing a few books as I have, it gets harder and harder to sound original, to achieve the same shock and awe in a reader after they’ve read a handful of your books. I don’t very often re-read my back catalogue, but I’m sure if I did, I’d discover a writer that doesn’t feel like the writer I am now. Because accepting the ever-changing thing that is life is the first rule of writing. The finished product can end up so different to how you imagined it in the beginning.

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Sometimes when I finish writing a book or series, I’ll get to the end and start to wonder how the hell I started writing this blessed/damned story in the first place. Inspirations can come from anywhere/everywhere. One of my biggest-selling series is Nightlong and I do wonder how the heck I came up with that story. Sometimes the origin harks back to a goal you wanted to achieve. With Nightlong, it was to write a femdom trilogy. Although it didn’t quite work out that Ciara was always in charge, are any of us? No matter how dominant we are, are any of us ever truly in control? Accepting there’s a lot in life we cannot control is a skill invaluable when it comes to novel-writing. Especially in overcoming the Block.

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Getting past writer’s block should be simple, right? It’s the ability to be able to recognise that we’re not always in charge. Right? Many writers will tell you the blank first page is their nightmare. That it taunts them. It represents to many that scary possibility that anything they put down might end up being absolute crap. The heightened sensitivity of a writer is what makes them so good at it but also undoes them. The blank page, empty and pale and fruitless, beckons us to fail? Or does it? What if the blank page scares us so much because it taunts the writer of the journey ahead . . . the hours you’ll spend hunched over a computer. It spells all the work you’ve yet to do . . . and humans are self-preserving creatures, after all. Every time I finish writing a novel I know I’ve done something many will never accomplish because the war against your own mind is EPIC.

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I’ve never quite been a subscriber to self-help, self-improvement, regimented living . . . I am an extreme creative who doesn’t like any rules or regulations. Some days I just don’t feel the urge to write. Other days, I’ll be typing until my fingers go numb and my eyes are about to give up on me. I don’t ever force myself to write unless there’s a pressing deadline.

Therein, lies my cure to writer’s block: don’t write according to rules. Or just wait until the urge to write comes back again, and once it does, prioritise the shit out of that over everything else. I can only liken it to this: it’s like a car with the wheels spinning out of control but the back end is still on bricks and you’re not moving anywhere. I’ve found my most productive writing sessions are after I’ve got the car off the bricks, having got to the point where the tyres are going to set on fire otherwise!

I often think back to my journalistic days when, present day, I’m faced with difficult literary hurdles. I could bash out 4,000-5,000 easily in a day back then, but that was different. That was copy designed for a customer. It was technical and regurgitative. It wasn’t me as I am now, facing the blank page, knowing it all has to come from me and nobody else can complete this singularly unique and individual task. With creative writing, anything can happen, and only in the rule-breaking can a writer achieve that thing they haven’t quite achieved yet. I also remind myself that as a journalist, I never turned up to work drunk and drink has never made me a more productive writer or more uninhibited. Over the years I’ve begun to shake my head a little when I see writers posting a picture of a bottle of scotch and the words: ‘writer fuel’. My writing is much better off for no alcohol involved, nor loud music in the background (husband differs on this). There’s meant to be all this glamour surrounding what it’s like to be a writer, but it couldn’t be different in reality. If you ever find yourself rolling up to the school run in mismatched clothes like you’re colour-blind, you’re wearing sunglasses even though it’s snowing and you have no tolerance for any other human being whatsoever, then it’s fairly safe to say you’re a writer.

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While there will always be slightly familiar patterns to my work (to be expected), I still try to find new stories. They say every story ever told derives from a handful of core plots that, over time, have been embellished to look different but are essentially the same. The mechanics are often the least important thing in the first draft – they can be sorted later – it’s the heart of the story you have to master first and foremost.

The Bad Series was published this year and it is the first series I didn’t go to town on editing. I wrote it straight through and hardly did any major re-writes. If it reads quite punchy, and light, that’s because I wanted it to come across that way – to give readers a chance to make up their own minds without the stories being too heavy on detail and the characters too fixed in place. I didn’t want anything so final about it all. The characters are incredibly real, almost to the point of exacerbation – but that’s what I wanted! I grew up on those types of stories.

