• Home
  • Archive by category 'Guest Bloggers'
  • Page 77

Archive for ‘Guest Bloggers’

Zombies, Threesomes, and Charlotte Stein’s New Novel, Reawakening

I’m elated to have one of my very favourite erotic novelists as my guest this week. The Mighty Charlotte Stein is here to tell us the story behind the story of her sexy, scary, exciting new novel, Reawakening. Welcome, Charlotte!

 

Reawakening started with 28 Days Later. In fact, every zombie based thing I write, dream or think about started with 28 Days Later.

Yep, I’m that sort of zombie fan. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love the original George Romero movies. I really do. I think there’s room in this world for fast moving zombies and slow moving zombies – though hopefully not literally.

But there’s just something about the speedy, furious, ravenous zombies in 28 Days Later that gets to me. It had a visceral impact on me, that movie, and ever since watching it I’ve spent serious time imagining what the world would be like after a disease of that nature took hold.

Which is how Reawakening came to be.

Of course, there are other contributing factors. Like with most books, I usually start with a scenario and a hero (or heroes), and this book was no exception. At the time of writing I was pretty much obsessed with the new A-Team movie – not because it’s any good, but because Sharlto Copley and Bradley Cooper are so gorgeous and charismatic as Face and Murdock that they kind of warped my brain.

Which is probably a terrible way to describe the writing process, but it’s true. My brain was warped by the A-Team and zombie movies, and then I just had to write Reawakening. Of course, I’m sure there were other contributing factors, here. Important, writerly stuff like:

My muse spoke to me in honeyed tones and I couldn’t not eat nor sleep until I had committed the words to paper.

Or perhaps:

My tortured artist’s soul forced me to eke out each word in a pen filled with my own blood.

But really, if I’m being honest, my urge to write has and always will stem from my love of men, of relationships, of crazy scenarios I can never experience myself. I want to smell and taste and touch the zombie apocalypse. Even though it’s gross and probably flavoured with rotted limb.

And more importantly I want to smell and taste and touch Jamie and Blake, who are not flavoured with rotted limb. They are gorgeous and sexy and they bring my heroine back to life, through the magical wonder of threesomes.

What more could a girl ask, from the men in her life?

Blurb:

June has spent the last two years of her life trying to avoid death at the hands of murderous psychopaths and ravening zombies. So when Jamie turns up on the scene, careless, still whole and promising her safety on a little paradise island, she isn’t quite sure she can trust him. Especially when he tells her that it’s just him, and his equally big, burly, handsome friend Blake.

But Jamie and Blake are even better than her wildest dreams—sweet and funny and charming. And worst of all: sexy as hell. Though they’re trying to be gentlemanly with her, all she can think about is how much she wants to get tangled up in them, and forget the nightmare the world has become. She’s waiting for her reawakening—back to life and happiness and love.

And they seem like just the right sort of men to wake her—body and soul.

Excerpt:

All June could think was—Kelsey is dead, Kelsey is dead, Kelsey is dead—while the image of the ravening hordes feasting on Kelsey’s body played behind her eyes. She tried to shut it off, keep it down, keep running before they got to her, but Kelsey’s blood was still wet and all over her right arm.

And if Jamie hadn’t shot Kelsey—right as she was still screaming, and begging for help—she’d be one of them, now. That’s what happened. Once they bit you or bled on you or hell, spat on you, you had maybe thirty seconds.

Before you turned.

She needed to stop, just stop for a second. Lean against something and catch her breath. But Jamie had somehow led them into this building and he just kept running and running—only up instead of out.

June didn’t even know if Jamie was really his name, or if he was leading them right into a dead end. But he kept going, none-the-less.
She could hear the hordes, busting through the door below. He’d barred it, but they were coming in anyway, to this place that was an almost total deathtrap. The staircase was narrow and blanketed in darkness, one winding section after the next. Even if she dared to pause and look over the railing, she wouldn’t be able to see them until they were almost on her.

