Sunday, 28 April 2013

A Mysterious Case of Writers Block

I have just returned from a holiday. It was much-needed, and I was hoping to use my time to work on a manuscript that I have been limping through for about the last six months or so. I signed up to Camp NaNoWriMo for the first time this month, and set myself a target of 50,000 words. I already had 20,000 words written, so how difficult could it be? Quite a task, as it turns out. So far this month I have barely written 6000 words on the manuscript. But, I am not despairing yet. There is still time to perform a miracle!

My holiday took me to the west coast of Scotland, and a beautiful town called Ayr. I have never visited before, but looking at a few photos online piqued my interest. I was not expecting the town to be quite so large. In fact, I fell in love with the place! It has a fantastic sandy beach that stretches for at least a couple of miles. There is a harbour that we didn't get round to exploring, and I was curious to follow the rocky coastline and see what treasures could be found in either direction heading out of town. Unfortunately, with two toddlers in tow, it was difficult to explore properly.

My friend and I took our children to a family caravan park for a week, and we had a wonderful time. We went treasure hunting on the beach, the children rode their bike and scooter along the seafront, we found a fun indoor soft play centre for when it rained, and we spent the day at a chocolate factory. I took the opportunity to look around me at the scenery, and tried to picture what kind of supernatural creatures might run wild up there. Usually when I visit a place like that I am flooded with inspiration and my Muse goes into overdrive. Not so this week. I never once had the urge to scribble in my notebook, much to my dismay.

I was telling my friend about my dilemma one evening after I had tried to force myself to do some writing on my manuscript. The words are flowing, but in a stuttering and disjointed manner. Gone are the repeating scenes and sequences that fill my head until I write them down. My Muse seems to have emigrated! My friend then suggested perhaps there was an explanation behind my writer's block. I am currently six months pregnant, and my daughter is two years old. Oh yes, perhaps I am a little distracted! I hope that my Muse returns once the baby is born, but in the meantime I refuse to give up on my project. My vampire hunter story needs to be written, so I will power through until it is done.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Hump Day Hook #HDH – The Vampire of Blackpool

Today I will share just one more excerpt from my unpublished manuscript, The Vampire of Blackpool. This is an exchange between our protagonist, Meredith Hanson, and a vampire hunter she fought with on Blackpool promenade.

    “You will not defeat me, hunter,” I said, “I know all of your tricks.”
    He stared at me, and I refused to look away under his scrutiny.  Instead I stared back, showing him my glowing silver eyes and my gleaming fangs, wet with his blood where I had bitten and nipped him during our fight.  He licked his lips, his body tense beneath me.  I felt his confusion as his mental barrier began to weaken.  My smile widened and I leaned down, my lips a mere inch away from his.
    “You want me, hunter,” I purred, “Admit it.  You want me to kiss you, and you want to taste your blood on my lips.  I know how it works.  You are all the same.”
    I crushed my lips to his and he struggled to push me away, but not before he opened his mouth for me, and our tongues entwined for a moment.  Then he managed to force me back, and I stood up, laughing.
    “Mmm,” I murmured, “Delicious.  I will leave you to recover.  We will meet again.”
    Stepping back slowly and licking my lips, I gave him time to scramble to his feet.

If you would like to see more fantastic new novels from lots of different authors, check out our dedicated Hump Day Hook website and the Facebook group. There you will find anything from traditional romance, BDSM, erotica, sci-fi and fantasy.

*Vampire image courtesy of Pinterest

Sunday, 21 April 2013

I'm Taking a Holiday!

Good day my friends! This is just a quick post to say I will be quiet on the blog this week, since I am off on a holiday (or vacation if you prefer). I will take the laptop, because I am taking the opportunity to do some research for a future Redcliffe novel...

I am visiting the Ayrshire coast in Scotland, and my friend and I will take our children for a daytrip to Glasgow while we are in the vicinity. It is the perfect chance for me to research a little about the location for the Mason brothers' undercover police job that took them away from Redcliffe just before they met Jessica Stone...

