Saturday, 17 September 2016

"Lust on the Wing" has taken off...

What am I on about?

Lust on the Wing is a new erotic anthology, just published. I already have a copy on my kindle and I'm looking forward to reading it.

It's the second in a new series of self-published paranormal erotica/erotic romance anthologies. The first was Lust by the Sea, and the third, Lust in Tooth and Claw, will  be available for pre-order on 23 September, and for general release by 4 October. 

Each of these collections of individual hot and spicy novellas, with a variety of sexy monsters, demons, and creatures of myth and legend. The ambitious premise for each anthology is for it to be completed, from concept to publication, in six weeks.

This lusty, hardcore anthology is brought to you by four authors who love looking to the sky and imagining all the paranormal creatures that break the bonds of Earth’s gravity. Let their stories take flight in your imagination on the wings of mythological creatures and erotic horrors who tantalize, titillate and electrify.
The international nature of the authors means language, grammar and style may vary between novellas, reflecting their country of origin. In this volume, authors are from the United States, New Zealand, and Great Britain.

The four novellas in this book total 86,000 words. 
There's an additional section with information about the authors.

The "blurbs" for the four novellas:

Captive Mate, by Devi Ansevi
If it weren’t for bad luck with men, she’d have no luck at all. Reality will never be the same for graduate student Berry Randall. She’s just learned that shifters are real, and they want her for their mate. Can she escape her captors? Or will she find freedom in the arms of the winged gryphons?

Blood of Stone, by Jacqui Greaves
Fredegund has guarded her petrified charges for a century. With the rising of the twin moons, the Grotesques are awakening, hungry for more than food. Meanwhile, the human hordes have created the Charm, a seductress destined to destroy the balance of power between Grotesques and humans. Can Fredegund prevent the coming disaster, or will her world be changed forever?

Flights of Fantasy, by Ina Morata
Lila seeks a man who can satisfy her darkest desires. Porphyro and the virginal Madeleine are preparing to elope. Lila sets her sights on entrapping Porphyro, and sets sexy enticements to dispose of Madeleine. When her plans go awry, Lila must use her Lilitu wiles to seduce them both.

Leonora, Marked by Daemons, by Essemoh Teepee
We meet a feisty young woman with a secret. The SHAKKAN are the Shepherds, and humanity is their flock. For millennia they have bred Mark Bearers like Leo to withstand the most extreme forms of pleasure and pain. But nothing ever stays the same, and this is a time of great change.

An excerpt to tickle your fancies, from Flights of Fantasy by Ina Morata

“What is it, Alice?” Madeleine’s gaze is glued to the reflection of Alice’s fingers that deftly unlace her corset from behind and drop the garment to the floor, leaving her hand brushing against the fair fluff between Madeleine’s legs, and coming to light upon her little nub. She moans, and blushes once more. Alice keeps her hand there, moving her fingers every so often to the sound of tiny, low moans.

“I thought that, maybe, holding up the fine fabric to here—” Her hand is replaced with the finest netting, and Madeleine’s pussy throbs at the sight of the mystery between her thighs almost visible through the fabric. “Or maybe here—” Her body squirms under the expert hand that slides the netting up her torso and onto her naked breasts. Holding it there, she sees her nipples visible through it, and how they have grown darker than usual, and protrude quite clearly.

“Do you not think it a little too fine, Alice?” Her eyes close as she feels the touch of Alice’s thumbs on her hardening tips. Lost in the feeling, and the tingle that converges on her little nub, something cold and hard pressing up against her skin makes her body jolt.

“What is it you have gripped so hard in your hand, Alice? What is it you are holding around me?”

Alice stares at her, and for some reason, Madeleine shrinks a little under her eyes.

“Nothing but the dressmaker’s shears, Miss. I thought slicing the little piece in two…but it seems…maybe I am unable…”

Alice’s face breaks into a troubled frown as she lowers the shears.

“Will you excuse me, Miss? I have realised that I have forgotten my measure. I cannot ensure an accurate fit without it, can I?”

“Very well.” Madeleine’s breath is erratic, her body heaves. Still clinging to the feel of fingers floating over her body, she lets Alice leave the room. Standing there, her naked form staring back at her, she lets her own fingers tease her nipples and tantalise her clit, trying to imagine Porphyro’s fingers against her flesh. The image will not form clearly. A frustration sweeps over her, and she screws her eyes up tight. When she opens them, she squeals.