The danger (or positive) of being so well written as I am is that you do tend to become extremely opinionated on the writing process and on the industry, because you’ve seen and done A LOT. What works for someone else does not always work for you – but what works for me IS LAW.

I personally don’t want to live on social media (I already give SO MUCH to my books, everything I want to say is in those). I also don’t believe social media is necessary to sell books. SM helps if people want to connect with you, it gives your readers access to the person behind the words, but what if you’re not interested in building a brand or being consistent or predictable to serve a commercial purpose? When you’re a writer who just writes and wants to reach the shy people who love to read books and don’t make an awful lot of fuss about it all (as I do), then you’re probably more likely to reach those readers through email marketing and ads that are delivered store-front.

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There have been a few stories I’ve written where I’ve felt certain only one or two people would really get it, and then I’ve been surprised, and vice versa I’ve written stories that I thought were for mass market and people didn’t like those as much. They started reading me because I’m different and they want to keep reading my work because it’s different. It is an absolute minefield out there, so what are you best off doing? You can only write what you feel you must write. If what you feel you must write is a story your publisher can get onboard with and you need sales to put food on the table, do that.

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All stories matter. I’ve written stories about some truly inexplicable people but at the end of the day, their stories mattered because they felt real to me and my readers. I don’t want to sugar-coat a story to make it seem more palatable, that would never be genuine or very writerly of me. Similarly, if you make a character too unlikeable, you might make a reader want to straight away unplug. But everyone always gets their reckoning . . . one way or another.

It’s been a rollercoaster this year for everyone out there, writers and non-writers included. My writing has felt a lot like a rollercoaster on more than one occasion. Some days I’ve been straight out of the blocks, other days I’ve just not had the impetus. During lockdown I largely buried myself in the stories, lay awake at night plotting and forming scenes before typing them up the next day. I would indulge in long lie-ins and write till late at night because the house was quiet and my mind in a more relaxed state. I’m no longer able to indulge now my husband and daughter are back at school and work. Sometimes I pine for those late nights and late mornings, while some days I am thankful for the routine of normal working hours again. While a lot of my stories are predominantly planned, I’ve also written some stuff completely by the seat of my pants. Sometimes you’ll do that and come back to it and be like WTF, other times you’ll realise you did need to pants it. It’s all about going with the flow, that’s it. It’s just that it is the damnedest thing.

I’ve often found that notebooks full of ideas haven’t always come to fruition. When you’re actually in the story, it takes you in another direction more often than not. Something in the plotting stage may have seemed like a totally great idea, but once you’re arcing and forming something more tangible, it just gets thrown out of the window and you end up writing something much more in line with the narrative. I had this terrible problem early on in my career where I really struggled to write things unless they were entirely factual and accurate (journo brain) and that took so long to shake off – to remind myself fiction is fiction and anything is possible. I also feel like the writer I am today is much more mature than the one I started out as and that, as before mentioned, some of the books I wrote seven or eight years ago would seem foreign to me now. The things that happen in our lives shape us. They can make us more tolerant or the opposite; bitter or accepting; honest or even more dishonest. Life shapes us and the writer changes. But what has always been evergreen about my stories is that the characters never needed to be reshaped. I always give them to you how they present themselves to me. Within the 40+ books I’ve written is a plethora of different people. But I never ever tried to promote my books on the diversity within. The unique stories are always what I hope people will remember. Stories are universal. The people I write about are real people, sometimes subversions of people I’ve known or know, sometimes they’re ugly people I try to make seem better, until there’s no denying they aren’t better. Strong characters can be kind or cruel, witty or dour, evil or good or plain and dark, beneath. The way they talk or treat people, love people, is the most important aspect of any heroine or hero.

Any good writer can convince themselves and others of anything. You just have to have a narrative that is watertight. But imperfections are the parts of us that allow other people in, so should that go for literature, too?

I know lockdown and everything going on in the world has made sitting down to concentrate so hard for so many people. I recognise the energy it takes for someone to sit down and really give themselves up to a story and let it take over and it’s not easy. It’s so HARD. The brain is a muscle, it needs to be exercised, but if you allow it to burn-out, what do you think is going to happen? It’s going to rebel.

