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Passions, Journeys, and Home

airport 2I had another ‘Old Crush Returns’ dream last night. Granted I was on cold meds and dreams get weird when I’m drugged up, but nonetheless this dream fit right in with my standard three types of recurring dreams. It only came to me recently that I could divide those recurring dreams into three categories and that they all fit very nicely. For as long as I can remember I’ve had three types of dreams over and over again. They were never identical, but the themes were exactly the same, and I always wake up knowing when I’ve had one.

I have the ‘Old Crush/ lover Returns’ dreams, I have the ‘stuck at the airport trying to board a plane I can’t find’ dreams. Those two types are frustrating, sometimes stressful and embarrassing, but the third kind can be really terrifying. The third kind are, ‘The House’ dreams. I’ll get back to that later.

Now that I’m able to walk again after the surgery, I have more time to think about things, and this discovery of my three recurring dreams has really given me pause to reflect. It hit me the other day when I was walking to the local shops for a pint of milk that these three types of dreams are my efforts to resolve issues in the three major areas of my life; my passion, my life journey, and my own internal home, the space inside my head where KD, Grace, and Kathy all live. I realized as I bought my milk along with four bananas and a raspberry Danish, that these three categories of dreams seem pretty archetypal.



My passion is my writing. It’s the heart of me. Everyone who knows me knows this. But I would never say that I have an easy relationship with that passion. I’ve had dreams most of my life about an ex-lover or, more often, an ex-crush, someone who I really obsessed over and battled emotionally with at some point in my life. In my dreams that person returns to either ignore me, harass me or seduce me away from my commitments and my life. The emotions are high. I battle with trying to understand why I’m being rejected, or why I’m being treated poorly. I battle even more with the crushes and exes who show up to ‘take me away’ from all this, and I realize I no longer want to go with them. For some reason they just never seem to intrigue me as much as they used to. Passion is never what I expect. It’s often illusive, and always volatile. And yes, there are times when I discover that what I thought I wanted just doesn’t get me there anymore. Yup! That sums up my relationship with my writing in a nutshell.



My journey dreams almost always take place in an airport, which makes perfect sense because I’ve been in more than my share. I’m quite familiar with delayed and cancelled flights, with having the gate changed at the last minute, with sitting on the runway in a time warp, with lost luggage and achingly long flights. I know the drill. The airport is never a destination. It’s the place in between. It’s the cross roads, no-man’s-land, the place you endure to get to where you want to be. The destination, the journey, the expectations, those are always foremost in my mind when I travel, but the airport can really fu*k that journey up.

It’s about the journey. It’s about the struggle to make that journey. Everyone’s on a journey from birth to death, and no one gets a smooth ride. Some parts of the ride are rougher than others, and I’ll be the first to admit I don’t do change well. The waiting is hard, the making connections is stressful, and the journey often takes a far different route than I ever anticipated. Until recently I’ve not been aware of these three divisions in my recurring dreams, but I wonder now if I have the journey dreams more often when it’s time to move on, when it’s time to find another place to be, but I’m afraid to make the move. I wish I’d kept track. In my dreams, I’ve waited in more airports than I have in real life, and that’s a bunch.


P1010762The Home

The third category of recurring dream, as I said, is by far the scariest, and that’s the House dream. Those dreams take two forms. The first is not so much scary as it is frustrating. In them I’m looking for my dream home, and every time I think I’ve found it, there’s some serious flaw that I can’t quite overcome – a swamp in the back garden – or even worse a swamp in the gigantic bathtub, the discovery that the house is the sight of a murder or some other tragedy, the discovery of a treasure trove of items that belonged to the people who lived there before, a house that’s been left like the owners have simply walked away.

The second type of dream I like to call the forbidden room dream. Those terrify me every time, and I often wake up crying out, drenched in sweat and struggling to breathe. Those dreams always involve me having lived in a big, usually very old house, for a long time, but within that house, there is one room I never go into. No one goes into it because it’s locked and off limits, and yet every second I’m in the house, I’m aware that the room and what’s inside it. The thing is, I’m never really sure why I fear that room so much. Is there a ghost? An evil spirit? A long dead body? Is there a demon, a crazy person? I never know. And when I do go into the room, which of course I always must, I am so frightened I can’t breathe, and yet I never actually see what’s frightening me.