“I’m sorry, Miss. Alice has been called away elsewhere by your father. I am sent to finish you off.”

Madeleine’s first instinct is to grab something to cover herself. But there is something about the owner of the voice that captivates her, and her instinct is lost. She looks at the woman who appears as a reflection standing behind her: at her dark hair, and her dress covered in a cloak. She has the most beautiful face, ageless, although her eyes seem to hold ancient mysteries. As she lowers her cloak, Madelaine is fascinated by the dress she wears—it seems only an intertwining of laces and ribbons hold the bodice together down to her hips, the flesh of which is on display. It clings to her curves as if she has been poured into it, and is the most heart-stopping garment she has ever seen—worn by a servant whom she has never met. Could this be some mistress of her father’s? The dress trails around the woman’s feet, its draping train curling about her as if she has appeared on a sweep of the wind. On contact with eyes that pierce green in the glass, a pain accosts Madeleine, starting between her legs and ending in her chest. A couple of deep breaths and she is herself again, but blushing crimson at her state of undress.

“Why is it you wear such a—I have never seen the like of such a dress. You are a servant, are you not?”

The woman smiles. From behind her, something moves, and it takes Madeleine a moment or two to realise what she is seeing. Two stunning black wings begin to fan outwards, and the woman speaks to Madeleine’s reflection.

“Oh yes, Miss. I’m here to service you. My name is Lila.”

Utterly mesmerised by the sight, Madeleine stretches out her fingertips to the glass, and meets flesh. She jumps, confused, enchanted, and touches the dress, moving her fingers further up the bodice, finding all the holes between the web of ties. For every second her fingers seek the reflection, she feels the scrape of long nails over her skin. It makes her shiver, and each wave converges between her legs. She reaches further up towards the reflection’s breast, and the nails scrape softly across her tender mounds, flicking at her nipples and making them stand out enough that the nails can hook them upwards, and she watches as Lila releases them with a long, low moan, her eyes fiery green flames of a netherworld.

“Touch your body. Let me see you find pleasure in yourself. Show me what it is you want to feel.”

With no more invitation that this, and unable to control herself, Madeleine’s fingers slide down her skin, her fingertips making contact with her sensitive little nub. As she does, the reflection flicks at her own shoulders, and her entire dress falls away, leaving Madeleine’s other hand to roam the revealed flesh in amazement.

“Do you like touching, Miss?”

Madeleine blushes. “Yes. I—yes, I do.”

The reflection smiles at her, sending hot quivers through every part of her body.

“Then put your hand here, Miss. While I put mine just there.”

Lila’s pussy lips open to her fingertips, and Madeleine gasps. Her own folds are subject to expert work that make her writhe and moan.

“Why not sit down? Open your legs, wide.”

She does as she is bid, forgetting who is the Lady and who is not. The sight before her makes her mew. Her juices pool in her entrance as she watches those in the reflection do the same. The scent of her own arousal drifts and fills her with heady excitement.

“Slide forward. Push your hips towards the mirror. Put your back to the floorboards.”

Slowly, pushing herself up towards the glass, she feels the hot flesh of Lila’s legs making contact with hers; first over the calf of one leg and the shin of the other, then over her knees, pressing up against the soft flesh of her thighs. Her heart begins to race, and her breath is shallow, erratic. She inches her way towards the mirror, starting to shake at the fairy tale to come, because this cannot be real, surely? Her tender, swollen folds brush against Lila’s own, pushing, sliding, and her orgasm begins to rage as her flesh meets Lila’s hot, wet slickness. She moans, uncertain, knowing this cannot be happening, wanting to feel more—.

Ina says her story was inspired by Keats’ narrative poem, The Eve of St Agnes, in which Porphyro and Madeleine elope one miserable night in winter. It’s her favourite poem and, Flights of Fantasy came to her, having re-read it for the thousandth time!

Tempted? Here are some buy links..
Booklinker universal link:
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

Author Bios and Contact Details

Devi Ansevi, who also edited the anthology, is a prolific author, avid reader, closet romantic, incurable optimist, and owner of a very fertile, very naughty imagination. In her books, two or more people enjoy vanilla and non-vanilla sex, including spanking, bondage, dominance, toys, delicious punishments, and other naughty but oh-so-nice things. Her stories explore the dynamics of power in a relationship, all HEA or HFN.