The point of this blog is that, even I, Sarah Michelle, with all my techniques and tried-and-tested mantras have still found it hard this year (at times) to write. I think after I finished writing the Bad Series, I thought I might never write again. I wasn’t exhausted physically, but emotionally and mentally. I had to take a few weeks before I could even think about promoting it. It is the single most challenging piece of work I ever undertook and somehow, lockdown helped me complete it. I had somewhere to venture, to escape. I allowed myself the luxury to write when I wanted. It just seemed to work. A few months have passed and I’ve had to readjust my settings all over again – and will probably have to once more if Lockdown 2.0 happens!

All I know is that everything – and I mean everything – that has ever happened in my life has led me right up to now. To enable me to pull off a piece of work like this nine-book series. In the past I did used to force myself to write and maybe that was the best thing for me, then. If I hadn’t have forced myself, might I not have got further down the line, to the more mature, wiser and experienced writer I am now?

When I get writer’s block, what do you think I always say to myself? “This is leading somewhere, this is my journey . . . it’s taking me somewhere.”

And boy, is it . . .

Stay tuned,

S x

P.s. I won’t re-read this blog – https://sarahmichellelynch.com/2013/02/04/the-loneliness-of-the-long-distance-writer/ – but you might be interested what I said on writing years ago… and how it compares to now! 😉

Summer Sale!

Looking for something to binge on the beach? In your garden? On the commute? This could well be the series for you. Packed with steamy scenes, complex friendships, drama and a few BIG surprises, the Bad Series is an epic saga following the lives of eight friends and the people they love.

The first two box sets can be downloaded for a limited time at a bargain price! Six books for 99 pennies! Read on for info on each individual instalment. Enjoy!

Box Set #1 . . .

Bad Friends

Lily is in denial about her relationship with Ian, a university lecturer who was sexy three years ago but has become progressively more boring. Her friends try to tell her what she already knows but it’s an illicit Christmas encounter that finally makes her see sense.

Is life about to get better, or will it only get worse?

The path to true love never runs smooth.

Bad Actor

Theo Richards is a very bad actor. He’s told lie after lie, kept secrets so deep and dark . . . and yet, his heart has always been in the right place.

The kind of love most people can only dream of is about to drop into his life. At the same time, his career is about to take off and everything is going to change.

Will he survive the rollercoaster, and does anyone ever really get everything they want?

Bad Wife

Susan has always known exactly what she wants and how to get it. So being told she can’t have something is very hard to take.

Now a year since Adam walked her down the aisle, things are becoming complicated.

They visit a fertility clinic for help once it becomes clear things might not happen naturally. The results are unexpected and send Adam into a tailspin.

Were his friends always right about her?

Or didn’t they give her enough of a chance?

Box Set #2 . . .

Bad Girl

Chloe is travelling around Australia with her boyfriend when she hears some unexpected news from home. Having spent two years dodging reality and living like a nomad, she decides it’s time to quit messing around and finally go after what she wants.

Leaving Cole behind, she heads home to figure out what her future holds – and why things never worked out with Adam.

As with most love stories, nothing is ever as it might first seem . . .

Bad Guys

Saskia is one cool customer, unreadable and off limits. She has her boundaries and lets everyone know so, just without telling them exactly why she has built up this huge wall of protection around herself.

Married men end up becoming a major factor in her love life, but is that a proactive choice, or just bad luck?

The man she finally falls in love with is a shocker . . . and perhaps she’ll end up becoming ostracized because of it.

Bad Lover

Anabel has known Susan since school but their friendship has been so intermittent, she’s always wondered why Susan sometimes disappears and then comes back.

After years of barely any contact, she’s shocked when Susan arrives in London with a story that doesn’t seem to add up.

Susan has been something of a mystery to Anabel all these years and it feels like she may be on the cusp of discovering just what drives her enigmatic friend.

Box Set #3 . . .

Bad Exes

Marie’s marriage is on the rocks. She and Ade haven’t been on the same page for quite a while and when she discovers her ex is single, she decides she has to see him.