OK, before you run away thinking I’m a total nutcase, just let me say that I’ve done enough dream analysis to know that the house is me, whether I’m looking for my dream house or whether I am terrified of some room that’s a part of me. The house is always me and all my dreams unrealised, all my issues, resolved and unresolved. Everyone has ‘rooms’ they’d rather not revisit. And though those rooms are places of terror in the dream world, they’re often places of true treasure when I’m willing to confront them in the waking world.


In Story

Now, where is all this leading? Well as I thought about the connections of these recurring dreams, it hit me that these are all life themes. These are major archetypes in everyone’s life, which means, for a writer, they become major themes for every story.

The passion, the journey, the home – all archetypes, all major building blocks in the Lego of K D’s ‘Create-Your-Own-
Story’ pack. The passion can be a lover, an adventure, a personal challenge answered, revenge for a wrong done, the search for the Undiscovered Country. The journey is what it takes to realize that passion, whether it’s through the Amazon Rain Forest or down to the corner market, whether it’s a novel written or a aria sung. And the home is Dreams image 2IMG_0351everything that our characters are, all they fear, all they hope to become. It’s their neuroses, their flaws, and their joys and their hopes. Put those three together and the story possibilities are endless.

The dreams are never comfortable, never easy, and that’s one more reason why they’re so valuable for story. The places of powerful fiction are the places that frighten us, the places that make us uncomfortable, the obstacles in our path, the delays in the journey or the unexpected detours. Story is made up of the rough patches, and the rooms inside us that we’d choose not to visit if we could keep from it. There’s no ignoring those uncomfortable parts of us, no making them go away. But bring the ‘dreams’ into the waking world and transform them into story, and let the fun begin!



Remember! Week Two of the INTERVIEWING WADE Blog Tour and Giveaway begins tomorrow!

Mar 30   Books and Banter   http://locglin.blogspot.com/

Mar 31   Case Sharidan   http://casesheridan.wordpress.com/

Apr 1   Lisabet Sarai http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com

Ap 2   Gale Stanley http://galestanley.blogspot.com/

Ap 3   Illustrious Illusions http://www.illustriousillusions.com/


If you’ve missed Week One of the Blog Tour, you can still check it out!

Mar 23   L. C. Wilkinson   http://lcwilkinson.com/

Mar 24   Jan Graham http://jangraham.blogspot.com/

Mar 25 Lynelle Clark http://lynelleclarkaspiredwriter.blogspot.com/

Mar 26   Nice Ladies, Naughty Books http://niceladiesnaughtybooks.com/

Mar 27   Love Bites & Silk Ties http://www.lovebitessilkties.co.uk/


INTERVIEWING WADE  is An Executive Decision novel (Click Here for Book One | Book Two | Book Three)

The Executive Decisions Trilogy may be over, but the story continues. Intrepid reporter, Carla Flannery, wants to interview Wade Crittenden, the secretive creative genius behind Pneuma Inc. But when, against all odds, Wade actually agrees to the interview, Carla suspects ulterior motives.

Carla has made a lot of enemies in her work and when Wade discovers she’s being stalked, he agrees to the interview to keep her close and safe. As the situation turns deadly, lives and hearts are on the line, and the interview reveals far more about both than either ever expected.


Interviewing Wad is available from:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon CA



Sleepwalking the Dog: More Morphine Dreams

S6302679Drugs, hospital stays, going under the knife. I’ve only ever had that experience three times in my life, and once was when I had my tonsils taken out as a very young child. Frankly it was a lot scarier as an adult. Things go wrong. People go under anesthesia for a simple surgery and there are complications. I’m a horrible patient under the best of times, but when control, everything, ALL OF IT, is taken out of my hands by anesthetists and surgeons, even when it’s for my own good, I wonder how I’ll come out on the other side. I wonder IF I’ll come out on the other side. I distinctly remember waking up in the recovery room after both my surgeries as an adult and my first feeling being an incredible sense of joy. Maybe that was just the drugs, but my first real thought, both times was, ‘I made it!’

There are no dreams under anesthesia or at least I’ve never dreamed. It’s like I’m conscious one second and then for however long the surgeon works on my, I no longer exist. I’m just not there. And frankly recovery afterwards demands too much attention to really consider the thought of where I went while I was somewhere else. Perhaps the anesthetist took ME out of my body and put me in a Mason jar by the side of the operating table until the surgeon was done, and then she stuffed ME back into my flesh.

