Available to Pre-Order Now!

Blurb

Through Lynch’s words, embark on a journey of lost innocence, reality bites and how old-fashioned sentiment doesn’t seem to translate – not anymore.

This poetry collection features the disappointments we can all share in, including opening your heart only to be shot down, trying and failing, encounters of bigotry and misogyny – not to mention navigating a world in which everyone is hurting in their own way.

Pervading this work is the sense that people will always be people, but perhaps punctures are actually what force us to decompress.

Excerpts

Pre-Order now: mybook.to/Punctures

Add to Goodreads and read the reviews as they come in: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44165336-punctures

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Leticia: A Vampire Novella – OUT NOW!

“Just wait until the girls start getting a taste for human blood; the stink of their mother’s new-born babies will drive their taste buds insane. Good luck with that, Jaimie. I would laugh out loud but I’m trailing the twins and if they are gifted, they might hear my cackles. I want to see what they do next . . .”

leticia1

If you’re looking for a spooktastic, unpredictable read this Halloween, look no further.

Leticia follows on from Fabien: A Vampire Novel… However, it can be read as a standalone if you have not read Fabien yet.

Being a witch and a vampire, Leticia breaks all the rules and is seemingly UNSTOPPABLE in her pursuit of power. She enjoys sex and blood . . . and the destruction of anyone who crosses her.

Here’s the blurb for this bloodcurdling novella:

Leticia is head of the vampire world, her witchcraft making her an unparalleled force to be reckoned with . . . until now.

Fabien, her lover, has left her. Not like last time, no. This time, he’s gone for good. His body is dead, his soul elsewhere. The only vampire who was equal to her, his destruction could also mean her own if she doesn’t pull herself together.

There is also the risk that vampires as a whole might not be safe anymore—unless Leticia can be dragged from her malaise and forced to bring about order once more.

For Leticia, Fabien was it. So, if she can’t have him, who will rescue her from herself?

Leticia is debauched, evil and full of malice, but the truth is, she would probably do anything to get Fabien back . . .

Anything!

**FREE to read for KINDLE UNLIMITED subscribers**

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AUS

Universal Link: http://mybook.to/LeticiaNovella

LETICIA PROMO

How I Wrote a Book in 20 Days: A Diary – Part Four (Final Part)

Please make sure you read parts one to three before reading this concluding part! You can find them by visiting sarahmichellelynch.com/blog and scrolling through.

Note: I only wrote diary entries on days where I actually completed some writing. There are only 20 entries in this diary but the twenty writing days were spread over the space of a month and a bit. This diary does not include my notes on editing (I don’t want to give away all my secrets!)

***

Day #14

Another chapter down. Would have liked to have written more today but I’ve had admin to do. Social media to catch up on. An event to prepare for. Fridays are always difficult days because you’re preparing for the weekend. Still, I’m gonna try get some bits and pieces of writing done tomorrow and Sunday. We’ll see anyway!!

Two major emotional breakthroughs were made in this chapter. Now I’m halfway, I can take this story down a deeper, much more direct route. I’m excited to get to the WOW moment in this book, where everything I set out to achieve becomes much more achievable.

Exciting times ahead…

Word count so far: 49,686 (I’m classing this as half done).

Day #15

I snatched moments of time today to write. I had this one idea I just had to get out in case I forgot it later. So I ignored the Saturday TV for an hour or so, and just did it. Half a chapter down. Not bad, considering it’s been a manic day.

Word count so far: 52,043

Day #16

It’s been Monday. Monday, bloody, Monday. Gah. The clocks have changed and it’s a bloody nightmare!

However, I am starting to taste the end of this book. I want to know what happens next as much as you, the reader will want to. I fear a race is on now. A race to the finish line, to explore all this book has to offer again, with the next stage of development – editing.

Some days you truly have used up your word count, that you have very little else to say at the end of it.

Word count so far: 56,856

Day #17

A really good writing day. I’ve turned some corners and extracted some secrets.

When I look back to the beginning of the story, it feels like a hundred years ago now. I’ve just got to make sure it continues to appear that way, reflecting the manner in which the heroine changes dramatically within this story.

I feel like I’m ever-drawing closer to the denouement.

Word count so far: 64,512

Day #18

It’s 11am and I’m not done for the day by a long shot, but I need to write this entry right now. This morning, this book made me cry for the first time, and that’s huge. Because I don’t always cry when I’m writing a book. But the pain and the poignancy of a particular scene had me flowing today. And I’m not the sort of person to cry easily. Only like really, really bad shit makes me cry, or people with sob stories singing on Britain’s Got Talent, but I think that’s because I love music as much as I love any art form that provokes an emotional response.

Up to now I’ve been writing with a sense of tension and it feels as though that’s broken finally, now I’ve written this difficult scene today. It’s finally broken and the heroine is free to move onto the next chapter. (I’m hoping so anyway, I’ve still got a few thousand words left to write.)

***

I wrote 5,000 words today and it wasn’t an effort; it was one of those rare instances of forgetting time exists and just going with the flow. Words just came and I’m stepping ever-closer to the end. This might even turn into one of those rare novels where less is so much more because I’ve said most of what I wanted to already, so whatever else comes next will be a big adieu.

Word count so far: 69,500

Day #19

I haven’t written yet today. It’s the morning. I’m just trying to muster up some energy right now to write some more. I’m feeling a bit puffed out.