Twitter @sexidevi or find her on Facebook. Learn more about the books she's written, read and reviewed at her Goodreads author page, Amazon Author page, or her Crush Blush blog. Sign up for her newsletter and once or twice a month, you’ll receive an email with all kinds of goodies, including exclusive behind-the-scenes peeks at her latest projects.

Some free short stories and flash fiction are posted on her Crush Blush ‘Free Stories’ page

Jacqui Greaves is a Melbourne-based writer of erotica, fantasy, science fiction and historical fiction who loves nothing more than mixing the genres together in weird and wonderful ways. Her stories seldom have happy endings and do not lean towards the romantic. She loves to explore the gritty, dark side of nature and has a passion for strong female characters.

Most days you can find her on Facebook and she’d love you to visit her webpage to find more of her stories.


Ina Morata describes herself as "a raging bibliophile, fascinated by mythology and the human experience alike". She enjoys exploring power dynamics, and writes from the heart, including the psychological, emotional and physical in her erotica and erotic romance. Her work contains vanilla and non-vanilla sex between two or more people, and includes spanking, dominance in real and virtual situations, bondage, voyeurism, and a whole number of other delicious, erotic themes.

Contact her on twitter @InaMorataWriter or via her Facebook Author Page. She's also on Pinterest and Instagram, and happy to discuss sexy books on Goodreads.

Sign up to her mailing list via her Ina Morata website to be kept up to date with news, including new releases, special offers and sexy, subscriber-only stories. There are more details about her books on her Amazon Author Page .

Essemoh Teepeeh has been published by Circlet Press, Renaissance/Sizzler and Cleis Press . He shares in an IPPY Gold Medal for the acclaimed anthology Carnal Machines, published by Cleis Press, which includes his steampunk story Doctor Watson Makes a House Call. While he enjoys writing erotic fiction that skirts the darker side of human experience, many of his stories turn out to have romance lurking in them, however hard he tries to expunge it!

Essemoh has spent years creating the erotic world of the SHAKKAN Universe. The previously unpublished story in this anthology is part of a story arc begun in the first volume of this series, Lust by the Sea. Full of adventure, sex, romance, monsters, more sex, heroines, heroes, even more hot sex, blood and death, all too hot for Amazon; these stories are continued elsewhere... go to Essemoh's website for more.

He's developing an experiential audio technique he calls Directed Erotic Visualisation©. There are nearly 200 audio experiences to suit nearly every kink, gender and orientation... Find out more at

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Welcoming my guest, Juliette Banks, talking about her new book "Snatched"

I'm delighted to welcome Juliette Banks as my blog guest today. Her new book, "Snatched", has just been published.

I recently enjoyed her book The Artist and posted well-deserved good reviews of it on Amazon and Goodreads, and she was here in August to talk about that book. 

Hello Ian, Thanks for inviting me to be your guest today. 

So, your new book, Snatched. Didn't you have an earlier book with the same title?

The first erotic story I published with Blushing Books over two years ago was a short novella of 17,000 words called Snatched, released under my other writing name of Rachel de Vine. At the time I was new to Facebook, Twitter, and promotion in general, so it didn’t sell very well. However, the publishers felt it had promise and asked me to re-write it as a longer book. The first part of the story is the same, with some amendments, but then I have continued the story much further. It is now around 43,000 words.

Where and when is the story based?

It is set in an impoverished Eastern European country around 1850.

Tell us about the main characters.

Laryssa has been a widow for many years, and has lived a simple village life with her eighteen-year-old daughter, Sofiya. One day, while she is not at home, a gang of bandits kidnaps Sofiya. Laryssa is distraught and vows to track her daughter down and rescue her.

Bhodan is the leader of the bandits. A harsh upbringing, leading to tragedy when he is a young man, gives him two livid scars across the face and leads him to a life of crime. He appears to have no saving graces, but Laryssa discovers a chink in his armour that leads her to sense that behind his harsh exterior, there lurks a better man.

So what happens when the two meet?

Laryssa arrives at the castle where she thinks her daughter is held, and begs Bhodan to let her enter the castle as a cook/housekeeper for the four men. He at first turns her away, but Laryssa, in desperation, offers her body as a last resort. She becomes Bhodan’s lover and finds a passion that she has never experienced before – not even with her husband. She becomes very conflicted and feels guilty that she should feel like this with the man responsible for her daughter’s capture, even if he personally was not involved.