But if I really was somewhere else, and it wasn’t a Mason jar by the operating table, then where was I? Surely I had to be somewhere. And that begs the next question. Wherever I was, was I there alone? And if not, is it possible that just maybe I didn’t come back alone? Sorry! I’m having a goose bumps moment here. Both times following surgery, I’ve come back to myself wondering if I’m still the same me. There are parts missing, parts repaired, parts bruised and stitched and stapled, BUT that’s just flesh. The first surgery, there was blood – someone else’s blood, transfused into
my body, but surely that’s just flesh too. I was just as gone then as I was this last time, and for a whole lot longer. And it only now occurs to me that it was after that first surgery that the stories began to flow fast and furious, and I couldn’t write them down fast enough. Oh I’d always written, always been good at it, but everything I wrote up until that point felt more like stuff I’d just made up. After … well after that first surgery it was different. Afterwards, wherever the stories came from, more often than not it felt like it wasn’t from me. It felt like someone opened up a place in my unconscious and dumped them into me, and I became the conduit, the scribe, nothing more. Sometimes I was a good scribe. Sometimes I could have been better because the material dumped into the conduit made me uncomfortable, made me squirm, and I didn’t want to write it. But if I didn’t write it, if I didn’t get it right, well the characters haunted my dreams, and they weren’t always very nice about it either.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-abstract-black-white-writing-pen-image20156020Strange that it took a simple knee surgery to bring all this stuff back to me, to make me think about where I go, where I’ve been, and what that has to do with how the ideas get in my head. But maybe it’s not so strange at all, since the first surgery was major and all of me was much more taken up with recovery. But so many of the pieces fit together now. Where do I go when I’m not there in my body? Well at least this time, I went to Vegas, where I communed with a big-ass dog, a dark man who was brooding and beautiful in a scary as hell way; and a woman with the most incredible hair I’ve ever seen. Surgery, jet-lag, pain meds, and I find myself sleepwalking that big-ass dog through the streets of Vegas.

Well, actually it’s more like the dog is sleepwalking me. I wake up in the Elara, where I always wake up, and it’s late. It must be long toward morning because some of the brighter lights on the strip have been dimmed, and Vegas is as quiet as it ever gets. It’s the dog licking my face that wakes me. And the next thing I know I’m wrapped in a sheet toga-style and I’m following the dog down the Strip heading toward Caesar’s Palace. I don’t know why I keep following the dog. He’s not my dog, and he clearly doesn’t need me to look out for him. He clearly outweighs me, and his teeth are a lot bigger than mine. But I keep following him. It seems essential that I follow him. The Strip is strangely quiet, and dark, and then I realize it’s because I’m not actually on the Strip any more, but I’m down below it, in some strange tunnel.

I dream of tunnels a lot, so that doesn’t surprise me, and neither does it surprise me that though it’s pitch dark, I can see enough to follow the dog. I notice the smell of ozone, like you smell just before a coming lightening storm, and the fine hairs on my arms bristle. The dog stops, and I’m standing next to him peering out into what looks like a large ballroom. People are dancing to strange music, slow dancing, close and sensual, and my skin prickles all over. Then I realize I’m standing right behind the dark man and the woman with the hair, who are watching the goings on of the dance floor. I’m standing there, and I’m listening.

‘You promised me anonymity when I came here,’ the man says to the woman. There seems to be some sort of breeze coming from somewhere, teasing and caressing her hair and making it dance and sway against her back.

She laughs softly. ‘Surely you don’t think it’s your story I want to her to tell. Your story has been told ad nauseum.’

I can see the man bristle with her words, and I know his pride has just been stung. His response is soft, and I feel it more than hear it. ‘They’ll be telling my story long after you’re gone.’

She laughs again, and I find myself fascinated by the sway and shift of her hair with the movement of her body. I find myself wanting to reach out and touch it. ‘No doubt,’ she says, ‘but nonetheless, it’s not your story I want her to tell.’

At first I think it’s the dog growling, then with a shiver, I realize it’s the man. ‘You bring her here to my realm, where you know damn good and well she doesn’t belong and then you tell me it’s not about me?’

‘She’s a scribe,’ the woman says unperturbed. ‘That means there’s no place that she doesn’t belong, no boundary she can’t cross, and right now she works for me. If I want her to tell your story or the story of your mangy dog, or the story of some reclusive blood sucker across the pond, it’s not your business. You’d do well to remember that.’