Her relationship with Anthony was painful, complicated and passionate. She would have stayed with him forever if she’d had it her own way.

Now she has three kids. A career she loves. A husband who has been there for her, though they haven’t always shared the same connection she had with Anthony.

She will have a difficult choice to make, but there are truths in this story which reveal just how much Marie’s friends influenced her – for better and for worse.

Bad Night

Paul is alone in the world but feels safer this way, with no responsibilities, no temptations. He’s working towards a goal: to get out of the country and never come back.

Then Tom shows up unexpectedly and what starts out as two friends catching up quickly becomes a nightmare.

Evil strikes . . . and one of the friends will lose their life.

Bad Endings

Three love stories round off the epic saga . . .

They say it’s rare that people meet in school, marry AND stay together.

Well, it’s true. Only one couple who met in school and married will stay together in this story.

As the tale draws to a close, everything comes out. Scores will be settled. Truths will be unmasked. No question will go unanswered.

Even if they go their separate ways, it’s clear they will always carry with them the impact they have had on one another.

They’ve influenced each other’s lives, left marks in some cases . . . burned bridges in others.

In the end, they will lament the loss of all they shared.

But everything happens for a reason.

Download Bad Friends FREE: click here

Download Box Set One FREE: click here

NEW SERIES – OUT NOW! First book #free

It’s strange that, for a few months now, I have been writing a new series of books in secret. . . with the intention of releasing them all at once. Now feels like no better time to release it! If you’re on lockdown or self-isolating, you can read this brand-new series at a bargain.

The Bad Series is an epic series of 6+ books (TBC) and charts the lives and loves of a massive friendship group whose lives intertwine. The actions of one often cause many pain, and vice versa. This is a series of epic character building and friendships that have lasted the test of time. While reading you may wonder if these people are actually real. . . but my intention with these books is certainly to give you a healthy dose of drama and twists and turns!

Bad Friends is where you need to start and she’s FREE today only! Scroll for more details…

Bad Friends

A brand-new series of interconnected stories . . .

Lily is in denial about her relationship with Ian, a university lecturer who was sexy three years ago but has become progressively more boring. Her friends try to tell her what she already knows but it’s an illicit Christmas encounter that finally makes her see sense.

Is life about to get better, or will it only get worse?

The path to true love never runs smooth.

AUTHOR NOTE:

The Bad Series saga charts the lives and loves of a group of friends hailing from Yorkshire, England. Their experiences take them all over the world and each character has a BIG story to tell. Sit back, enjoy the ride, and binge until your heart is content!

Download Book One free here

Bad Actor

Theo Richards is a very bad actor. He’s told lie after lie, kept secrets so deep and dark . . . and yet, his heart has always been in the right place.

The kind of love most people can only dream of is about to drop into his life. At the same time, his career is about to take off and everything is going to change.

Will he survive the rollercoaster, and does anyone ever really get everything they want?

Download Theo’s story for 99p or read free in Kindle Unlimited here

Bad Wife

Susan has always known exactly what she wants and how to get it. So being told she can’t have something is very hard to take.

Now a year since Adam walked her down the aisle, things are becoming complicated.

They visit a fertility clinic for help once it becomes clear things might not happen naturally. The results are unexpected and send Adam into a tailspin.

Were his friends always right about her?

Or didn’t they give her enough of a chance?

Download Adam and Susan’s tale for 99p or read free in Kindle Unlimited here

Bad Girl

SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PRICE!

Chloe is travelling around Australia with her boyfriend when she hears some unexpected news from home. Having spent two years dodging reality and living like a nomad, she decides it’s time to quit messing around and finally go after what she wants.

Leaving Cole behind, she heads home to figure out what her future holds – and why things never worked out with Adam.

As with most love stories, nothing is ever as it might first seem . . .

Pre-order Chloe’s story for 99p here – releasing in TWO WEEKS!

MORE TITLES COMING VERY SOON!!!

A New Suspenseful Romance – OUT NOW!

Early Review

I loved every minute of this book; I also may have throttled the author a few times in my mind as I read this story. Her writing skills are outstanding!