I finished yesterday’s writing session with absolutely no idea or inclination as to how I would continue this story. Overnight some ideas have come to me and I’m fairly certain how I’m going to end the tale now. Sometimes you can feel as though nothing’s coming and when you go about your other business and take a few moments out, suddenly an idea will strike and you realise there is still more, even if the day before, ideas felt all used up. In the past I may have mistakenly forced ideas but this isn’t how I like to write anymore. Each day, I strive for new ideas and those make a story. The devil is in the detail. Having written so many books now, I’ve played with various forms of writing but sometimes simple is best. It just depends upon the character you’re conveying. I find it so difficult sometimes to not repeat myself, using a saying I’ve maybe used in a previous novel. The two main characters in this book, actually – resemble very closely two minor characters of a previous series I wrote a long time ago. But they were minor then, they’re major now, and function in a much different way in this book. I know some authors have strange family trees where all the characters they’ve ever written are somehow connected, even if that’s not evident to the reader. To the writer, they see those characters as part of a wider family, maybe because they are. They’re the author’s family in some respects. So even though it’s very difficult for me to keep my material fresh and new, it all is, and the more difficult it is for me to explore new avenues, I think the better my work is overall. I write for my own pleasure first and foremost which is how it should be. Don’t get me wrong it’s lovely when someone else likes what you’ve done, too. But the only person I’m ever competing against is myself and the past me has an awfully big back catalogue now. And that spurs me on greatly. I feel like these days, the engines are fully operational and ready to burn. It’s all those previous books that got me where I am now. It’s the books I’m writing now that will get me where I want to be. And I’ll have enjoyed every moment of getting to wherever it is I end up. Because I love writing and that’s what I was born to do. Write. It’s easy for me now, where it used to be hard. Because each book has broken me in and taught me something. And writing’s as easy as breathing now. It’s just the thought of it which is sometimes hard.

So now I’ve given myself this little pep talk (I am slightly deranged, comes with the territory), I will bloody well put the kettle on and settle down to some fictional writing once more. Until later…

(peaks and troughs, peaks and troughs…)

***

Wow, just look at that word count below. I can taste the end now.

Word count so far: 76120

Day #20

Wow, I wrote THE END today. I didn’t think I’d be writing that so soon. But I’m reminded that I decided to make this a new adult romance (or it shaped itself into a NA romance), which means readers in this genre generally prefer shorter reads anyway.

But, wait…

Editing has yet to take place. And editing will involve me going over the book six, seven, maybe even eight times. The way I edit is where the magic really happens.

Writing a book (as I’ve proven), is relatively easy when you know how. It’s what comes next that’s hard.

I know that throughout the editing process, I may add another 5 to 10,000 words or so. With one book (A Fine Pursuit), editing added 10 to 20,000 words in fact, because the story shot out of me so fast, I had to go over it plenty after the first draft, so it wasn’t a bony carcass anymore!

Still, I might comb it back again after the second draft.

Or add more?

But, dear reader, I won’t be telling you the secrets of my editing process. I don’t want to put myself out of business.

It’s been real.

Word count of my first (skeleton draft): 77,659

Afterword

The novel this WRITING DIARY relates to is called Hetty: An Angel Avenue Spin-Off. I am writing this afterword on the day of its release.

Hetty is a character I knew inside and out before I even put fingers to keys which is why this book was so easy in terms of development.

Sometimes, as a reader, I read books and I can tell when an author has taken a large timeout in the middle of writing their book because the style or the feel of the prose changes dramatically between one chapter and the next. Maybe that’s sometimes intentional. Maybe it’s because during time off from writing, the author has developed a different viewpoint of the story and it shows.

Writing a book in the space of a month is not something I recommend for everyone. It’s exhausting, it takes incredible discipline and an iron will. I do not manage to complete every story I write within 20 days, trust me! I know my limits. I stop when I need to. I take self care very seriously. I’m lucky that I can pick and choose my projects and my family are very supportive of what I do, both in giving me time and knowing what I need when I come away from writing a book.

What I hoped to show with this writing diary was the highs and lows a writer goes through, and the behind-the-scenes effort that no reader ever usually hears about. (The gory details so to speak.)

Hetty is my 17th novel and when someone recently asked me, “Doesn’t your heart just squeeze when you look at all you’ve achieved?” – I had to tell them, no! I am the long-distance writer with a 1,000 stories to tell and I cannot allow myself to wallow too long in saying goodbye to characters I have so lovingly created. I cannot allow myself to wrap myself up in the myriad emotions I go through while writing a story. To a certain extent, I do look back at my library of work and feel proud – feel blessed I’m doing this – but the books I put out into the world are but a physical representation of the stories I tell. I cannot always explain how a story I’ve written has made me feel (personally) because the feeling is like no other on earth and it’s obviously why I find storytelling so addictive. I know that each reader will bring their own set of life experiences with them when they’re reading a book, and I accept that’s why books engage (often) such different reactions from different readers. For instance, whenever I think back to writing my first novel, I think of changing nappies and my daughter’s big firsts. My first novel is wrapped up in everything that was going on in my own life at the time I was writing it – and the book on the shelf will never explain to readers about the night I was up late typing and the unfortunate effect of my footsteps squeaking on the stairs as I crept up, thus waking my daughter and setting up a chain of events that gave me a terrible, sleepless night. Real life goes on all around us and books are just… books. And yet… they have such potential to change people’s lives. I love, love, love what I do with every fibre of my being and anyone else who loves my books is an absolute and complete bonus.

I write, because, simply – I am a writer. I’m pretty happy with that label, even if I never achieve any other label.

The editing process brought Hetty up to a more rounded 90,000 words, one of the shortest novels I have ever written. After a bit of time away from the book (a bit of distance), I saw what needed embellishing. I didn’t want to over-write this tale, I only wanted to make sure that readers walked away from this book in no doubt of the person Hetty is and what she is capable of achieving. Getting her character right in this work was all that mattered to me. I didn’t water her down, edit out her quirks or her flaws, I kept them all in there. I wanted this woman to be real and from the sounds of it, that’s how my readers see her.

She’s real.

And that’s the most you can hope to achieve from writing – making tiny black letters on a page seem real. And the more real the story, the more satisfied you feel – and another job well done can be ticked off.

***PLEASE READ ON FOR AN EXCERPT OF HETTY AND HOW YOU CAN DOWNLOAD HER STORY***

I LEAVE THE car and him to get a good look at the place from a distance. He’s slept more or less the whole way here. I haven’t minded. Driving helps me switch off and vacate. This is just a stop in the road before reaching Robin Hood’s Bay but I always stop first, breathe in the air, taking in the place from a distance. One of the first places Liza and my foster parents brought me was here after they took me on. John and Carol have been really good to me, too good, considering I was once their daughter’s bully. But that’s Liza – always helping wounded birds, even ones that have tried to peck her in defence. John and Carol are in their sixties now and tried to conceive for years before finally having Liza in their early forties. She was an only child and had always wanted a sister. She persuaded them. And I was added to her broken-winged club.