I work for her? It is at that moment I realize the woman is talking about me! Suddenly I have the overwhelming urge to turn and run, though I’m not sure my legs will support me any longer. Besides I realize I can’t begin to find my way back. I followed the dog. I feel like my whole body has turned to ice, and I can’t move. I literally can’t move!

For a moment there’s silence. The music stops, but the people on the dance floor don’t seem to notice. They keep swaying and undulating as though they still hear the melody in their heads, and the rising wind I think I hear in the tunnel is only my own efforts to breathe.

‘Who then?’ The man asks at last. ‘Whose story do you want her to write?’

She leans forward and whispers in his ear, and I see his shoulders stiffen and his whole body convulses.

‘Who?’ I ask. ‘How can I know whose story you want me to write if you don’t tell me?’ But the woman doesn’t hear me. Neither of them do. And I’m shocked at the sound of my own voice. I haven’t agreed to write any story for her. Why would I? Why would I do anything for either of them? And yet I have to know! I have to.

‘Goddamn it, if you want me to write a story then tell me who it’s about,’ I shout.

And then I jerk awake as though I’ve just fallen from a great height. My knees hurt like crazy, and I’m trembling and Sleeping woman reading181340322466666994_IswNAb85_bsweating in the hospital bed. My husband is gripping my hand. The look on his face tells me that he’s concerned, that my dreams have bled into the waking world. He’s called the nurse. She takes my temperature and blood pressure, gives
me more pain meds and tells me to get some rest.

After she’s gone, my husband says, ‘you weren’t dreaming about a waterslide that time.’

I shake my head.

‘Was it bad?’ he asks.

‘Just strange. I was sleepwalking the dog,’ I manage just before I plunge back into drugged oblivion.


New Years Resolutions Through the Back Door

Well what do you know? Here it is the 7th of January already! 2015 is well and truly under way, and I’ve revamped this P1030134post from the archives because it’s a post that I need to re-read for my own benefit every year, and I hope it will be something to encourage readers as well.

The gym was overflowing with New Years Resolutioners yesterday when I went to Kettle Bells class; all around the world new diets have been begun as soon as the New Year hangover wears off; people stop drinking, stop smoking, begin learning Spanish or French, people promise to take better care of themselves, spend more time with good friends, waste less time in front of the telly, read more, exercise more, write more, and the list goes on. On January 7th the universal urge to be ‘better’ in the New Year is nearly palpable in the soggy English air.

And I’m behind somehow, as I have been for the last few years. New Years Eve passes me by in a daze and so does New Years Day, and in the midst of it all I have this vague notion that I should do something, or at least think something profound. That urge to reflect on what has been and plan how the New Year will be better is always there, but somehow ends up subsumed in the immediacy of everything else going on as the old year hear hammers down to the wire and the new one barrels down on me. Hope and excitement at new beginnings is so much a part of our human nature that the end of a year and the beginning of another one can’t help but be the time when we anticipate, plan change, and dare to dream of what wonderful things we can bring about in the next year. In fact there’s a heady sense of power in the New Year. I think it’s the time when we’re most confident that we can make changes, that we really do have power over our own lives. It’s the time when we’re most proactive toward those changes, those visions of the people we want to be. I think that’s because it’s the one time of the year when there is a clear delineation between what has been and what will be – even if it is really rather arbitrary.

Before I actually began to sell my writing, back when I dreamed of that first publication, back when there seemed to be a lot more time for navel gazing than is now, I was a consummate journaler. I filled pages and pages, notebooks and notebooks full of my reflections, ruminations and navel gazes. And nothing took more time and energy than the end of Sleeping woman reading181340322466666994_IswNAb85_bthe year entry, in which I reflected on how I did on the year’s resolutions and planned my resolutions for the next. This was a process that often began late in November with me reading back through journals, taking notes, tracing down some of what I’d been reading during that year and reflecting on it. Yeah, I know. I needed to get a life!

By the time New Years Day rolled around, I had an extensive list of resolutions, each with a detailed outline of action as to how I was going to achieve it. I found that some of those resolutions simply fell by the wayside almost before the year began — those things that if I’m honest with myself, I know I’m never gonna do, no matter how much I wish I would. Others I achieved in varying degrees-ish. But sadly, for the most part, a month or maybe two into the year, that hard core maniacal urge to be a better me no matter what cooled to tepid indifference as every-day life took the shine off the New Year.