Alison Parkins Book Reviews

Blurb

“Survival makes animals of us, Ruben. Animals.”

Ruben and Freya have been friends for two years and still don’t know one another very well. Whenever they meet up for a drink, sex with other people is something they openly discuss, but fooling around with each other is out of the question.

Then right out of the blue, everything changes. Freya can’t stand to have him in her life anymore and Ruben is shocked into action, forced to confess his true feelings.

Endless nights of pure, unbridled passion between two people seemingly destined to be together follow. Freya and Ruben are equally closed books, but as their passion unfolds, so do the pages of their chequered pasts.

There is however, one secret so dark and devastating, it could wreck their lives. As their pasts converge, kismet will play a big part in whether they survive or die.

Available to read for free if you’re a KU subscriber!

*To buy signed copies of Kismet, please contact the author direct. Price is £10 incl. P&P within the UK.*

Christmas Orders

It’s a little over 5 weeks until the big day! You may be a last-minute shopper saying HELL NO, but maybe I could save you some time…

If you would like to treat yourself to signed SML books for Christmas, or buy them as a gift for someone else, you can go wild doing just that by visiting my order form and picking from numerous options! Reader favourites include Fabien, perfect for this time of year – a spooky vampire story set in York. There’s also the heart-warming Angel Avenue series, also designed to put you in the mood for Christmas and leave you thought-provoked. Or if you prefer high-octane thrillers, Chimera might be for you, or the Unity Series. Better still, if you’re looking for books to make you weak at the knees, you can’t go wrong with the Sub Rosa Series, Nightlong Series, Crimson Duet, A Fine Profession (Chambermaid Book One), not to mention my standalone beefy reads Writing on the Wild Side, Tainted Lovers, Hetty, Guilt or my upcoming release Kismet – SO MANY TO PICK FROM!

I invoice through PayPal and aim to post out your book(s) asap. Sometimes I do need to put in an order with the printer, so the closing date for ordering in time for Xmas is Dec 1st.

My next signing isn’t until OCTOBER 2020 so if you can’t wait until then, this is the perfect opportunity.

If you’d like wrapping or for me to post direct to the recipient if you’re buying on behalf of a friend, please let me know in the comments box. Or alternatively email me or send a DM through social media. To see all my most up to date book covers, visit the library section of this website.

Happy browsing! x

EXCERPT from GUILT, my latest novel featuring friends old and new . . .

Liza’s best friend, Hetty is back in this latest novel set in the world of Angel Avenue . . .

When I feel brave enough, I glance at her and she’s just staring at the ground, her lips pursed.

“Say something then.”

“Can’t. You told me not to react. I really thought it’d be the sock thing, but now you’ve told me, I understand why I’m not allowed to react. You may continue, by the way. Tell me everything.”

“You’re fucking impossible, you know that right?”

“That’s why I’m your mate, because you’re Mrs Possible. We balance one another out.”

I throw my head back, slapping my own face. “Woman.”

“I’m not reacting, remember? You’re talking.”

I take a deep breath. “I’ve known him a long time.”

“Okay.”

“He wants me to leave Gage.”

“And how long has this affair been going on?”

“Which part of it? The friendship part, or the actual fucking part?”

“The AF part.”

“I spent the night with him on Saturday. It was our first time.”

“Wow, you must be really cut up about it all to be telling me so soon.”

“I am.”

We find a bench and sit down. I check on Rupert who is still sound asleep. Hetty keeps rocking Elizabeth back and forth in her pram because she’s more likely to wake up wanting a feed.

“What was it like?” she asks. “The sex?”

I bite my lip and cover my mouth. Just the thought of it all is enough to make me blush.

“Wow, like that, eh?”

“He’s absolutely gorgeous, Het. Inside and out.”

“And he’s… you know?”

“What? Good in bed?”

“Yeah,” she says.

“He’s extremely good in bed. He makes me feel so good about myself.”

She inhales the cool, early spring air and exhales it even more dramatically. “Give it time, I say. A bit of time.”

“What do you mean?”

“If it’s meant to be, it’ll be Liz. However, if he’s one of those arty-farty types like most of your friends are, you could be just a passing whimsy to him and you know it.”