An author never sleeps as they say!

My novels are adult paranormal with equal amounts of dark romance and contemporary English Gothic. Sign up now for special offers and book release news.

*Image courtesy of Pinterest via Visit Scotland

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Vampires and Lattes Online Today! #FreeBooks

Hello! Join the authors of the Vampire Book Realm live today in the Latte Lounge at Coffee Time Romance. We are hosting a spectacular event where you can find new books, new authors, and get your hands on some free novels and merchandise. Come along and join the fun now! Event runs until midnight 20th April.

If you catch me online, you might even get yourself a free copy of my third novel and new release, Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel). Here's the blurb, just to pique your interest:

Adjusting to life with vampires and werewolves, Jessica Stone is learning about being a witch. Love is painful. Life is difficult. It is never boring.

Life has changed forever in Redcliffe, Cornwall. Jessica Stone used to be a normal, happy human. Now she is an angry, conflicted and confused witch. It all happened when she met Detective Jack Mason and his identical twin brother Danny. Jessica almost died twice, fell into a love triangle, and she became a murderer. Now she faces the ultimate challenge as she continues the fight to save the man she loves, while simultaneously struggling with her lust for his werewolf brother and their vampire friend. Can she survive, or will love finally end her life completely?

Friday, 19 April 2013

Review: Trails of Love I Crawl, Part 2 by Ciaran Dwynvil

I recently read Trails of Love I Crawl, part 2 by Ciaran Dwynvil. Here is my review.

I have mixed feelings after reading this book. In the beginning I really enjoyed the prose, the use of language, and the classic romanticism of the whole story. I knew it was a gay erotic novel, and truthfully it is the first of its kind that I have read. Perhaps that is where my mixed feelings came from. I enjoyed the romance and the love story, although I feel that there could have been more emphasis on the passion between Victor and his lover. I certainly felt Amadee’s pain and torment, and I was intrigued with Belial. I recommend this novel if you like something that pushes the boundaries of convention, but be warned, there are some explicitly unpleasant physical scenes that made for very uncomfortable reading.

Aside from the book review, I would just like to recommend Ciaran Dwynvil’s blog website. Ciaran has a wonderful aptitude for prose, and every blog post is a delight for those who appreciate reading in the ‘old fashioned’ sense. Take a look, and you will see what I mean… 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Hump Day Hook #HDH – The Vampire of Blackpool

Hello and welcome to the Hump Day Hook. Today I share another excerpt from my NaNoWriMo 2012 novel, The Vampire of Blackpool. I have yet to return to the project for edits, but I certainly plan to have this one published in the future. This excerpt is a conversation between our protagonist, Meredith Hanson, and a young witch called Samantha Morris.

            “Hi,” she said nervously, “Um, I thought maybe we could talk?”
            I frowned.  This was highly irregular.
            “About what?” I replied coldly, and I saw her shiver at my icy tone.
            She swallowed, and when she spoke again her voice trembled.
            “Um,” she said, “I don’t know.  Stuff.”
            She waved her free hand vaguely in the air, as though I should understand what she was indicating.  I simply stared at her, unmoving once again.
            “We have nothing to discuss,” I said in the same cold tone.
            The girl chewed her lip.  I tried to enter her mind to discover why she had taken an interest in me.  At first her thoughts were a jumble of everyday nuances, but she quickly felt my presence, and she threw up a rather impressive shield against me.  I inclined my head, unable to hide my surprise.  She smiled, realising my reaction.
            “Yes,” she said more confidently, “I might be new to this, but I know how to protect my thoughts from vampires.”
            I smiled faintly, showing my amusement.
            “Very well,” I said.

If you enjoyed this one, why not pop over to our dedicated Hump Day Hook blog and peruse some new and exciting authors. We write about romance, love, science fiction, fantasy, erotica and everything in-between, so you are sure to find something that delights the senses. You can also find us on Facebook. Happy Humping! 

*Gothic image courtesy of Pinterest

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Join me for Vampires and Lattes with Coffee Time Romance!

You are cordially invited to join the Vampire Book Realm at Coffee Time Romance, for our author event on Saturday 20th April from 12:00 am MDT (7:00am GMT). The event runs all day, and we will be discussing vampires and lattes, among other things. Our authors are offering a tantalising selection of vampire fiction for you to sink your teeth into, and there will be prizes, giveaways and competitions galore.

See our Facebook event page for more details and to get a head start on meeting your favourite authors…

I will share more about my adult paranormal romance series the Redcliffe novels, including Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel), Love Kills (A Redcliffe Novel) and Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel). I might even give away a few eBooks, if I’m feeling generous!

See you there!

Friday, 12 April 2013

I’m a Camper! #CampNaNoWriMo 2013

I have been struggling with a manuscript for about the last six months, and so I decided it was time to get help. I turned once again to the good people at National Novel Writing Month. Since I managed to write 2 very pleasing novels during my NaNoWriMo events in 2011 and 2012, I thought I should try it with this one. Lucky for me, Camp NaNoWriMo is active throughout April.

The manuscript in question hasn’t even got a title. My working title is The Vampire Hunter, but that doesn’t do it justice, so it will have to change. I began the novel with gusto, having received a flash of beautiful inspiration from my Muse while out walking by the canal one day. Then, without warning, my Muse went on holiday! How dare she! In fact, I think she might have emigrated. I have been receiving ideas for stories on the odd occasions when she shows herself, but with this novel, she seems to have left me to it.

The story is about a vampire hunter who lives on a canal boat. She travels the UK waterways, slaying vampires wherever she goes. Dr Jennifer Worthington works alone, having lost her previous partner during a hunt that went wrong. Her sole aim is to locate the vampire who broke her heart when she was at university, and to destroy him. During her quest, she discovers an ancient and powerful vampire who has a strange attraction both to and for Jennifer.

At this point in the story, I am about to head off into a whole new adventure on uncharted territory. Jennifer discovers that she has a history with the vampires she hunts, and it goes back centuries. We have elements of past lives, reincarnation, and even angels and demons lurking in the shadows. I just need to figure out how to bring them forward and integrate them in an exciting and enjoyable story. Camp NaNoWriMo, I need your help!

*Vampire Hunter image courtesy of Pinterest

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Hump Day Hook #HDH – The Vampire of Blackpool

Hello and welcome to the Hump Day Hook. Today I will share another excerpt from my manuscript for NaNoWriMo 2012. The novel is called The Vampire of Blackpool, and I was quite pleased with the result. I have yet to return to the project for edits, but I certainly plan to have this one published in the future. Enjoy!

Before either of them could make sense of what I was, I struck at the girl, biting her throat and drinking deeply of her blood. She screamed loudly, but it soon faded as she fell unconscious in my grasp. The boy stared in horror, as I raised my eyes to look at him while I fed. He soon gathered his senses however, and I realized just in time that he was about to hit me with the torch. He was strong, but no match for me. Rearing up from his girlfriends body, I hissed at him and smacked his arm hard. The torch flew across the garden and landed with a thud in a flowerbed. The boy stared at me, struck dumb by his terror. He stuttered and managed to find his voice.
            Youre aa…” he gave up talking as I reached across to grab his jacket.
            Yes, I replied smoothly, my eyes glowing silver and my skin translucent in the moonlight, I am a vampire.  We do exist.

If you enjoyed this one, why not pop over to our dedicated Hump Day Hook blog and peruse some new and exciting authors. We write about romance, love, science fiction, fantasy, erotica and everything in-between, so you are sure to find something that delights the senses. You can also find us on Facebook. Happy Humping! 

*Vampire image courtesy of Pinterest

Sunday, 7 April 2013

The Liebster Award – I’ve Been Nominated!

I had a wonderful email yesterday from James A. West, who informed me that he had nominated my author blog for the Liebster Award. I admit I have seen this award on a couple of other blogs and I felt slightly envious that nobody nominated me, so now I am a very happy bunny!

For those who are not familiar with the Liebster Award, it is available for bloggers with fewer than 300 followers. The nominee must link back to whoever awarded them, write 11 random facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions from the award giver, and then nominate another 11 bloggers and make up 11 questions for them to answer. It is fun, informative, and an excellent way to network and grow your audience.

Here are 11 random facts about me:
  1. I am pregnant with my second child, due in July 2013
  2. I have auburn hair (definitely not ginger!)
  3. My husband is a slightly obsessed waste manager by trade, so our house often resembles a recycling facility in progress!
  4. Aside from a 2-year-old daughter, I am Mummy to Baxter the Staffydoodle, Duck the Cumberland Slider turtle and Ashton the Yellow Bellied Slider turtle.
  5. My professional writing career only began at around the time I first got pregnant, and now I have 3 published novels!
  6. One day I will own a camper van. I just have to.
  7. I love chocolate, especially Dairy Milk.
  8. I am a ghost hunter, and have done overnight investigations in Scotland, England and Wales during the last 7 years.
  9.  I read Tarot and Oracle cards.
  10. Someday soon I would love to go on a solo writer’s retreat for a whole week, bliss!
  11. When I make my millions, I will buy a lovely old house in the Cheshire countryside and a seaside home in Cornwall.

My answers to the 11 questions:

  1. What is something you have always wanted to do but haven't done yet?                                        Obtain a camper van and go on a road trip round the UK.
2. If you were a Star Trek character, who would you be and why? (If you don't know Star Trek, don't admit it! Just make something up!)
I would have to be Spock. He is a legend!

3. What is one of your favorite movie scenes, and why?
In Ghostbusters 2, when the goo goes crazy, and the Titanic arrives down at the docks. Cracks me up every time!

4. Why did you choose writing? What drew you to it?
I was never going to escape it. English, especially creative writing, was my best subject at school and I lived in a dream world of imagination and fantasy (in fact, I still do).

5. What is your favorite book?
Ooh, tough question! Hmm, I will choose a fiction one, and say Matilda by Roald Dahl. It has always been a favourite.

6. Besides writing, do you do any other art? 
I enjoy creative card making and crafting bead jewellery.

7. What is one of your craziest travel stories?
Well, a few years ago I went on a road trip to France with my Mum and younger sister. Our car was stopped at Dover for an inspection, but Mum opened the boot, the guy took one look at our crammed in suitcases, and he just waved us on to the ferry! Then we got lost a couple of times, Mum forgot she should drive on the other side of the road and go the opposite direction on roundabouts, and finally we reached our destination in a remote rural village. It was a great holiday though!

8. Skiing or lounging on a beach?
Lounging on a beach, but with a book and magazine for company.

9. Coke or Pepsi?

10. Do you play a musical instrument? If so, which one? If not, do you want to?
No. I used to play the clarinet but gave it up when I left school. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t, but I have a lot of activities now so I’m not too upset.

11. Do you have any new writing projects that you can share with us right now?
Yes. I am currently finishing the first draft of a story about a vampire hunter who lives on a canal boat and travels the UK completing her jobs. Her life is turned upside down when she meets an ancient vampire who means more to her than she understands. It turns out they have a history that goes back centuries, and she has a lot to rediscover about her true self…

My 11 questions to pass on:
  1. Do you have a motto and what is it?
  2. Why did you start your blog?
  3. Why should we read your blog?
  4. Do you have an unfulfilled ambition and what is it?
  5. Do you prefer dogs or cats?
  6. Were you a geek, a jock, a weird kid or something else in school?
  7. What is your favourite music and band?
  8. What is your favourite movie?
  9. Sweet snacks or savoury?
  10. What is your passion?
  11. Who do you admire?

My nominees:

Congratulations nominees, and I look forward to seeing your responses!

Friday, 5 April 2013

Book Review: Wytchfae Runes by Flossie Benton Rogers

I have recently read the debut paranormal romance novel from Flossie Benton Rogers. Here is my review of Wytchfae Runes:

I have been following this author on her blog for a while now, and so I began reading the novel with excited anticipation, after reading several tantalising snippets online. I wasn’t disappointed! The story moved quickly in a practical manner. The heroine, Kelly, is totally down-to-earth while still displaying her magical abilities. And as for the Viking ghost, Ingvar… Wow! Let’s just say, he will stir some excitement from an appreciative reader!

It isn’t all about sex and magic, however. The novel very smartly introduces some ancient folklore and characters based on traditional myths, which I really liked. I can see the author developing a very successful series after reading this book, and I recommend Wytchfae Runes to all fans of popular Urban Fantasy and contemporary dark romance.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Guest Author Feature: Ciaran Dwynvil

Today I welcome my fellow Hump Day Hook blogger, Ciaran Dwynvil, to share some insight about his gay erotic fantasy novels. Take it away Ciaran!

Thank you, Catherine, for having me as your guest today. I’m very excited to be here to tell you about my newest gay erotic paranormal fantasy, In Blue Poppy Fields. The book will please not only all fans of Belial, the Prince of Trickery, the Lord of Lust and the Antilight… aka Guardian Demon, but all readers who love vampires.

Though… perhaps not all readers as vampire stories differ greatly. Some have gloomy, horror atmosphere, some are full of blood and violence, still others brim with dark sensuality. How should you know ours would be to your liking? Apart from reading a sample chapter on Amazon or Smashwords to get a feel of the tale, you can learn about various aspects of a vampire’s life in our world during In Blue Poppy Fields release tour. Let’s first take a look at the book and then we will move on to our topic for today. The effects of a demon’s blood.
In Blue Poppy Fields: A victim to another man’s cruelty, talented and beautiful theater actor Adhemar Lebeau learned not to trust and not to love anybody but himself. Falsely accused of his master’s murder, he has to accept assistance of mysterious Count Sanyi Arany to later discover his savior is a vampire. Forced both by a fatal illness and aftershocks of torture experienced during his unjust imprisonment, Adhemar agrees to the only possible cure. Rebirth. 
Healed in body but not in mind, he guards his independence, free will and heart. He is not able to give love, only the fulfillment of lust. Yet, satiation of sensuous longing is not enough for his Sire and he knows it. When an eerie malady strikes and seems to deplete Sanyi’s life energy for unknown reasons, Adhemar understands his fears and agrees to keep a street boy, Reyach, as a pet for both of them in hope it will soothe the unspoken worries. 
Out of necessity he finds himself in the role of the only hunter in their company, and out of attachment he accepts the responsibility readily. Indulgence in blood and carnal pleasures fill his nights and vampiric powers give him the feeling of safety. Until the evening when he carelessly falls prey to High Demon Belial’s plays that quickly turn into more than either of them has bargained for.
In spite of a hard start, Adhemar feels burning urge deep in his heart and no matter how much he denies it, the cause of the strange sensation is a budding seed of affection brought to life by the insufferable demon. But letting Adhemar learn to love somebody other than him is not what seemingly innocent Reyach plans.
The blurb has only revealed the book is about vampires. But here in the post we will unravel a secret about blood. 
What secret? you might ask. It always looks and tastes the same, doesn’t it? Yes, we all have tried to stop the bleeding of a finger by sucking at it at least once, so I will not describe what blood tastes like to us. And when it comes to our sense of vision: we may be able to see the difference between bleeding from a vein and from an artery. But that is all.
A vampire’s understanding of blood is much deeper. After a couple of successful hunts he realizes that its taste differs from victim to victim and that the adrenaline rush and endorphins coursing through one’s veins change it for better. For this reason he will try to hunt regularly though he might find other sources of blood too. While his lovers might become willing donors and the surge of endorphins their veins carry during lovemaking twined with bloodtaking will almost compare to the experience of hunt, it won’t be the same. The fear a prey feels before his death adds an irresistible flavor to his blood. The flavor that will be sought again and again.
That’s the relationship with mortal blood every vampire develops quickly. Yet, there are also other crimson treats.
A demon’s blood is one of the two most powerful essences a vampire can swallow. And with even a single draught an addiction creeps on him. The blood of a demon is like a drug. It intoxicates the vampire, it engulfs him in incessant craving for more, it makes him dependent on its taste. And as if it is not enough, it arouses him to the point when pleasure mingles with pain. It stretches him on the racks of desire and he can’t ever have enough of its taste and its effects.
Why would anybody want to take but a sip of this treacherous, dangerous fluid? Well, not many vampires have ever had the privilege to meet a demon. Much less to take from him. So the effects are not widely known. And when it does happen and the vampire tastes this essence, he doesn’t ever want to break the bond the blood created. He knows he is addicted and doesn’t wish to change anything about the fact. Is it a curse or a blessing? You can judge after reading In Blue Poppy Fields.
For now here is a short excerpt full of red bliss that will allow you to catch a glimpse of what it feels like to take from a demon:
With a growl worthy of an enraged mountain lion, he bit into the demon’s neck and… almost died in pleasure. What was this?! Blood. But it didn’t taste like ordinary blood. This was the sap of the Tree of Life, this was divine ambrosia, this was a heavy drug flooding all his senses, attacking him from all directions, rushing him relentlessly, forcing him to succumb to the sensation, to the taste, to the feel. And he did so with a quiet moan and body all taut with unknown pleasure.
Did the little peek into our world capture your attention? In Blue Poppy Fields is currently available at Amazon and Smashwords.
It can be read without being familiar with other books in the Guardian Demon Series but you now have an opportunity to win one of the twelve copies of Trails of Love I Crawl Part 1 that opens the beguiling world of this series. Participation is easy enough for anybody over the age of eighteen. The more you help others find me and Guardian Demon Series books, the more chances to win you will have. 
What can you do?
  • Recommend my books in reader discussions on Goodreads, Shelfari or other platforms you are active at
  • Follow my blog, like my FB page, follow me on Twitter
  • Rate my books on Goodreads
  • Review my books on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N or Goodreads
  • Feature my books and your reviews of them on your blog if you have one
  • Tell your friends about Guardian Demon Series
  • Tweet about In Blue Poppy Fields, FB links to release tour articles, reblog them, Pinterest them, Stumble upon them… whichever platform you fancy is welcome
My giveaway form will give you more suggestions. Winners will be announced on my blog on the 11th of April. I hope to see your entry in the giveaway and thank you for your help in spreading the word of mouth about Guardian Demon Series.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

With this I hand over Catherine’s blog back to her. It has been my pleasure to be your guest, Catherine. Thank you for having me over today.
*Vampire image courtesy of Pinterest*

Hump Day Hook #HDH – The Vampire of Blackpool

Hello and welcome to the Hump Day Hook. Today I will share a snippet from my manuscript for NaNoWriMo 2012. The novel is called The Vampire of Blackpool, and I was quite pleased with the result. I have yet to return to the project for edits, but I certainly plan to have this one published in the future. Enjoy!

In a flash I was out of my bedroom, leaping through the open window and landing softly on the grass below. I flew across the lawn and leaped over the thick hedgerow that bordered my land. Keeping close to the trees, I stepped nimbly over the muddy ground, my feet barely touching the floor. The dry leaves below never felt my weight, and my bare feet did not recognize the cold temperature. I saw the teenagers walking along the lane, approaching the narrow driveway that led to my house. They had a torch, and the light wobbled and bounced on the tarmac in front of them. They walked close together, a boy and a girl, holding hands. I stalked silently behind, deliberately forcing myself to wait, so that I could savour the moment when I tasted their sweet flesh and drank deeply of their youthful blood.

If you enjoyed this one, why not pop over to our dedicated Hump Day Hook blog and peruse some new and exciting authors. We write about romance, love, science fiction, fantasy, erotica and everything in-between, so you are sure to find something that delights the senses. You can also find us on Facebook. Happy Humping!  

*Lady Vampire image courtesy of Pinterest*