It was only when there stopped being time for such ginormous navel-gazes and micro-planning that I discovered I actually had achieved a lot of those goals that were my resolutions simply by just getting on with it. As I began to think more about how different my approach to all things new in the New Year had become the busier I became, I realised that I had, through no planning on my part, perfected the sneak-in-through-the-back-door method of dealing with the New Year. The big, bright New Year changes I used to spend days plotting and planning no longer got written down, no longer got planned out. Instead, they sort of implemented themselves in a totally unorganised way somewhere between the middle of January and the middle of February. They were easy on me, sort of whispering and smiling unobtrusively from the corners of my life. They came upon me, not in a sneak attack so much as a passing brush with someone who would somehow become my best friend.

All together, I’ve written more that a half a million words this year. Needless to say, I’m my own harsh taskmaster. I’m driven, I’m tunnel-visioned, I’m a pit bull when I grab on to what I want to achieve with my writing. No one is harder on me than I am – no one is even close. And yet from somewhere there’s a gentler voice that sneaks in through the back door of the New Year and through the back doors of my life and reminds me to be kinder to me, to be easier on me, to find ways to rest and recreate and feed my creative self. I’ll never stop being driven. The time I’ve been given, the time we’ve all been given, is finite. And that gentler part of ourselves must somehow be a constant reminder of comfort and forgiveness, of self-betterment that comes, not from brow-beating and berating ourselves, not from forced regimentation, but from easing into it, making ourselves comfortable with it. We, all of us, live in a time when life is http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-abstract-black-white-writing-pen-image20156020snatched away from us one sound-bite, one reality TV show, one advert at a time. Often our time, our precious time is bargained away from us by harsher forces, by ideals and scripts that aren’t our own, and the less time we have to dwell
on the still small voice, the deeper the loss.

So my resolution, my only resolution every year is to listen more carefully to that gentler, quieter part of me, to forgive myself for not being able to be the super-human I think I should be, to settle into the arms of and be comfortable with the quieter me, the wiser me who knows how far I’ve really come, who knows that the shaping of a human being goes way deeper than what’s achieved in the outer world, and every heart that beats needs to find its own refuge in the value of just being who we are, of living in the present and coming quietly and gently and hopefully into 2015.


My 2014 Photo Album

P1030147Happy 2015 Everyone! 2014 has been a year busy enough and full enough to feel like three, and looking back makes me a little bit dizzy. I think a lot of writers live in the moment — especially when we’re in the middle of writing a story.  I find that I often forget all about what happened three days ago and am totally unmindful of what will happen three days in the future. Makes planning a bit of a challenge from time to time, but it does mean that I’m great at being totally tunnel-visioned.

This year, I thought I’d review the year in pictures rather than do quite so much navel gazing, and I’ve always been a sucker for photo albums. So grab a cuppa, sit back in the recliner and let me show you my 2014.

The year began with two major launches, both very different. The first was my novel, Fulfilling the Contract, which is book 2 in The Mount Series.

Fulfilling the ContractBook two of The Mount trilogy (Click here for Book One | Book Three)

Limo driver, NICK CHASE’s bad night gets worse when he picks up TANYA POVIC at a bar only to discover the explosive sex they share lands her in breach of her very strange contract. Blaming himself that Tanya will lose the large completion bonus earmarked for her mother’s surgery, Nick negotiates with her boss, the tough and mysterious ELSA CRANE, to allow him to fulfill Tanya’s contract and secure her bonus.

Elsa runs Mount Vegas, which offers voyeuristic pleasures for a price. Nick’s job, with Elsa and her quirky team, is to give clients something worth watching through the plate glass windows of Vegas’s luxury hotels and beyond. The learning curve is steep and kinky. As Nick and Elsa’s relationship sizzles and ignites more than hotel room rendezvouses are exposed. In this sequel to The Initiation of Ms Holly things get positively dangerous as Rita Holly and her team are called in from London to lend a helping hand. Bets are being placed. Will Nick fulfil the contract? Will he and Elsa take the gamble? And will they find a way to win at the high stakes, double or nothing, game of hearts?