I look down at my lap. “It crossed my mind.”

“At the same time, perhaps you should seriously think about splitting from Gage if he’s not making you happy. You don’t have to leave one bloke for another, you know? You can leave Gage just because you want to, not because someone else has come a-knocking.”

“I agree. You’ve got a good point.”

“Has he got a big cock?” she asks, blurting it out. Thank god nobody is within earshot.

“HETTY!”

“I’ve been relatively well-behaved, but you can’t expect me to be good all the frickin’ time.”

I laugh and try to brush her off, but she’s waiting with bated breath.

“Yes, he has a big cock…”

She sits there wriggling her eyebrows up and down, then she folds her arms. When Elizabeth lets out a tiny grumble, Hetty has to start rocking her back and forth again. I’m glad Hetty’s at the mercy of someone else for once, it’s about bloody time. Mind you, motherhood suits her. She’s still Het, but she does seem a lot more content with herself.

“Well…” she says, sounding proud as punch that she’s not only embarrassed me today, but also made me say the word cock, too. “Joe tried it on recently, but I’m still not ready, down there. I’ve got to get my rocks off somehow, haven’t I? Can’t you tell me more about Lover Boy?”

“Hetty, you’re so bad. Shut up, will you? I’m telling you nothing. I’m protecting him.”

“Come on, just a little bit. Come on.”

“You’re disgusting.”

“As if you’ve only just discovered that.”

We snigger like piglets on our bench.

*END*

BLURB:

A highly thought-provoking tale of love, lust and deception . . .

Liza is married with two young children and seemingly has it all: a big house, a husband who provides, a great circle of friends, plus a job working for her best friend. The only problem is, it’s all built on lies.

A death in the family finally forces her to see the truth for herself, but the timing seems a little too convenient. It’s not escaped the notice of not only Liza, but also that of family friend Warrick, a former detective who has his own suspicions.

As the truth unravels, friendships are tested and Liza finds herself trapped beneath the weight of guilt. Life has thrown everything it’s got at her, and for such a young woman, it feels like a huge cross to bear.

Nothing will ever be the same again, but while the future promises the kind of happiness she only ever dreamt of before, it’s difficult to shake off the feeling that her escape from deceit came with a hidden cost . . .

* * *

AUTHOR NOTE: Liza was a minor character in the Angel Avenue series. No previous reading is required to be able to enjoy this standalone, although I highly recommend you read the other books too.

BUY LINKS:

ANGEL AVENUE

BEYOND ANGEL AVENUE

HETTY

GUILT

SURPRISE NEW RELEASE

 

WOTWS

***99 pennies for the first 24 hours of release, or #FREE in #KindleUnlimited***

pablo (6)

BLURB . . .

Laura is a bestselling crime novelist, but she hasn’t written anything new in years and her frustrations are making her rethink everything—including her marriage.

She isn’t getting what she wants from her husband Tom, so she decides to create her very own fantasy man—a perfect sexual partner, but also someone she can confide in.

Perhaps switching genre may help her combat writer’s block, but during the writing process, it becomes difficult to separate fact from fiction and the secrets plaguing her marriage threaten to bring her whole life crashing down around her.

On the page her fantasies run wild, but how can she apply them to real life? Or in real life, do her fantasies make her a bad person for wanting MORE?

In this plot-driven, challenging romance, Laura finds herself questioning whether the problem lies with her.

Is she asking too much?

The truth is, nothing is what it seems in this story.

Nothing.

Add to Goodreads

 

Purchase links:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Universal Link

Happy reading!

S x

 

WOTWS full

 

A Christmas Message & A #FREE Christmas Treat

It’s coming to the end of the year and hopefully, most of you will soon be breaking off to spend time with your families – as will I!! If you don’t hear from me over the holidays, I’ll probably be knee-deep in wrapping paper and wondering where my next eggnog’s coming from.

2017 has been a busy, busy year but there is much more to come in 2018. Believe me! So for now, all that’s left to say is, enjoy the holidays and here’s hoping a certain someone gets impeached in 2018!! LOL.

A #FREE Christmas Treat From Me to You . . .