“Jamie, wait!” she shouted, but not because things would be easier if he had hold of her hand or was there to comfort her in this dire hour of need. She’d made it this far, on her own.

Or at least, she’d made it this far, with Kelsey.

No, it was just that—if he kept going, eventually they’d be trapped, on the roof. And she couldn’t have that. That was one of her and Kelsey’s rules—don’t run to someplace with only one exit.

Only it was just her rule, now. This guy, this Jamie…he didn’t seem to have any rules. He’d decided to run to the roof of a twenty story building then potentially wait outside until the hordes pushed through a probably very flimsy fire door.

Kelsey had said to her. She had said—wait. He’s as crazy as they are. A safe island? He’s nuts. We can’t go with him. He’s probably an insane apocalypse rapist.

And she’d been right, God help her. Maybe not about the insane apocalypse rapist part, but even so and besides—there was still time for that. He could be anyone, be into anything. He could have planned this all along…Kelsey’s death, the run to the roof…hell, maybe he had a whole party of insane assholes up there, just waiting to do horrible things to her.

Even if that was as nuts as he now seemed. Why would he trap himself on the roof, just to have a little fun with her? Nothing in her head was functioning in quite the way it should. Connections had been lost. Wiring had come loose.

She still called out to him again, when they got to the level before the last one. Her voice came out hoarse and breathless, burning lungs making everything difficult, Kelsey in her mind making everything worse. But somehow the words emerged.

“Jamie, stop. Take the nineteenth floor exit, okay—we can go back down on the other side of the building—answer me, fuck!”
He did, then. She heard him call out over her own shrieking breaths, the pounding of her sneakers on stone, and the sounds of the once-were-people below, slathering and barking like animals.

There were two cracks, like he’d fired her gun into the stairwell. Though she couldn’t see where he was shooting or at what. Then—
“Just keep following me, June-bug—come on!”

Only it sounded more like come own, because of the Texan twang Kelsey had sworn up and down was fake. And he’d called her June-bug again, because he was crazy, he was crazy, oh dear Lord he was probably leading them to their deaths.

This was all just some final mad hurrah. He was suicidal, and this was how he wanted to go out. Death by stairs or death by zombies—because they were zombies, no matter how much she tried to pretend otherwise—or even worse, death by roof.

Was that what he was going to do? Hurl himself off? Plummet to his untimely end? She didn’t know. All she could really think about was how close the first ravening cannibal was getting, and how unfit she really was. She’d started believing all the cardio was really beginning to pay off, but as it turned out, eighteen flights of stairs and she was out for the count. Her heart clawed at her ribcage. Her thigh muscles screamed and screamed.

While her zombie pals kept coming and coming, as though the stairs were nothing, really. Why, leaping up eighteen flights was like a morning stroll to them! They could have climbed these stairs forever and still had the wherewithal to eat her innards, once they got their claw-like hands on her.

She hit the fire door to the roof just as one of said claw-like hands brushed the back of her shirt.

It made everything inside her leap, including the heart she’d thought had escaped. Whenever they got really close—that was when you realized just how terrible they were. How awful the world had become. How much it wasn’t like a movie at all, but like a constant and unbearable pressure against your sanity, always threatening to make you go over.

She felt like going over, when the door wouldn’t close on them. For a second of pushing and heaving with their hands coming through and all over her, her mind tried to fly away. It told her to start screaming uncontrollably, while clawing at herself—that doing so would really be her best bet. No more running constantly. No more pain over Kelsey—and before Kelsey, Joanne and Pat and the old lady whose name she never learned.

Just peace, finally. One moment of agony, then peace.

Only it wouldn’t be, would it? No, it wouldn’t be. If she stopped pushing at the door and jamming it at them and just God, let the door snap their arms, let it crush them, let it kill them all forever, if she stopped…they’d turn her into one of them. And no matter how much she tried to let it hurt her that Jamie had pointed the gun and shot Kelsey between the eyes, it didn’t. It couldn’t.