The second launch was my first ever attempt at a serial, Demon Interrupted, DI is a Lakeland Witches story, which began on the 2nd of February and finished on Halloween. I reran it over Christmas so people could read it all together. It was a very exciting way to write a story, and I found myself feeling quite bereft when I finished it. I’m hoping to do another series on my blog this year.

Demon Interrupted CoverBlurb:

What secrets does a man have that would cause him to chooses to live under a spell that magically erased his past? When that spell is broken Ferris Ryder must choose to remember all that he was, all that he has done and all that drove him to willingly forget. If he chooses not to remember, the consequences will be dire for himself and the Elemental Coven, who are now his family.

Is the mysterious Elaine, who both fears and desires Ferris, a ghost with a past all her own, or merely a figment of his fevered dreams as he struggles against time to remember the past he fears or destroy the very people for whom he chose to forget.

If you want to know more about the Elemental Coven’s sexy adventures, check out the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy: Body Temperature and RisingRiding the Ether and Elemental Fire.


BB table

In March it was time for Eroticon 2014! An event I always look forward to, and one that always gives me a chance to get together with, if not all, at least most of the fabulous Brit Babes. That always results in scheming and planning something totally naughty. This year, I had the absolute pleasure of leading a panel discussion on Sex and Spirituality with my dear friend and fabulous writer, Victoria Blisse. The panel was well attended, and the ideas bounced around in the room about that fabulous connection between sex and spirituality were exciting and inspiring. On top of that it was just a wonderful chance to reconnect with old friends and make new.



In April, I made my usual pilgrimage to Oregon to visit my sister. We make it a point to do lots of road trips, lots IMG00627-20140409-1228of movie and popcorn sessions in her TV room, lots of long chats over coffee and lots of walks in the High Desert sunshine. This year for her birthday, we threw caution to the wind and drove the two and a half hours to Crater Lake National Park, even though we knew it would be buried under snow. With 12-foot snow-banks along either side of the road and the car park at the crater rim, we followed the snowy path to views that were totally stunning, lunched in the lodge, and enjoyed the cool early spring around this stunning lake. The trip was meant for a birthday pressie for my sister, but I felt like it was as much a gift for me as it was for her. A definite return-trip will be necessary, and possibly a story???


I got back from Oregon just in time to prepare for Smut by the Sea in Scarborough, which is another one of my favourite naughty events each year. I was very privileged to be asked to teach a workshop on finessing sex in fiction. As usual the workshops, the reading slam, the tombola and  just the opportunity to spend time with other writers and readers of erotica was a real treat.

If that wasn’t enough, my fabulous husband and I took a little detour on our way home from Scarborough into Dracula country with a very brief, but very rewarding visit up the rocky coast to Whitby It was little more than a tasty tease of gothic deliciousness, and definitely requires a return visit, but I was inspired nonetheless. On the way home, we drove through the North York Moors, a drive that took us only hour. The last time we crossed these moors, it was on foot, and it took us four days!


P1020094One of the highlights of 2014, for me, had to be winning the  ETO Best Erotic Author award for 2014! It was a privilege to be nominated along with amazing writers, Brit Babes, and dear friends, Kay Jaybee and Lucy Felthouse but to win was totally unexpected! At first it didn’t register. How could be my name being called? I sort of remember walking to the stage. After kissing my husband. Shell shocked. Hoping I wouldn’t trip over my own feet, wondering if I could remember how to speak. Me, speechless! Can you imagine such a thing? What made the whole evening even better still was that not only were three Brit Babes nominated for the award, but I got to celebrate the win with four Brit Babes, Victoria Blisse,  Kay Jaybee & Lexie Bay and Tabitha Rayne. There was much dancing and carousing, and I’m still stunned every time I look at the beautiful shiny award with my name on it.

ETO winner button



This year has seen a lot of travel, more than I realised, beginning with my trip to Oregon and thenScarborough, then in July, there was a wonderful walking holiday in the Lake District to research a new series I’m planning to set there, and mostly to get my feet back on the fells and reconnect with one of my very favourite places on the planet. Staying with our fabulous friends, Vron and Brian Spencer, gave me an opportunity to pick their brains for the new series. I was once again reminded why I find the place so incredibly inspiring. In fact, it is also the setting for my m/m novella, Landscapes from the exciting new Brit Boys:On Boys Book Bundle just now released.