CHRISTMAS LOVERS

A scorching hot companion to Tainted Lovers . . .

Adrienne expects her annual work’s Christmas party to be as dull as usual. A six-course meal and cases of champagne, dozens of government people all in the same banquet room, her dashing husband by her side… it all sounds pretty straightforward.

It’s just a pity that someone at the Christmas party recognises her husband and all for the wrong reasons. Will it ruin their private time away from the kids, or reinvigorate their sex life in a new, unexpected way?

This decadent, dark companion novella to Tainted Lovers is pure erotica, proving true passion transcends even the most diabolical of coincidences.

***This novella contains MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS for Tainted Lovers. It is recommended you read the novel first.***

Universal buy link:

http://mybook.to/XmasLovers

Amazon US:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCF020B

Amazon UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01NCF020B

For a limited time, the novel this derives from is just 99 pennies to download. See details . . .

tainted lovers (2)

The most beautiful anti-romance you might read all year . . .

Adrienne and David meet in a library and the rest is history. Leaving their past lives behind, they race off to get married and make a promise of undying love. Waiting in the wings, however, are dark and deadly secrets threatening to tear them apart.

Their passion has never been up for question – but is there a limit to what love can overcome? Moreover, what does the future hold for Adrienne after she has her heart crushed, her spirit broken and her resolve disintegrated?

Are all great love stories destined to end badly . . . ?

Suitable for readers 18+ only. Tainted Lovers is a complete standalone novel.

Universal buy link:

http://mybook.to/TaintedLovers

Amazon US:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BZCLGRW

Amazon UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01BZCLGRW

Happy Christmas from me! xx

A Deleted Scene from the Sub Rosa Series

Recently, as I was cleaning my laptop, I discovered some deleted scenes! In fact, I discovered many – and many have now been deleted properly!

Scenes get deleted because they don’t move the action forward, or maybe it’s just that they sometimes seem over-indulgent.

Well, I found this one scene that I just want to share – just because. It’s in Cai’s voice and is a monologue of sorts. I’m not sure why I didn’t include this section, who knows? I only know that I like the way he speaks about Chloe in this excerpt, and I am sure you will, too.

I think I may have intended to include this in Unfurl, but obviously it never made the final cut. Anyway, without further ado, here we go . . . enjoy!

***

Jennifer didn’t realise how little she knew about me until I met Chloe Harmon almost four years later. 2011 was the year I was due to finally inherit my millions, the year Jennifer also scuppered all that. It didn’t really matter, though. Like my mother, I knew all about contingency plans.

Chloe saw me from day one and made it abundantly clear to Jennifer I was more. So much more. Being with Chloe was a danger, because she made me better.

Chloe Harmon, the supernova to dissect my blunt universe of sin, vice and disharmony—made me walk tall and be who I was meant to be. She walked through the doors of Media Solutions and I bolted for her, chasing her with a jar of Douwe Egberts in one hand and a coffee cup in my other.

The first time I looked into her amber eyes, I was arrested—fire from the pits of hell licked the ice latched around my shut heart. My head a ton weight, I was numb, trying to fix on anything but her.

In the kitchen of our office, I handed her a coffee she’d hypnotized me into making. Our fingers touched and I got jolted by a magnetic pulse I’d never encountered before. I stared at her lips and knew if I kissed her once, it wouldn’t end there. I wanted to kiss every inch of her body—taste and inhale every part of her, live in her skin and bones instead of my own. Inside my pants, a part of me that hadn’t ever worked without help ticked and jerked, for the very first time.

pablo

When Chloe smiled, it was like death, destruction and decay had never existed. Only her, a living, animate object filled my vision.

I loved the natural curl of her long hair and the subtle freckles hidden beneath make-up. When she laughed her cheeks became large, round pippins and her eyes narrowed like a cat’s. She pinched her bottom lip between her teeth whenever she got too embarrassed and had to look way. Her hands were elegant just like a woman’s hands should be and I fought to stop myself getting on my knees and begging, literally begging, for a chance to touch her face.

I got back to my desk after that first encounter with Chloe and the ache of a constant smile began to hurt. I took out a notepad and started drawing, just anything, whatever came to mind.

Her face. I couldn’t stop drawing her face, desperate not to forget it. I had to draw her eye over and over. The size and shape, I needed to get it right. Oval, with those long, feline lashes whipping at the edges. God, I imagined the silkiness of her brow and was hard just thinking about that. I couldn’t imagine making love with her, it’d be too good—too many places to lose myself and enjoy. I imagined her skin, softer than silk, and wanted nothing more than for her hands to be in my own.

From my vantage point upstairs I could see down to her desk below but somehow feared, she’d beat a hasty retreat if she knew about the things I’d seen and done. I couldn’t spend my whole life up in my fourth-floor office, just watching her through the glass divide from a distance.

If her unearthliness touched me any deeper, I feared I’d shatter and crack—tell her my darkest secrets. Then she’d leave and never come back. That’d be it once she discovered the deepness of my dark depths. I couldn’t bother her with this tragedy I carried in my soul.

Nevertheless we drank together in a pub that evening, discussing how her first day had gone. She was a giddy, nervous woman who clearly had a past of her own. As we sat there chatting I remembered how much I hated public places and other people in general. It was easy with the disguise; I could be someone else, but as myself—it was never easy. I left her and my pint of lager unceremoniously behind because people were watching us. More importantly they were watching her, and my fists were inching to flail into the face of any man who looked at Chloe in the wrong way. She was oblivious, that gorgeous woman, of just how much of an effect she had on men.

I went by a craft shop as soon as I was out of that pub and then I raced back to my apartment to get it all down. I felt frightened, fearing those images of her in my head would disappear.

I drew and painted until my eyes ached and my arms went into spasm in rebellion. I didn’t feel angry while I was occupied by my work, didn’t need the punch bag, a gym session or a bin full of ice to quench my need to tame all that was bad inside—demons that never really left.

pablo (1)

I barely slept trying to express the small fissure she’d made in the ice, which melted the more she bestowed her good grace on me. While I spent time drawing her, adrenalin and euphoria pounded its way through my veins like no other catalyst I’d ever encountered before. Ideas snaked through my bleak mind, bursting a technicolour display, ousting the red flames and black clouds of dissolution.

I’d never wanted to draw. I’d photographed so many images, but never drawn a single thing, unwilling to follow in my mother, Claudia’s footsteps.

I thought I met beauty the day I met Chloe Harmon, but I hadn’t. True beauty only demonstrated itself the more human she became, the more fragile, the more broken and yet…

…with that weakness, she conquered not only me…

unbind freebie

You can start the journey for FREE and continue with Volumes 2 through 4, which are available at sale price right now, or FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited.

Discover the Sub Rosa Series in the UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B077VSPMD6

Discover the Sub Rosa Series in the US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077VSPMD6

Or use this universal link if you are elsewhere: http://mybook.to/SubRosaSeries 

sub rosa cover

WORTH IT – Now Live!

worth it

“You’re my thunder and lightning, girl. I chase you even when I know I’m going to get struck down.”

Mark Lutz was doing so well. He was in therapy to tackle his sex addiction and everything looked brighter. He was pulling himself together. Then, he had a relapse.

Now he’s at a standstill. He’s lost everything. His job. The love of his life. His self respect. He feels like there’s no point in trying anymore because he’ll only end up failing.

He needs a friend more than anything, someone who genuinely cares. That friend comes in the form of Cai Matthews, who has an offer Lutz cannot refuse.

One of the Sub Rosa Series’ many strong characters, Lutz has a unique story to tell, one of self-discovery, healing and dramatic truths.

**It is highly recommended you read Unbind, Unfurl and Unleash before this novel.**

Universal download link: http://mybook.to/WorthIt

deadly-rose-3dAfter WORTH IT, you need to read His Deadly Rose (Sub Rosa #6), details of which can be found here: http://mybook.to/HisDeadlyRose

And right now, all the books in the series are on SALE!

Sub Rosa Series on AMAZON UK

Sub Rosa Series on AMAZON US

Unbind is FREE!

Unfurl, Unleash and Dom Diaries are all 99 pennies! Visit me on Amazon

Lutz teaser 1