Being one of them was worse. After all, it could have been that they’d caught a disease. It might have been that they were infected with something—like in 28 Days Later, rather than Night of the Living Dead. But part of her wondered whenever she stared into their hollow, ink-black eyes, if they’d simply lost their souls.

He looked like it. The one who’d managed to squeeze his mottled face into the crack she was struggling to close in the door. He had no pupils, no irises, no whites to his eyes. It was all just blackness, empty and weirdly unseeing, as though they operated on no more than a bloodlust now. Like upright land sharks roaming the land, blindly searching out prey.

She wrenched the door from him for just an instant then smashed it back into his face. It was a risky move, but oh so worth it. Worth it for the satisfaction, worth it for Kelsey, worth it for everything these things had taken from everyone. People’s souls hadn’t left. These things had stolen them.

And when it slithered away and the door quite abruptly shut, the idea didn’t go with it. It stayed, and festered—so much so that she wanted to open the door for one mad moment, just to smash it back in their faces again, and again, and again.

She wanted to, but Jamie was calling to her. And other sounds were starting to flood through her now, too, other big, big sounds that she should have noticed ages ago.

At first she thought it was some kind of weapon. That he’d found a chainsaw or a pneumatic drill or a wood chipper. Something he’d known was up here all along for them to use against the enemy.

But then the wind whipped up and she turned to see something far more incredible than a zombie eating wood chipper. It was so incredible that she forgot the zombies battering on the fire door, for a second. They’d bust through it soon enough because although they couldn’t figure out handles, the sheer pressure of them would figure out the release bar.

Though it didn’t seem to matter. For the first time in these two years of hell, it didn’t matter. She found herself laughing out loud, high and probably hysterical.

Jamie had only gone and gotten himself a helicopter. And not only that, but he apparently knew how to fly a helicopter. The rotors were going. They were kicking up the fine gravel that lined the roof of whatever building this was, and he was yelling to her—
“Come on, June-bug, get your ass in here!”

She thought of him talking about the island. About his buddy who was waiting for them. How they’d just wanted to find survivors, and populate their safe haven, and how crazy that had sounded when he first started yakking about it.

Then she ran to him.

Links:

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-reawakening-550153-140.html

http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/m8/318-201-107-490-1–reawakening-forever-dead-series-book-one-by-charlotte-stein.html

My Blog:

http://www.themightycharlottestein.blogspot.com/

 

Thanks so much for stopping by, and sharing some of the good stuff, Charlotte! Zombies and threesomes really rock!

 

Gale Stanley Gives Us the Story Behind Her Hot New Release, ‘One Night In Bangkok’

 

For the second installment of ‘The Story Behind the Story,’ I’m very excited to welcome the amazing Gale Stanley to Hopeful Romantic to tell us what inspired her fab new novel, One Night In Bangkok. While she’s here, Gale is giving  away a free copy to one lucky commenter.  Welcome, Gale! It’s a pleasure to have you. Can’t wait to hear more about One Night in Bangkok.

 

When KD told me she was planning a series of post from authors talking about the idea behind the book, I thought wow, what a great idea! Then I sat down and tried to remember where some of my ideas came from and it wasn’t all that easy. Sometimes a light bulb goes off when I read something in the newspaper or a magazine and I run with it. Sometimes it’s just an idea for a scene and the story grows as I write.

But I can actually trace the idea for my new release, One Night in Bangkok, back to the eighties. It all started with the theater production of Chess, a musical about a romantic triangle. Two top players, an American and a Russian are in an international chess championship. The woman, who manages one, falls in love with the other.
Part of the setting is in Bangkok, Thailand. First, let me say, I never actually saw the show, it ran in England for a few years, but it only lasted a few months on Broadway. But I do own the soundtrack and I’ve played it hundreds of times.