10419527_609693305824649_2407916111421693460_nLandscapes Blurb:

Alonso Darlington has a disturbing method of keeping landscaper, Reese Chambers, both safe from and oblivious to his dangerous lust for the man. But Reese isn’t easy to keep secrets from, and Alonso wants way more than to admire the man from afar. Can he risk a real relationship without risking Reese’s life?


In September we made our first ever trip to New York City — my lovely husband to train for his 3rd degree black belt in Karate and me to write, play tourist and be inspired. I didn’t expect to fall in love, but I did! I totally adore New York City. I can honestly say it has joined my list of favourite cities, and I can’t wait to go back. Raymond got his 3rd degree, I got to explore, spend some quality time with Maxim Jakubowski and his lovely wife Delores, and I got the inspiration for my first seasonal novella ever, A Valentine For Christmas, which is now available in the Cariad collection, Love Under the Mistletoe



Cariad Christmas 2014 Collection

‘A Valentine for Christmas

All work and no play, bah humbugging CEO, Gerard Jasper’s, anonymous Christmas gift is actually a Valentine — Moira ‘R.M.’ Valentine, the mysterious CEO of the Valentine Corporation. Moira’s walk on the wild side has accidentally landed her naked and bound with red ribbon under Gerard’s tree – not good when their companies are negotiating the deal of a lifetime. When two lonely people with enough baggage to fill a 747 come together for Christmas, the fireworks rivals New Years at Times Square, but can they overcome their pasts to give each other the true gift — a merger of hearts?


In October I made another trip to Lyme Regis for my annual writers retreat and spent the time working on Grace Marshall’s latest novel, Interviewing Wade, which has been SO much fun to write. I’ve had requests from readers for Wade’s story ever since the first of The Executive Decisions novels came out, so it was very exciting to finally let Wade whisper his story in my ear. Interviewing Wade will be released in February 2015. Very much looking forward to that release. Here’s a little teaser for Interviewing Wade :

The Executive Decisions Trilogy may be over, but the story continues. Intrepid reporter, Carla Flannery, wants to interview Wade Crittenden, the secretive creative genius behind Pheuma, Inc, But when, against all odds, Wade actually agrees to the interview, Carla suspects ulterior motives…

Carla has made a lot of enemies in her work and when Wade discovers she’s being stalked, he agrees to the interview to keep her close and safe. As the situation turns deadly, lives and hearts are on the line, and the interview reveals far more about both than either ever expected.


October was a busy month with the month-long Things That Go Hump in the Night event on my blog — a full month of fantastic guest authors celebrating paranormal erotica with me as I re-launched the Lakeland Witches trilogy with new titles and covers.


Things that go Hump in the Night 2

Lakeland Banner new10358733_753604251350423_1560284403319862756_n

It was also an opportunity for Raymond and me to head up to Wales for a fantastic weekend with Brit Babe, fab writer and good friend Lily Harlem and Mr. Harlem, in which the writerly among us schemed and planned and talked writing into the night.


I don’t get a lot of time to write shorter fiction anymore, but this year I wrote two short stories for very special editors, whom I love working with, Maxim Jakubowski and Rose Caraway.

My story, The Trespass: When a sudden summer rain causes an unexpected trespass, a reclusive sculptor, who can’t bear to be touched and a walker suffering from depression forge an intimate connection.

My story, The Trespass: When a sudden summer rain causes an unexpected trespass, a reclusive sculptor, who can’t bear to be touched and a walker suffering from depression forge an intimate connection.


Contains my story, Cherries in Season: A veg and fruit connoisseur has a real taste for cherries in season and the sexy green grocer who sells them.

Contains my story, Cherries in Season: A veg and fruit connoisseur has a real taste for cherries in season and the sexy green grocer who sells them.

In November, I headed off to Manchester for Smut Manchester, another opportunity to be with other naughty writers and readers, all thanks to the efforts of Victoria and Kev Blisse. This time I had little to do but one reading from To Rome with Lust and the rest of the time I got to enjoy the wonderful workshops offered, the great readings and just the chance to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Writers tend to live isolated lives, so it’s especially good when we get the chance to be together and talk craft.

prelim for SourceBooks Holly cover

As I mentioned above, I also released the third novel in The mount Series, To Rome with Lust, in early December, which I’m very excited about, and very pleased to see it doing so well and following in Holly’s footsteps, since it was also four years ago in October when  The Initiation of Ms Holly , the first book in the Mount Series, was launched.