The car door shuts and I watch him stretch, his midriff revealed as his shirt rides up. He’s got a solid rack of muscles under there – just gorgeous.

He swings his arms around me, clutching me tight, so tight I’m enveloped in his warmth against the cold of this high-topped cliff upon which we’re standing. I love the heather-topped moors around here, I love the views, the cleanness, the clarity – the mangled city jungle seeming far away.

He nuzzles my throat and kisses me, purring, seeking. A rush of love washes over me and I turn in his arms, throw my arms around his neck and kiss him. I find no resistance, his mouth opening, his tongue tangling with mine.

“I missed you,” he says, his eyes glistening against the strong wind.

“I was right next to you.”

“But I was in my dreams.”

“Do you like it?” I ask him, pointing to the sleepy fishing village below. There are not many visitors this time of year.

“What’s not to like?” he says.

I lead him back to the car and we head for The Grange, a place I usually stay, just a little way up from the village.

After parking up, we scope it out.

“Will they have any rooms?” he asks, and from the look of his face I can tell he’s never done this before. I expect any hotels he usually stays in have been booked by Warrick!

“Let’s hope so.”

We enter the reception and I spot Derek, the owner, who recognises me. “Henrietta, long time no see!”

Smiling, I return, “Been so busy, you know how it is. We’ve been gallivanting and wondered… maybe you might have a room for the night…?”

He holds his finger up. “Let me check.”

While Derek checks his computer, I grip Joe’s hand and smile. He smiles back, still a little sleepy.

“Ah, Marge had a cancellation last night. You’re in luck. The Grange Suite is available.”

“We’ll take it,” I snap, almost snapping his hand off too!

“Okay, it’s not ready…” He’s sucking his thumb, thinking as he peruses the screen. “But I’ve put you in, come back at four and it’s yours.”

“Do you need a deposit?”

He winks. “Not from a good customer.”

“Thank you, Derek. Thanks so much.”

He guffaws, a little shy. “No problem.”

I catch him giving Joe a little side glance but he doesn’t say anything, or question us. Leaving the property, Joe says, “He seems a little fond of you.”

“I stay here often, in the summer months.”

“What do you do when you’re here?”

We get back into my Citroen and I turn towards him. “I drive up to Whitby, fill my boots and then sleep it off here. A Sunday morning stroll on the beach is heaven, too.”

“I never would’ve pictured it,” he says, pulling me towards him, reaching across the handbrake to put his arms around me. “You seem so badass, and here you are, a lovely Yorkshire rose spending her weekends by a beach nobody’s even really heard of.”

I tug his hair gently in my hands, murmuring, “All the best people have heard of it, Joseph.”

It takes a few moments for me to realise my breaths are laboured and heavy. This is what he does to me.

“But it’s so quiet and quaint…” He looks bemused.

“In therapy I was taught to like my own company. I’ve got used to it.”

“Not too used to it, I hope?” He’s grinning devilishly.

“Scenery’s not too shabby from where I’m sitting,” I remark, trying to seize my own grin before it breaks my face, I feel so happy.

He cups my bottom lip with his and kisses me torturously slowly. The perpetual molten vat of lava in my lower stomach churns and I could curse that hotel for not having any rooms available right now. Joe moves his kisses to my cheeks and my neck.

“Save it for later…” I mumble.

“You smell divine, like honeysuckle or something.” He pulls back, searching my eyes, endlessly trying to figure me out.

“Come on, I’m hungry, you sexy beast.”

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

 

 

99 pence e-books throughout December

Christmas is only days away and so are those Amazon giftcards which will be gracing stockings across the land. To celebrate the festive season and a new year being right upon us, I’ve priced most of my e-Books for 99 pennies for the month of December.

From the thrilling, romantic Sub Rosa Series (Unbind and Unfurl), to the mind-bending scifi series UNITY, to the heartwarming contemporary romance Angel Avenue, there is something to whet the whistle.

Don’t forget, the next instalment in the NIGHTLONG SERIES will be out early next year and the first two books The Contract and The Fix are among those on sale.

Enjoy xx

Visit Sarah on Amazon

BDSM, Writing Sex and Daddy Doms… an interview

Firstly, thanks to Louise from Passionate Page Turner for posing these questions to me. I enjoyed answering them and it was great to look back at some of my earlier books. Without further ado…

The chambermaid series looks at one woman’s self-discovery and sexual awakening, she learns a great deal about her craft, how did you research for this?

12140580_619055291531558_4522190407370519980_nA lot of what I write is from off the top of my head and purely fictional and imaginative. However, I have a really good memory so what I write must be in some portion informed by what I have read, watched on TV, witnessed or talked about with friends. Lottie isn’t necessarily an expert practitioner of BDSM. She’s making it up as she goes along; she arouses men because she’s really just very beautiful and has a playful personality. She’s observed people for so long in her job in hotel work, she’s got a great deal of people experience. I also wanted to somehow persuade the reader that the reason Lottie is so imaginative is that she is well read, so I did read almost all the books she’s influenced by. One of my source materials was “Harris’s List of Georgian Ladies” which is full of euphemisms and flowery language and I used that type of language as an influence on Lottie. (Read the book, but Lottie’s use of language hides the sordid truth of a lot of her encounters, which aside from those with Noah are unfulfilling and not indicative of who she really is.)

One reviewer said that you wrote Lottie’s sexual encounters effortlessly, would you agree with this?