Now jump to 2010. A good friend traveled to Thailand and loved it. Green with envy, I looked at her photos, and started getting an idea for a MM romance in the exotic setting. I went home, and started writing–and doing lots of research. Of course, I played the soundtrack, which helped put me in the mood. The more I read, the more I fell in love. Bangkok is a city of contrasts. You can visit temples where monks are meditating, or take a water taxi and admire the coconut plantations. You can get lost in the largest outdoor market in the world or shop in air-conditioned comfort in the city. Bangkok is hot, and chaotic, but it’s also a magical place. I just saw the movie, Hangover II, which filmed in Bangkok, and I’m more determined than ever to get my butt out of the armchair and stop being a virtual traveler. And when I come back, maybe I’ll write a sequel.

 

One Night in Bangkok
Bangkok is a hedonist’s paradise and sex is big business, but Philadelphia lawyer, David Elliot isn’t interested in the sinful pleasures Bangkok has to offer. His only concerns are real estate and conglomerates. His personal life might be shit but his professional life is on track and that’s all he cares about. On his first night in town he spots a young Thai man in the hotel bar and there’s an immediate connection between them. Kai brings a joie de vivre into David’s life that’s long been missing, but after a few blissful weeks Kai disappears. David is hurt, but he knows it was never meant to be anything more than a pleasant diversion. He returns to the states but he can’t help feeling he’s left something very important behind.

Kai was rescued from a life on the streets only to become a virtual sex slave to a wealthy expatriate who deals in sex and drugs. When Rick finds out Kai has been seeing David he locks him in the house. Kai is in love with David but resigned to a life with Rick. There was never a future for him and the American, and knowing what Rick is capable of, he fears for David’s life.

 

 

Excerpt:

The office door opened and David Elliot looked up with a frown, ready to chew out the intruder who’d managed to get past his secretary. His scowl disappeared when Bernard Markham walked in. Mr Perfect from his artfully cut hair to his designer shoes, the head of the Markham & Dunn LLP international law firm, exuded class. Worldly, wealthy, and all mine. How did I get lucky enough to snag the boss? David flashed his biggest, sexiest smile.
Bernie didn’t return it. He looked down his perfect aquiline nose, a well-executed rhinoplasty, in that way of his that imparted you were a lesser mortal.
Uh oh. What did I forget? David ran through every detail in his head and couldn’t come up with a damned thing. Ever since he found out he’d be going back to Bangkok to negotiate the acquisition of commercial real estate for Bernie, he’d worked long hours trying to tie up any loose ends. Reviewing documents and preparing contracts was tedious, time-consuming grunt work, usually relegated to junior attorneys, but David insisted on personally reviewing his own documents. He’d already gone through most of his files, and this was the last of it. Every problem had been anticipated, and his clients would be left in good hands while he was away.
The lower lid of Bernie’s left eye twitched, a sure sign he was stressed, and right then David knew this wasn’t about business. A cold knot settled in his stomach.
“We need to talk,” Bernie announced.
“Have a seat.”
“I’d rather stand.”
This was bad. David knew all Bernie’s shtick and looking down at someone was his way of taking charge, lecturing more than conversing.
“We need some time apart.”
The words came straight out of left field, totally unexpected. They hadn’t slept together in the past week, David’s fault really, but his lover hadn’t complained. They both believed in business before pleasure. “I know I’ve been distant lately, but we can fix this.”
“It’s not that.” Bernie shook his head impatiently. “It’s me.”
Fuck! He’d heard that before. It’s not you, it’s me. The worst kiss-off ever, and a low blow to bring their personal affairs into the office. David got to his feet. If this was personal, he wasn’t about to let Bernie talk down to him. “Is there someone else?”
“No, nothing like that. I just think we need a little breather. Too much time together will kill a relationship. We don’t live together, but I feel like we do. This past week, when you slept at your own place, I started to realize how much I needed some breathing room.”
“You’re bored.” David couldn’t keep the injured tone out of his voice.
“No. Yes.” He admitted. “A break will be good for both of us.”
“Don’t tell me what I need or want.” David raised his voice for the first time. “Your timing sucks. I leave for Bangkok tomorrow. We don’t even have time to sit down and talk this out.”
“Why keep rehashing it?” Bernie threw his hands in the air. “Go to Bangkok, take care of my business like you always do, and take some time for yourself. You’ll be in Sin City! Enjoy it on me; you have an unlimited expense account.” He turned away.
So the timing of this trip was intentional. Bernie hated messy scenes and this was his way of avoiding an awkward situation. He didn’t want him anymore, but didn’t have the guts to finalize it. “And what will you be enjoying while I’m gone?” David asked acidly.
Bernie walked out and didn’t answer him.