We ended 2013 in Rome. Liking that tradition of going away on holiday at the end of the year, we ended 2014 with a much-needed holiday, in which Raymond whisked me off for Christmas in Dubrovnik. It was my first trip back to Croatia in a very long time, and it was fantastic to be back. The weather was sunny and warm and the hotel had a lovely view of the Adriatic. I’ve shared masses of photos on FaceBook. While we were there, we were also able to make trips into Montenegro P1030161and Bosnia Hercegovina. For more photos of all three places, follow the links.

And that’s the year in a nutshell. Funny how I didn’t realise just how much had happened until I reflected back on it. I’m stunned and amazed at all the good things that have filled my year, that fill my life, and I’m very, very happy that all of you have been a part of my life through the year. Thank you for reading, commenting, and visiting A Hopeful Romantic. You all are amazing!

Happy New Year! I wish you love and happiness and all things good in 2015!




Sex and Creativity

Sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities.

Erica Jong

(Archived post)

Sex toy incentiveMG00625-20140322-1049My husband knows I’m always looking for interesting articles about sex. He sent me one the other day about masturbation as a treatment for restless leg syndrome (It’s orgasm that actually seems to help. The means is optional.) This led us to an impromptu discussion of all of the other benefits of sex. Sex is a good sleep aid, sex can help with weight loss, sex can improve skin, hair and nails, just to name a few. The jury, however, is still out on whether sex is an aid or a deterrent to creativity.

For the nay-sayers, abstinence has long been touted as a way to focus sexual energy for creative purposes. On the other hand, a study at the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne and the Open University showed that professional poets and artists had almost twice as many sex partners as other people. The study also showed that the number of sex partners increased as creative output went up. The conclusion drawn was that the more creative you are, the more sex partners you were likely to have.

I’m sure that’s a simplification, but I wonder which came first the sex or the creativity? Is it the creative force that makes us horny, or is it being horny that makes us creative? My guess is that every writer, poet or artist would answer that question differently. However, I don’t think there’s any denying the close connection between the creative force and sexuality. Nor do I think that’s particularly surprising. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Freud was right. It IS all about sex. But what I’m not sure of is that we really understand just what sex is all about.

Yes, the basic biology of it’s obvious, but we humans haven’t had sex simply to procreate in a very long time now. We’ve evolved to want, to expect, even to need more from the sex act than just the next generation. Perhaps that goes hand in hand with the evolution of what civilizes us, what sets us apart from our animal cousins — at least in our own eyes. For humans, many of our basic needs have evolved two meanings. First there is the concrete realm in which we’re born, nurtured, thrive, pass on our genes and die. But we develop another level of meaning when we no longer have to use all of our energy just to survive. When starvation is no longer an issue, food and its preparation and presentation becomes art. When keeping out the cold is no longer an issue, clothing becomes fashion, and magazines tell us how we can be walking galleries for the art of clothing. When finding shelter from the elements is no longer an issue, the very homes we live in become an artistic expression of ourselves. Artistic expression, for us, has become as important as function.

But all of these necessities are concrete. Sex is not. In the days of our ancestor, sex was the magic by which two people become three. Today sex is the magic by which two people become one, or by which one person becomes more herself or himself. Procreation has given way to re-creation, on the one hand, but on the other hand, how can an act that has evolved from the very need to create the next generation be rooted in anything but creativity?

How can the process of creating not be sexual in nature? Writing a story is a penetrative act resulting in something larger, something much more alive than the words on the page, than the idea conceived. That’s heady stuff. That’s the writer in full rut. It’s intimate, it’s messy, it’s rough and tumble, it’s voyeurism and exhibitionism and full-on heat. If it isn’t, then there hardly seems to be a point.

That being said, anyone who has had good sex, lingering sex, or even remembers a good teenage feel-up when time wasn’t an issue, and suddenly seemed no longer to exist, will recall that the end was subsumed in the means, the wonder of the act itself, the amazing intimacy with the other. Any writer or artist knows that experience up close and personal. At some point the creative act itself becomes the sum total of existence. The writer’s world shrinks to and expands out from that act, and the end no longer matters.

So how did I get from masturbation for restless leg syndrome to once more worshiping at the altar of the Divine Creative Sexual Force? Well I suppose it’s all just a part of the journey isn’t it? And besides, where else would I be expected to go with it?

© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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