I agree I have a flair for writing good sex scenes but nothing comes effortlessly. You can’t just write, He put it in me and it was so hard and so good and he made me come instantly. How, and with what pressure, did he make you come? What did it specifically feel like? Get descriptive. Take yourself out of the situation and look at the scene from a bird’s eye view, then take yourself back into the circle again! There’s so much more to writing sex than most people know and you have to build a scene around a number of factors. Smell. Taste. Feel. Feelings. Women are always turned on by feelings, whether they admit it or not. What he does differently. What you do in response. I always try to vary the scenes I write. I think if Lottie’s sexual encounters seem effortlessly written it’s because all the work I put in behind the scenes isn’t apparent. The hero can be the hottest looking guy on the planet but if he just stands there and expects you to do all the work, that isn’t sexy. A man has to connect with your brain, first of all, to make you want him so much you’ll do ludicrous things with him in the bedroom. Literally, sometimes the things I write are even OBSCENE. LOL.

In my review I stated that it reminded me of older erotica, the likes of the story of O, do you/have you read much erotica? What would you recommend to read?

4a7fd17d24a3d19f79c556e91ed1ee09Yes, Story of O was one of the books which inspired Lottie’s story. If you’ve read the book, you’ll know there are huge passages without paragraph breaks, spread across page after page sometimes. I once read that the story needed rewriting with a modern update and better prose so in effect, I tried to do that in some portion with A Fine Profession. For Lottie, O’s story was an inspiration because having had so much pain in her own life, O has mastered the art of coping with pain and Charlotte wants to do the same. A Fine Profession is about Lottie writing out her fantasies, but with a sinister message beneath her experiences. She has a persona, someone she can be to escape herself, but burying herself in that character has cost her in ways she won’t admit. With that persona comes this voice of someone out of another time. She immerses herself in classical literature to take herself off into another world inside her mind. Her language is a lot more flowery than anything I write otherwise but it reflects her perpetual state of having her head in the clouds. I would definitely recommend Anais Nin for some classical erotica. Tiffany Reisz is an excellent erotic writer and her books are loved by those with a more open mind.

Lottie has a love for corsets and vintage lingerie and Noah supports and encourages this; can you tell me more about why she loves them?

a4a910e7efe751bacff26c5d458d0eb2Like a lot of women, she yearns for days gone by when women dressed as women with petticoats and corsets and huge skirts. When clothes flattered and were made to measure. When clothes lasted. How many women these days complain they can’t find a top to flatter their chest? A bra that fits? As modern women, we’re put under pressure to conform and costumes of old celebrated the larger bosom and hid a lot of our sins. In many respects, the corset is Lottie’s uniform and wearing it reminds her she has to perform. Vintage makes her feel special, makes her feel out of her time, takes her out of herself. Lottie is forever on the hunt for props, experiences and men willing to help her be the character she so desperately wants to be like.

In A Fine Pursuit you write from Noah’s  pov, was this difficult? Especially during sex scenes?

a fine pursuitYeah, it was difficult. I wrote this story a long while ago now but I remember at the time just feeling that same anguish and confusion he did. He was an infuriating character to be in the mindset of but I researched him thoroughly. I always knew he wouldn’t necessarily be a likeable character, but he’s a real character. He’s not a classic dom. I didn’t write his story thinking he was a book boyfriend, either. Like I mentioned above, Lottie is forever trying to displace herself from real life, which she can’t cope with. Noah’s just the same. He wants the fantasy he shares with her, because the billionaire he is by day is nothing like the man beneath. The books are literary, maybe even hard to stomach. I don’t think some readers like the honesty of these two books.

In the finale of the Sub Rosa Trilogy you delve more into BDSM, was this eye opener for you?

Nope. I have believed in BDSM for a long time. It is true that there are some people out there who abuse their roles in the lifestyle, but pain’s not at the heart of the culture. Trust is. I have a book in the pipeline called “Dom Diaries” and it does draw out a lot of the truths about what makes a dom, truths that aren’t necessarily apparent through Kayla’s dialogue alone in the series finale.

I’m not sure I like the term “Daddy” when talking about a dom, is this a common term used?

It’s extremely common except it’s not always used in open spaces – or in mainstream books. You’ve probably read about loads of Daddy/sub relationships but the name Daddy hasn’t been used. In AFP, Noah is Lottie’s Master. She denotes that with the use of capital M for Master. She never calls him sir. He’s much more than that. He’s her disciplinarian because she can be so out of control. The Master/sub relationship is more about punishment whereas the Daddy/sub scenario is more about nurturing the sub. Being a Daddy has nothing to do with being a replacement father figure although many elements of BDSM subvert real-life roles and explore unspoken areas of the sub’s emotional back catalogue. I personally think “daddy” is a softer term for dom/master/sir. Daddies and their subs tend to be more playful, more tactile and play on each other’s young outlook on life.

I notice that you use pinterest, do you find that a useful research and inspiration tool?

Not really. I just waste a lot of time over there, finding pretty pictures! Although sometimes I’ll notice a couple and go, “that reminds me of such and such…” The stuff I use for research is banned off Pinterest.

Fabien takes us into the world of Paranormal, did your writing style have to change when writing sexy supernatural sex scenes?

Yes, my writing really had to change but it was such a refreshing change, too. Putting myself in the mind of someone who has lived for centuries was an interesting task. Also, you can pretty much go WAAAAAYYYY outside the box with paranormal, which is a great thing.

Your new book (Tainted Lovers) features a married couple,  we had chatted about there not being many books out there featuring married couples, why do think that is?

I once read that erotica “saved my marriage”. A lady wrote her libido dipped after a certain length of time spent married and it had nothing to do with her feelings for her husband or their attraction. She just needed a boost. I think we avoid writing about marriage in romance novels because we’d rather remember how it was in the beginning. It’s a common opinion among women that the sex dwindles after marriage and you just have to accept it – but I disagree. I think if you can be open and honest with your partner, it can only keep getting better. No “fantasy” lover is ever going to know you as well as the man who, over several years, has spent time getting to know where and how you like to be touched. But we women do sometimes need a little added shot of erotica to boost our appetites. Horny women are never a bad thing; I’m sure husbands and boyfriends and randoms agree!tainted lovers (2)

What makes a story “Erotica”?