One Night in Bangkok is now available from Silver Publishing
http://silverpublishing.info/index/book_authors_id/48/typefilter/book_authors

 

Has a trip ever turned out to be a new beginning for you? Have you ever travelled somewhere and came home with a totally different outlook, perhaps even your world view changes by someone or something? Tell us about it or comment, and you may win a free copy of Gale’s fabulously hot novel, One Night In Bangkok

You can find Gale Stanley at:

http://galestanley.net/

And on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/gale.stanley.author

 

The Story Behind The Story: Lucy Felthouse

The Story Behind The Story

When K D asked me to do a “story behind the story” blog post, I already knew she had a story of mine in mind. As a fellow outdoorsy type, K D was very interested when I posted some photos online of a visit I’d made to a moorland pool in the Peak District. So naturally I’d like to appease K D’s curiosity and give you all a little insight into this particular tale.

I’ve always been a bit of a history buff, in particular local history. Although I live in Derbyshire, the nearest border of the Peak District is about 40 minutes away from me, so I’m going with local-ish, OK?

The Peak District itself is steeped in legend and folklore, with everything from haunted mines and bridges to black dogs and mermaids.

Blake MereI can hear you thinking: mermaids, you say? In the Peak District? But isn’t that in the middle of the country and nowhere near the sea?

You’re absolutely right, and this is why a particular legend fascinated me so much. It tells the tale of a pool high up in the Peak District which is reputed to be haunted by a mermaid. The legend varies dependent on what you’re reading or who you’re listening to, but the general idea is that the mermaid is a malevolent creature that drags victims into the murky depths of the pool. When I heard this, I simply had to go and see this place for myself. Its proper name is Blake Mere, and is situated on the Morridge Moors, not too far from the main Leek to Buxton road, if you’re familiar with the area.

The Mermaid PoolI’ve been two or three times now but it wasn’t until my upcoming anthology project was born that I thought of using the place and its legend in a story. The anthology (which is likely going to be entitled Seducing the Myth) is an erotic mythology book and when I thought about what I’d like to write for it, this seemed like the obvious option. Granted, there are myths that go thousands of years back in time and span the globe, but I liked the thought of doing something local. And so Down by the Pool came to fruition.

Bench by the poolWithout giving too much away, the story is about a male journalist who hears about a series of disappearances which are linked to Blake Mere and its mythical inhabitant. He sets out to find out more about the legend and to write an article disproving it. However, on visiting the pool for himself, he has an experience which he can definitely not publish in the local newspaper.

I had great fun researching the area and the legend, as well as writing the story. The thing is, I think I’ve now caught the bug. You may be seeing more stories from me in future with unusual settings or backgrounds 🙂

Keep an eye on my website for details of the upcoming anthology!

*****

During Lucy’s first year studying Creative Writing at the University of Derby, she was dared to write an erotic story. It went down a storm and she’s never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Noble Romance, Ravenous Romance and Xcite Books. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Thanks for sharing the story behind the story of Down By The Pool with us, Lucy! I can hardly wait to get my hot little hands on your anthology, Seducing the Myth.  Hints on when??? Waiting with bated breath.

As always, lovely to have you!

 

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

Site created and maintained by Writer Marketing Services | Sitemap
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial