Perfect Stranger is being relaunched as The Outsider in August! Look out for new cover image!
Cassie Jonsson is a pretty blonde police officer in the small town of Winslow. She has never traveled and as given up on love, settling for an affair with a married co-worker. As the only woman on the force, she is often given the odd jobs, in this case checking out an old house the locals believe is haunted.
The McAllister house is indeed haunted, but not by a ghost. Prophet is a living, breathing, ruggedly handsome former vet, a drifter whose life is in limbo. He awakens something primal in Cassie, a boundless desire that blinds her to the dangers both psychological and physical of bedding a stranger, even one as beautiful as Prophet.
Forsaking All Others came about from a conversation many years ago. Not one I was part of, but one I overheard. It concerned a woman who, having stolen and married another woman’s husband, had recently discovered he was having an affair. Of course, this nugget of information was being shared with more than a certain amount of glee!
And that got me thinking. How do you keep a man with a wandering eye from, well, wandering – if indeed you even wanted to remain attached to such a person?
Forsaking All Others is a light-hearted read about just that. Scheming and plotting to keep not only her husband but her well-off lifestyle, Remy comes up with a plan that will, I hope, have you cheering from her corner – even though you’d much rather offer her one word: Karma!
Or should that be the entree before the main course! Either way I’m enjoying writing them. At around twenty-thousand words, or sixty to seventy pages, short stories can be read in one evening – or so I’m told by someone who admitted they couldn’t put Perfect Stranger down.
Perhaps even more fun, they allow me to play on the periphery of other genres, bringing hot sex scenes to what might be described more as a thriller in Perfect Stranger. Or chick lit, with Forsaking All Others (coming soon). And then there’s historical drama in The House Of Ill Repute (available later in 2014).
There’s another reason for writing shorter stories. Whilst I love the look and feel of a published novel – and even more, that longed for moment when you turn it over to read the back cover, and know you have to read this book – we are living increasingly busy lives. We communicate in message-bites on Twitter and Facebook. And use text rather than call. So, rather than trying to find time at the end of a long day for a few more pages of a lengthy novel, we are downloading more short stories, and perhaps even experimenting with new genres and sampling new voices.
Running from 28 March through to 18 April, Desires will feature on 24 web-blogs, generating fifteen reviews, and a further thirteen for Choices and Secrets.
I read somewhere that EL James (50 Shades) told a reporter she never read reviews for her books. How is that possible! It’s like touching the tip of your tongue to a broken tooth – good or bad, you have to do it! I love reading opinions of my work, I really do. Even the negative, which luckily I haven’t had too much of. (Although there was a shocker on Amazon a year or so ago, for Choices. Two lines that made you wonder if the person had actually read the book, or was just sounding off about erotica in general!)
Thankfully, most of the reviews I have received have been thoughtful and analytical, and while I’ve proudly relished the four and five star ratings – and who wouldn’t – it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the couple of three star reviews received for Choices.
Writing is a personal journey, and while no book – or work of art or music – will ever please everyone, there’s something immensely satisfying in discovering your stories have a solid appeal, and that the characters you have conceived and nurtured have found their way into the hearts of others.
And so I will hold my breath for the next few weeks, and keep my fingers tightly crossed! Oh, and have the champagne chilling, just in case!
Details of the blog tour can be found on my Facebook page.
I love Christmas! The tree decorating, the carollers in the streets, the twinkling lights. Even trying to find the right present for those oh-so difficult to buy for!
Then there is the baking, and preparing for the main event; finding the ‘best’ glasses and polishing the silver cutlery handed down from generation to generation.
It’s also a time to reflect on the year gone, and wonder about the year to come – that is, if you’re lucky enough to find a minute or two of precious ‘me’ time amongst all the hustle and bustle!
Desires, the third book in the Luxuria trilogy is now with the publisher, and will be available early in 2014. Anna has made her decision, and this book follows her journey, and to some extent that of Stephanie. Of course, life is never predicable, and just when both women think things are running reasonably smoothly, up pops the unexpected!
One of the most enjoyable aspects to this series was to allow a voice to some of the men who shared Anna’s stage by paying for her services as an escort – and I’m sure there are many more scenarios than I have touched upon. Further, and as one reader pointed out, what about the women who pay for the services of a male escort? Shouldn’t they too have a voice? Perhaps therein lies another tale!
Meanwhile I am happily creating my fourth novel. Working title Forsaking All Others, the plot revolves around the emotional wreckage of an affair, and what follows as Remy and Jonathon try to come to terms with the fallout. Needless to say Remy is a strong personality, as are most of my female characters. But then Jonathon is no pushover either! And so the solution may not always be the obvious one.
I am happy to hold my hand up and say my plots do not always offer happy ever after endings. But when does life do exactly that? I once commented that even as my hero and heroine rode off into the sunset they would be heard arguing as to who was reading the map correctly!
I had no idea that leaving the outcome of Anna’s final decision in Choices to the reader’s imagination would create such a demand for closure. Even my publisher was surprised when those who reviewed the book, as well as others who took the trouble to comment on their blogs, used words such as ‘cliff-hanger’.
It was never my intention to continue Anna’s story when I devised the idea for the Luxuria Trilogy. Rather, I planned each subsequent book to go back in time and offer insights to the behaviour of a character that appeared in the previous novel. Thus the second book, Secrets, opens some twenty years earlier, and centres on the precocious sexual activities of a young Stephanie, the character who would later become the owner of the high-end escort agency that features so predominately in Choices.
By the time I had completed this novel it was obvious that the third and final book in the series would have to return to Anna after all, and respond to the burning question of exactly what she did in the aftermath of Choices. Or to be more specific, which of the two men did she choose?
Forced to set aside the half completed manuscript that was my original proposal for the third book, I am now working feverishly on the new project. Exactly what did Anna do? Did she opt for the loving and gentle Jake? Did they settle down in matrimonial bliss and fidelity? Or did she choose the more demanding Adam and a life of luxury – and BDSM.
Two very different men, each offering something so very different.
If you are one of those dying to know, and can wait just a little longer, I promise the third book will reveal all!