A really good story which features some sex, which doesn’t have to be on every page. A cracking sex scene can carry an entire book if it’s memorable and unique, and well written. Erotica, for me, is a genre which delves into the very basics of our psyche and isn’t easy to write. It’s not just about moving a story from plot point A to point B. You have to weave the sex in so it doesn’t seem unneccessary. It’s a skill I’m still learning all the time.

 

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Pre-order Dom Diaries Now + Excerpt

domdiaries

RELEASING MAY 3RD

Blurb

The Sub Rosa Trilogy uncovered the dark secrets beneath the lies. But what about the story beyond the mystery?

In this companion novel, TV presenter turned magazine editor Carl Sorensen has his say in these diaries chronicling his journey from a lost soul betrayed by all the women he loves – to a true, dedicated dom determined to lead a better life.

His uncensored confessions reveal all the dirty secrets that eventually put him on the same path as the woman who would become his wife.

Ultimately, what makes a dom and more importantly, WHO makes a dom?

Be prepared to have your belief system shaken up all over again.

Reading Order:

UNBIND (Book 1) : http://mybook.to/unbind

UNFURL (Book 2) : http://mybook.to/unfurl

UNLEASH (Book 3) : http://mybook.to/unleash

DOM DIARIES (a companion) : http://mybook.to/domdiaries

AUTHOR NOTE

I have a word or two of warning:

This book contains lots of major spoilers for the Sub Rosa series. I highly recommend reading the trilogy first otherwise you will not be as emotionally invested as you pick up this book.

Rather than adding to the series, this complements if nothing else, but does contain a couple of little added twists.

Rather than rehash the trilogy, Carl’s diaries highlight the pivotal points of his life, when he’s either desperately in agony or ecstatically happy.

Once again:

You have been warned. Read the trilogy first.

Happy reading.

Sarah x

 

EXCERPT

AUGUST 1, 2008

11.01 p.m. HOME. Since Marie started taking me to her friend’s dungeon, everything has changed. I’ve had my eyes opened. I’ve… been educated. Let me go back to the first night, and then I’ll tell you (dear diary) what has happened since…

It was a Saturday night, the day after July 4th. Hot. Sticky. She told me to wear normal clothes because costumes would be provided at the door.

We walked through an old, stately apartment building in Gramercy and I was led through a home furnished in paisley and dominated by polished glass, with all the walls in walnut and beige. Soon enough we found ourselves waiting before an invisible entrance, wallpaper hiding the joins of a hidden door.

We walked through into an entirely different world of dark wood and leather, of latex and naked flesh. High human scents mixed with hard materials – it was a heady combination. The smell of fresh pussy already had me filling my pants.

We were led to a cloakroom of sorts and passed our costumes, so to speak. Marie was given a black cloak which tied at the front to conceal her entire body. I was given a pair of black, silk pants.

In a small changing room together, I watched as she stripped to her bare skin and pulled on just the cloak. I did the same, wearing only the silk pants.

‘So far so good?’ she asked me.

I merely raised my brow and smiled.

‘Good,’ she replied, ‘now remember what I said, this is a pain-free dungeon. Just playing. None of the equipment here is for pain. It’s all kid’s plasticky stuff. We make this up as we go along.’

I nodded and we placed our normal clothes in a wicker locker outside the door.

We were led down a wooden staircase into what I presumed was a basement. Each step I took made the steps creak beneath my feet. I was aware this was shabby chic; shabby full stop.

Down in the thick of it, I was surprised to see men and women chatting idly, sat around on wooden benches with a drink in their hand. There were a couple of male waiters handing out drinks, dressed in leather chaps with just a strip of a thong protecting their modesty.

A woman dressed in one of the black cloaks called for everyone’s attention and said, ‘Usual rules apply. No real names. No facts. No intercourse. No pain. No other rules. Enjoy.’

A door was opened into another room and I realized the one we were in was but an antechamber.

Marie tipped her champagne glass against mine and clinked. ‘Don’t you drink, Carl?’

‘I don’t actually.’ It was funny. I wouldn’t have admitted that, had I not known that what went on in the dungeon, no doubt stayed in the dungeon.

‘More for me,’ she grinned, taking my glass for herself.

We walked towards the doorway where the real festivities took place and for a brief moment, I felt like all these doorways were passageways into either prison or freedom. I was hoping for the latter.

Before we went into the real dungeon, one of the waiters marked my shoulder with an ultraviolet pen so I bore a clear, “L” on my skin.

‘Learner,’ whispered Marie, ‘so that people know. Stick with me.’

We walked indoors, finally, to be greeted by what seemed to be instruments of torture but were absolutely toys. Many more women than men were in charge and as we passed through and observed, I heard a few of the men groan as their partners humiliated and stroked their bodies with playful torture instruments such as ticklers, fake riding crops and mostly, their own boots.

‘What would your dom do to you?’ I whispered in Marie’s ear.

She looked up into my eyes from her smaller stature and giggled. ‘I’ll show you.’

She led me to an oversized wooden chair, the like you see people electrocuted in. She asked me to fasten the wrist and ankle holds, which I did.

‘My safe word is deluxe,’ she says, ‘which basically means I’m premium and ready to finish.’

I grinned. ‘Do I need one?’

‘No, not unless you would like to be dominated.’

‘Never.’

‘Okay, then.’

carl

Tainted Lovers is Live…

full paperback cover

(Click cover to be directed to Amazon)

Title:

Tainted Lovers

Genre:

Romantic erotica/suspense

Page count:

424

Series?

Complete standalone

Listen to me reading Chapter One without any rehearsal, I just picked it up and read it (sorry if I sound shite! you can read along below):

Chapter One

Easter, 2003

 

I worked as a cataloguist of special documents at Leeds University’s Brotherton Library, which had some seriously interesting old scrolls and manuscripts among its collections. I landed the job because I had tenacity. I wanted the job because it meant not dealing with the public. I was waiting until my son Billy was a little older so that I could give more time to my studies and finally do my accounting degree.

Occasionally I left my office but only to make the dis-tance from my workspace to the café nearby. While Billy spent time at the crèche every afternoon, I worked. I didn’t need the money, just some sort of sanity.

One day I was leaving my office to pick Billy up on my way home when I spotted a man stood nearby at the self-service units, looking perplexed.

“Excuse me, excuse me,” he called in a panicked voice. He held one foot on the floor while reaching high in the air to signal me over the tops of the high booths. Looking around, I saw no other members of staff available to help him. It was getting toward the end of the day for most people and also, it was nearly the Easter holidays and the past few weeks had been the busiest of the year. Most of my colleagues were surviving on cigarettes and bitching sessions to keep them going.

Walking toward him, I asked, “What’s the problem?”

It wasn’t my job to help him, but I was familiar with the self-service machines.

“It won’t let me take out this book.”

Part of me had already clocked the fact he was beautiful but I tried to ignore that.

Attempting to take his book out for him, I muttered under my breath, “Where is everyone?”

“I’ve been stuck standing here for god knows how long waiting for help.”

I nodded along, hearing angry beeps from the machine, which refused to let him take out this book. Looking closer at the screen, I realised the computer bore a message:

 

This title is reserved.

 

Pointing at the screen, I drew his attention to the message and he answered, “Yeah, I reserved it. About four months ago. So did everyone else. Some shit keeps hiding this and none of us can ever get hold of the bloody thing.”

I picked up the book under scrutiny and held it in my hands. It was an old book on medieval chivalry with a brown, warped cover and thin pages nearly falling apart. The book had illustrations in colour but it was at least a hundred years old and should have been a reference title – if that.

“This shouldn’t even be on a shelf,” I mumbled, “it should be under my care. Look at it.”

I felt him staring at me for a while as I examined his long-overdue/reserved book. “A soft spot for battered old books, eh?”

“I’m actually in charge of battered old books,” I told him. “Just wait here a second.”

“Okay. I’ll wait,” he said.

I caught a softness to his voice, perhaps affection, and the tone caught me off guard. Looking directly up into his eyes for the first time, I was throttled by what was staring back.

Our eyes locked. I think I burned from every pore. My belly filled with heat and my heart rinsed off its icy cage in an instant. Staring at him, my feet rooted, I realised he wasn’t affected at all, not whatsoever. Cool as ice. I hated him a little for it.

“In… a… wait,” I mumbled, not making sense.

I rushed off back to my office and sank against the door, panting, trying to slow my heart. Never had I been so affected. Light-headed, I tried to catch my breath.

Clutching the book in my hand, I remembered I had a job to do. My PC on standby, I started it up again and searched the catalogue number.

It was a borrow, he wasn’t lying. Not a reference title. Flicking through it again, I realised it was one of the core subjects our medieval scholars studied – on chivalric court-ship. So I knew he was either an MA student or higher. Going by his eyes, he was a few years older than me.

Anyway, I needed to get rid of him.

Quickly.

I overrode the system and did something naughty, cancelling all the reserve statuses so the book could start a new cycle of temporary ownership. No doubt some div hated his fellow classmates and wanted nobody else to have access to the book, a rare title which could make or break a dissertation.

Gathering myself, I took some deep breaths, my bag clutched under my arm and the book clutched at my chest.

Leaving the office again, I walked fast because I really needed to pick up Billy.

“Hi,” he said as I rejoined him.

Stepping in front of the self-serve machine with authority, I asked, “Library card, please.”

He handed me it and I took the book out for him, avoiding eye contact altogether.

Job done.

“There you go.”

“Thanks… how did you…? Thanks!” He stuffed the book into his rammed-full bag as I began walking away.

I chased down the stairs, not wanting to give him chance to follow me. I had two flights to get down, though. My exit was through the Parkinson building, and the stairs outside were steep and dangerous. I had to slow down to take them.

“Wait, wait!” He caught up with me, a hand on my forearm slowing me down as we got out into the open air. “I know you.”

“I have somewhere to be,” I huffed, impatient.

“Adrienne, right?”

I dared look into those chocolate-brown eyes again and another electric current shot through me, even stronger though this time. In the light of day, I saw how deeply brown his eyes really were – and smouldering – with umber striations.

I folded my arms. “So what? I saw your library card, David.” I sounded pithy. “You saw my name tag. Big deal.”

“No,” he shook his head, “Adrienne Kyd. I know you. Well,” he chuckled, “I know of you.”

I examined him carefully and the familiarity became clear.

“You’re a Harrogate boy,” I said through gritted teeth.

So, my past was inescapable. A boy from my hometown had found me.

But just how much did he know?

“Everybody knows you… or knew you,” he said, but while his tone was affectionate, his eyes remained devoid of any feeling. He looked at me like he was looking right past me. It was something about his steady gaze. I couldn’t read him. He seemed, guarded.

Anyway, he wasn’t lying. Everyone knew me. I was Miss Harrogate 2000, the same year I got together with Marcus, my ex – the donator of sperm that created my child (he was never a father).

“I’m not trying to be rude… I really do have somewhere to be,” I insisted, avoiding his eyes at all costs. I couldn’t help notice he was mentally undressing me, sizing me up for the kill.

“Can I give you my number?” he asked.

“No.”

“No?”

“No. Goodbye.”

I charged off. Petrified wasn’t a word I thought I understood, but right then, I did. I purposely wore dowdy clothes, no make-up – and worked in the backroom of a library. I hardly ever let my hair down (literally) and I didn’t try to make myself look attractive to the opposite sex whatsoever. In fact I was glad to be invisible but that day, my magic cloak seemed to have worn off.

I’d never been so scared before in my life: I’d fallen in love at first sight.

 

***

 

Even though I worked at the library, people may not have even known that. I passed through quickly on my way to and from places; always with my eyes focused on leaving, always with an air of inapproachability so that people never stopped me in my tracks. I lived in my office, end of. I wore a name badge I always tried to hide by folding over my cardigan. I wasn’t on the help desk. I didn’t deal with returns. I didn’t want to talk to people. I didn’t want people to ask me questions and know things about me. I was quiet. I talked to one girl I worked with, Bebe, and the rest of the staff thought I was some sort of mentally ill person with antisocial tendencies. It worked for me.

However. After that first encounter with David, I was no longer a ghost fluttering in and out of that place. I was a target. David hung around in the afternoons, waiting, watching. He asked if he could carry my bag on my way out. He tried to slip his number into the palm of my hand. He even stalked me at my favourite coffee shop in Parkinson, finding out from the owner what my usual tipple was. The coffee shop owner said David had paid for me to have free coffee for the rest of the academic year. I was molten with fury and longing – torn between giving into my urges and tearing strips off him for refusing to let it go.

 

Not many days later, I had to run an errand over to the geography department which was expecting a new delivery of old maps. Because of my infrequent escape from the office, I don’t think David expected me to catch him with another girl that day. I watched from a distance, hiding myself behind one of the many trees lining the pathways of our campus. I spotted him and a redhead on a bench having a heated discussion, and then a second girl walked up to them. A brunette. The two girls faced off, seemingly fighting for him. David was able to slope off because they were too busy arguing. He chased away once he’d put a safe distance between himself and the two ladies, heading off campus it seemed. Once I knew he was gone, I left my hiding place and walked along to my destination, passing the two girls as I did. All I heard from the redhead was, “He was mine first, keep your hands off.”

The brunette replied, “Don’t you see? He’s playing us both…”

I didn’t hear anything more, but I was sure as hell certain David wasn’t a man to be trusted. I certainly couldn’t afford another man like that in my life.

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Writing A Standalone

**Warning, this blog contains swearing, humour… and some strong opinions. Proceed with caution.**

“I actually forgot how to write a standalone…”

…I said to my husband the other day.

One of the reasons I decided to write a standalone this time round is that my own tastes are changing and I find myself more and more frustrated with long-running series. I find that sequels sometimes take forever to come out, or when they do, the characters don’t sound the same… or maybe it was so long ago since that other book in the series, you find yourself having to reread again and again so you can keep the flow going and stay connected to the characters. I also find that with series comes pressure for the author and often, the first book in a trilogy will be really strong and then books that follow don’t measure up. Maybe that’s just a sign that once a series is established, an author becomes too comfortable in their writing and after that, writes exactly what they want instead of perpetuating what they set out in the beginning? Or maybe, time constraints are involved… and the first book was evolved more organically, before everyone developed an opinion of their own.

A lot of writers I work with don’t write series because they want to, but because they think they have to. Many writers in the Indie world, especially, are writing series with the thought, “I can give this one away for free, then people might read the next ones…” Hey, we’ve all been there. I’ve got the t-shirt. Someone even recently said to me, “People will only take a chance on an Indie author if it’s free.”

When I said that to my husband (I forgot how to write a singular book), I really meant it. I forgot how to write a standalone. As of today, right now i.e. this moment in time, my forthcoming novel Tainted Lovers is the only standalone novel of mine to date. When I wrote Unbind, it was sooooo meant to be a standalone. However, during the writing of it, I’d written loads of material from Cai’s POV for my own benefit, so me – the author – was inside his head and better able to represent him. However, low and behold readers read Unbind and wanted more from him. There were questions left over. While my editor’s opinion was that sometimes it’s better to leave some things unsaid, the readers voted with their feet. WE WANT MORE!

So then, I wrote Unfurl which is probably the second best book I’ve ever written because I really felt like me and Cai were on the same wavelength and I went hell for leather on the editing. By midway through Unfurl, I knew in my heart that Kayla also had a story to tell – so a trilogy was forming – and I didn’t want Unfurl to be the shitty middle book full of sex and filler and crappy cliché to get to the last and final chapter, which gives you all the flash/bang/wallop.

Beyond Angel Avenue was something I wrote out of love. I’d missed Jules and Warrick and felt like enough time had lapsed to tell what happened next. I.e. they’ve changed (like I’d changed) and it wouldn’t be the same book, it’d be a book to stand alone but a sequel still.

I think a lot of authors these days feel under pressure to write series, from a marketing point of view, because a series is an investment for readers to get stuck into. However, through series, are we short selling ourselves? Stretching ourselves thin? When in actual fact, a standalone has the ability to pack a whole lot of punch in one, swift round? A former agent of mine said series attract publishers/agents because it basically means more pounds and pence.

If you think about Game of Thrones, which everyone is in uproar about because they take so bloody long to write, Mr Martin’s books are only soooo absorbing because he takes time to make them that good. Whereas, many other authors are given three months between instalments to write their books. Is that short changing their talent, or are we able to write more than we think we are? I am starting to believe that the world in which we live expects… and probably the reason why 50 Shades did so well was that all of the instalments were out at the same time and nobody had to wait in between for them. (Or did Amazon spot a marketing opportunity and set their algorithms to explode those books…. hmmm… *scratches chin*… I think Amazon saw a way to earn some money.) I say love what you love, enjoy it, and if you do, great. However, the hype told everyone they had to have those books and so everyone went to Asda and got 3 for 2 and most of the Vol. twos and threes languish somewhere (I did a poll, so I’m not lying about this) and most people I spoke to read the first and then forgot about the other two. I hasten to add Mr Martin only intended GoT to be three books long, but that damn wheel of fortune bloody well said no, you will write seven damn books (and now the TV show is ahead of the books… what does that tell you about supply and demand??? Are we just a load of needy gits…? Oh yeah.)

I mean… look at Great Gatsby at only 50K and yet it’s been done numerous times on film etc. Jane Eyre, voted the greatest novel of all time over and over, rides well above 200K. Today, a marketing firm would no doubt slice Charlotte’s book in two and… you know, spoil the fucking thing.

Word count is so stupid. A story will be told, in how ever many words it needs to be told.

WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!!!!!!

I am but a liar. Now… I put on my editor’s hat for the latter portion of this blog… with a list of editing mishaps I wanna scream at myself and others sometimes:

  • Less is more.
  • Not everyone wants to know your shoe size, or what colour underwear you’re wearing. Cut that shit out.
  • Hey, you totally used that plot twist to dramatise what was otherwise a simply boring, boring novel…!
  • Set targets; they bloody work! A deadline gets shit done.
  • Set a word count and make sure you get that whole story told within that bastard.

When I said I forgot how to write a standalone, I am really not kidding. The writer in me wanted to venture down all sorts of avenues and here’s where things went wrong along the way (as my thought processes swam beyond the buoy):

  • “I could make this two, 90,000-word books and put a massive cliffhanger slap bang in the middle to make people want more… (my editor says, okay, maybe that could work) …everyone would be talking about it, OMG, what’s gonna happen next.” Then… Reasonable Me says it will take me 4-6 months to write the sequel and I will get to the end wondering why I did this. People will have forgotten they care. They are loathe to re-read the first and… it’ll not be as strong as book one.
  • I could make this a trilogy!!! Yes! Another trilogy. I will throw in loads of really, really well-written sex cos I am da balls at that. Oh yes. (editor says noh, in a David Walliams-type Little Britain voice.)
  • Editor in me goes: Write that hard shit, write it, damn you woman. Writer in me goes: No, don’t wanna.
  • How do I arc a story? Fuck. I forgot… better learn that again (I arc’ed once before, in Beneath the Veil/The Radical and that shit was good).
  • B–b–b–b–but if I write a series, I can use tail ends to write loadsa great twisty-turning shit… in the sequels, YAY!! (editor rolls his eyes, stamps on my stupid notions, and shouts WRITE A SINGLE FUCKING BOOK!). p.s. love my editor.

One of my favourite chicklit/romance reads ever is Me Before You (film out this year) and I loved it because it had a moral, it had incredibly beautiful, poignant, life-changing moments, and it was real. I damn well refuse to read the sequel because I know it will spoil my love of the first book.

Notwithstanding all my opinions above, which are just my opinions, not fact… here’s what I found from finally writing a true, standalone novel.

  • I changed the title at least twelve times.
  • I changed the character names at least the same amount of times.
  • I rewrote certain sections dozens and dozens of times.
  • I gave care to each chapter, each section, each line, each paragraph, each fucking full stop. I gave so much care to this book because it is THE BOOK and the only book, right now, that I feel shows the breadth and entirety of my writing skill.
  • With a standalone, you know you only have one chance to get that shit write/right.
  • It’s going to blow your wigs off, knock your socks flying, kill your heart, then rebuild it.
  • I focussed on words. On manipulating. On crafting. I cut out the twisty shit and crafted words. Crafted and crafted and crafted.
  • I wrote stuff I didn’t want to write, but had to.
  • I pulled up my big girl pants and rocked that shit. Left out explicit sex (still hot though) in favour of meaningful encounters.

p.s. I wrote Tainted Lovers on a diet of gin and lots more cussing than what’s in this little here blog post.

Oh yeah… and do you love my cover??

full paperback cover

Out soon…

With love, Sarah xxx

 

#TeaserTuesday and Some New Reviews…

A series about real issues, with a little bit of mystery, intrigue, shock and delight all thrown into the mix…

Some recent reviews of Angel Avenue:

 

Compelling read:

I found this book compelling, I wanted to read more about the intricacies of the main characters lives. The detail to attention is amazing and I really could picture the area and characters.

Jules and Warrick are both complex people with troubled pasts, a chance meeting could be the saviour of them both or it could spell disaster.

This story is about heartbreak and loss, the need for human connection and physical closeness. It’s a beautiful story.

Jules has not had an easy life but she is surviving and getting on with her life, the love and loss of a man leaves her broken and she finds herself spending her Saturdays searching and craving for some physical contact, just a hug will do. Warrick spots Jules and watches her every Saturday and finally decides to see if she is ok? A friendship develops that has the potential to go further but both of their pasts and secrets hold these two back. The story takes twists that you wouldn’t expect but it flows so well.

I’m looking forward to reading Beyond Angel Avenue and where the author will take the story of Jules and Warrick.

I Loved This Book:

I loved this book. A love story that took a slow meandering path with a few unexpected twists and turns that left me wanting to shout at the author. I enjoyed the way the characters got to know each other’s flaws…..Warts and all.

I Was Personally Touched:

Lets see where exactly to begin. It would be easier to tell you what I will not say…like tell you about the characters and what happens. Hey! That takes all the fun out of you reading the book right? Right!

I will suggest you have a box of tissues near by, you may find you need them. Just sayin’.

I really want to thank Book Bub for letting me know about bargains available from Amazon. The choices certainly have allowed me to learn about authors I would not have known. Kinda reminds me of the days of going through the bargain books at different stores. Just to see and always walking away with at least four books. Sorry got a little side tracked here but it was because of this that I learned of this book.

Yes it is a romance novel but no where near what you would think one would be like. This was more like the slice of two people’s lives that come together that are really great for each other but they have so many wounds and ghosts some of them causes a lot of pain and time to work through.

We all have some of these skeletons in our closets some we have buried so deep we think that we have dealt with them but in actuality we have not. For me the story struck close to home, sometimes too close. But there is also a cleansing that can happen as well.

I feel the Sarah has taken some very tough issues and worked them through her characters that not only brought them to life but made them a part of me In my humble opinion, it would be difficult for one to walk away from this book and not be changed from it.

Released one week from today, Beyond Angel Avenue:

View the early reviews…

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27477733-beyond-angel-avenue

I was lucky enough to read this book straight after Angel Avenue, I’m so glad the author decided to conclude the story. There was so much more depth to these characters than I first thought. I loved the first book but this just blew me away.
The story follows on directly from Angel Avenue and we see how Jules and Warrick deal with the next chapter of their life. However the ghosts from their pasts are still haunting them and in order to find closure they have to take some risks that might make or break them. They are dragged into situations that puts their life in danger and have no idea who they can trust.
The continuing story of Warrick and Jules is beautifully told. I was gripped and compelled by the story and the characters. A truly amazing series that will stay with me forever.

BAA teaser2

Buy Angel Avenue:

UK

US

Pre-order Beyond Angel Avenue:

UK

US