Does Laryssa succeed in freeing her daughter from her captivity?

The bandits are attacked, while out robbing, and Bhodan comes back to the castle sorely wounded. Without Laryssa’s care he will die. This is her opportunity to set her daughter free, but she's come to care for Bhodan and can't leave him to die. Her dilemma is acute.

Can your reassure erotic romance fans that sparks fly between Laryssa and Bhodan?

They won’t be disappointed, I’m sure. Bhodan is a very masculine, dominant man, and Laryssa discovers that, after all those years of deprivation, Bhodan awakens a sensual woman who begins to enjoy the hot sex and erotic spanking that he provides. However I would like to tell readers that this book is a little darker than some of my previous works. It contains some explicit sexual scenes, including spanking, as well as erotic horror themes. If such material is likely to offend you, please do not purchase this book.

Any chance of an excerpt from the book?

Certainly, but first, let me give you the buy links for Snatched.

Excerpt (Rated R)

His eyes were dark pools and his chest was rising with shorter breaths than usual, and Laryssa saw desire in his face. She steeled herself to gaze calmly at him. The time that she had dreaded since arriving at the castle was upon her.
“Come,” was all he said, then turned and walked away.
Laryssa took a deep breath and followed the man with the scarred face. It’s strange, she thought, but the scars no longer seemed repulsive. How quickly she had become used to them. It wasn’t the scars that bothered her now. She now had to fulfil the bargain she made when she arrived, and her stomach was churning with thoughts of what she was about to do, but she could not go back now. Her daughter depended on her.
She followed Bhodan into his room. There was a large bed in the centre of the room, with a chest against one of the walls and a small table and chair against another. Laryssa was horrified to see on the table a leather belt and a long, flexible birch stick.
Bhodan, closing the door behind her, saw the look on her face. He stood very close to the trembling woman and ran his hand lightly down her front, stopping to caress her breast beneath the thin layer of her under-garment. Looking intently into her face he said, “I don’t think those will be needed tonight. All I want at the moment is to sink into that cunt of yours. After so many years of neglect, I think I shall receive a warm welcome there.”
A shiver travelled down Laryssa’s body. It was partly fear, but she was ashamed to admit to herself that it was also partly anticipation for a feeling that she had not experienced in so long.  There was something about this wild, nearly handsome man, with his gruff manner that caused unexpected and unfamiliar shivers in that most neglected part of her body, and it disturbed her.
“Take off your clothes.” Bhodan turned and began removing his own clothes. Laryssa removed her petticoat and waited with downcast eyes. The naked Bhodan strode towards her, his cock now stiff and leading the way. He lifted her chin with his hand.
“You may not have the body of a girl, but you have a body that any man would want to sink into. Don’t be modest. Lay on top of the bed and let me look at you.”
She did as she was instructed, trying to calm the thumping of her heart. Bhodan looked down at her, his erection clearly demonstrating his desire. He ran his hand down her belly and down one of her legs, before returning it up the inside of the other leg. It came to a halt as he reached her groin. He slid it towards her sex and, parting her labia, pushed his finger into her and gently swirled it around.
She was already moist with a desire that she tried not to feel, but was incapable of preventing. Had she become a harlot so easily?
Bhodan leaned close to her ear and whispered in a way that seemed so intimate that Laryssa’s breath caught in her throat. “I see that you are more than ready for me.”

A tasty excerpt! Perhaps you can tell us a little about yourself?

I write erotic romances as Juliette Banks, but some of you may also know me as the author Rachel de Vine. I'm British and live in a beautiful rural part of England. However, I also like travelling to remote and unusual parts of the world, and have visited places as diverse as Tibet, Bhutan, Peru, Namibia and China. Our world is so beautiful and I hope that it'll always remain so, and I see myself as being so lucky to have the freedom to travel that was denied many previous generations. I hope I never take it for granted.

I write mainly romances, because I am an incurable romantic, and I write erotic romances because I am always attracted to the sexuality and sensuality that is within so many of us. I like to write about interesting characters who often have to survive life's challenges before they can reach the happy ending they deserve.

Here are my contact details:
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Website (a site for both Rachel and Juliette)

The Amazon Author Page for Juliette Banks is here
The Amazon Author Page for Rachel de Vine is here

Thank you very much for inviting me to your blog, Ian. I hope that you and your readers enjoyed hearing about my new book.

I certainly did, Juliette. Thanks for dropping by, and I do hope your new book is widely enjoyed.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Cover reveal for Pippa Jay's new SF book, "Gethyron"

I've enjoyed some of Pippa's other books, so am very happy to help with the "cover reveal" of the next, "Gethyron".

Abandoned. Hunted. Out of control.

Gethyon Rees had always felt at odds with the universe, and hoped for an escape among the stars. But discovering he has the ability to cross time and space with just a thought brings more problems than it solves: a deadly bounty hunter who can follow him anywhere, the unwelcome return of Tarquin Secker—the mother who abandoned him—and an ancient darkness that seeks him and all those with his talents.

When an unforgivable act sets him on the run, it’ll take more than his unearthly powers to save his skin and the lives of those he cares about. It’ll take a sacrifice he never expected to have to make.

Here's a short excerpt:

  Gethyon stumbled and fell. Light burst across his vision, a violent assault of color, and he threw up an arm to defend himself. Something brushed against him, spun him, and then another bruising impact sent him backward.
  “Watch where you’re going,” someone scolded.
  Gethyon dropped his arm and squinted, fighting to keep his balance. People flowed around him, but the man who’d spoken was already moving away, a reproving frown on his face.
Soft sunlight gleamed from smooth marble, a blend of gray, green, and white beneath his feet. Humans bustled in different directions, each intent on their own concerns, with only the odd, inquisitive glance thrown his way as he stood, alone and bewildered, in their midst. He faced a distant horizon framed by the jagged spires of mountains. To either side of where he stood, the mountains ran in tooth-like bronze spines. The plaza seemed to be a main pedestrian thoroughfare in the middle of a wide valley. He stared. Where was he?
  Gethyon dragged his head around toward the speaker, forcing his eyes to focus. Buildings in the same pastel marble filled the valley ahead. Cold shock drenched him at the sight of two uniformed men between him and the nearest edifice, one warden aiming a finger straight at him.
  “Hey, no unauthorized teleportation in the plaza!”
  Gethyon turned and ran. Shouts from behind told him pursuit followed. He dodged between the idling crowds, staggering as his legs quivered.
  What happened?
  He’d done it again—sent himself elsewhere—but how? And why could he do it? What was he?

A science fiction adventure novel previously published by BURST (Champagne Books), and part of the Travellers Universe. A 2014 SFR Galaxy Award Winner for Most Awesome Psychic Talent and a 2015 EPIC eBook Awards finalist in the Science Fiction category. Also now includes the SF short story The Bones of the Sea.

“With colorful worlds full of nuance and dimension, characters that walk off the page, and themes that anyone who has been either parent or child can relate to.” J.C. Cassels, author of The Black Wing Chronicles series

“This fast-paced, gripping ride zips through time and space, love and loss, rebellion and acceptance.” Anna McLain, SFR Galaxy Award judge

Sign up to Pippa’s no-spam newsletter or follow her Amazon author page.

Pre-order Links:

Print coming soon!

About Pippa:

After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 22 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, and Broad Universe, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), the 2015 EPIC eBook awards, the 2015 RWA LERA Rebecca (2nd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

You can stalk her at her website, or at her blog, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.

Blogs –
Adventures in Scifi -
Spacefreighters Lounge -

Monday, 15 August 2016

Review of "The Artist"

As promised in my blog interview, I've read Juliette Bank's novella "The Artist". 

My conclusion? Sweet and steamy!

I’ve just finished reading it and still have a smile on my face. I genuinely enjoyed it. 

It's told from the POV of the two main characters, alternating slowly enough to avoid "head-hopping", and I thought it rattled along very nicely. The premise was an interesting one to build a story around, and Juliette has produced an entertaining story with a developing romantic relationship and steamy love-making scenes. And eventually a fair bit of mutually-enjoyed spanking! It started gently, then the pace built up. The crisis in the later part of the story added some drama, and was nicely resolved.

I also liked the little details on life in the mid 19th century, with household water still coming from pumps, and railways being a real novelty. The writing also reflects the period a little, enough to give a flavour, but thankfully not a mid-19th century narrative style.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Guest interview with Juliette Banks about her new book 'The Artist'.

Absolutely delighted to have Juliette Banks as my guest today, and to talk about her new book, The Artist.

Hello Ian, and thank you so much for inviting me along today to talk about my new book, The Artist. Many of you will know me as Rachel de Vine, but this is the first book I have written under my new pen name.

You’re most welcome. Can you tell us about your new book?

The Artist is a historical, erotic romance, and is a tale of lust, murder and love.

Here’s the “blurb”.

Lizzie is a pretty, but quite simple village girl when circumstances lead her to the artist, Theo. She made a bad marriage to Lionel, a man who mistreated her, and who then threw her out when she refused to sell her body on the streets for him. Now she is trying to make her way alone.

Theo is the rebellious son of a Viscount, who left his privileged background to pursue his chosen career as an artist. His favorite subjects are pretty young women whom he paints in the nude. He is delighted, therefore, when the beautiful Lizzie knocks on his door one day and offers her services as a model.

It is only a matter of days before the mutual attraction ignites between them and they become lovers. Despite village gossip, they are happy. Until Lionel, hearing that his wife is now living with the artist, erupts in a jealous rage and snatches her back while Theo is away and unable to protect her.

Upon finding Lizzie gone, Theo sets off in hot pursuit, determined to find the model for whom his feelings are growing daily. He soon catches up with Lizzie and Lionel, but during the hot-headed rescue, things take a tricky turn with an unexpected consequence.

Lionel is dead.

Unwilling to be charged with murder, and possibly hanged, Theo and Lizzie flee to Italy, where they try to start a new life together. But the past has a way of catching up with everyone, and they are no exception.

Can the love between a son of a Viscount and an illiterate country girl survive after such a troubled start? And will they have to face justice for the murder of Lizzie’s husband?

This is an erotic tale of a young couple in mid-nineteenth century England and Italy, with some explicit themes, including spanking.

A short excerpt from the book:

He wanted to get back in the studio and look again at Lizzie's soft, luscious body, even if it did send him mad with desire. The sooner the painting was finished, the sooner he could make an attempt on her virtue.

He prepared his palette while Lizzie disrobed behind the screen. She modestly tucked her undergarments beneath the dress, which was flung over the screen, so that they were not on view. Theo smiled to himself, as just the day before she had spread her drying clothes on the bushes behind the house. He found her idiosyncrasies rather sweet and appealing.

He watched as she removed her robe and placed it on the end of the couch on which she lay to pose. He caught a glimpse of her beautifully rounded bottom before she lay down on her side, facing him. He went, as usual, to slightly move her legs so that they were in the required position and longed to run his fingers through the soft curls that nestled between her soft, white thighs. He almost groaned in frustration. The girl was driving him insane. He was a man to whom sex was an essential part of who he was, and celibacy had never been something he would ever consider. He was becoming frustrated with the act of self-pleasuring. Being tormented like this was the cruelest of punishments for a man such as him. The time for action was fast approaching.

He wanted to do more than paint his flame-haired model.

It’s habit of mine to ask my guests a few questions, so that readers can learn a little more about you. Are you game?

Of course, Ian, fire away.

Do you have a day job as well as writing?

Yes, I’m actually a farmer in the UK, and also look after my elderly father. I’m slowly winding down the farming business, though. We no longer keep cattle, and are now purely arable farmers, so I’m able to devote more time to my writing.

Passion by Irena Jablonski (USA)
reproduced courtesy of the artist, 
What does your writing process look like? What’s your writer’s routine? Do you write whenever or at certain times? Where do you like to write? Are you a plotter or do you just write and see where it goes?

I’m one of those writers called (I believe) a ‘seat of the pants’ author. I never jot down a plot or make many notes. An idea will come into my head, and once I think of my opening line I am away. The story will somehow unfold out of my brain, and I have no idea at the beginning where it will take me. Although I will occasionally go back and insert new paragraphs, on the whole I simply start at the beginning and keep going until I reach the end.

Most of my writing is done at night, after I have seen my Dad to bed and everything is quiet. Some of my best work seems to come in the early hours of the morning. Unfortunately my routine plays havoc in my interactions with people who work ‘normal’ hours!

Tell us about the genre you write in. Why does this particularly appeal and how did you get into it? Do you think your take on the genre is distinctive in any particular ways?

I’ve written romantic stories for some years, but I started writing erotic romances a couple of years ago. Like a lot of people I read Fifty Shades of Grey, and thought that I could write at least as well, so I thought I would give it a try. I have published eight books now through Blushing Books (all as Rachel de Vine until now) and the stories have varied, in the sense that some are what I think of as ‘spanking-light’ novels, where the romance is the main theme, with fun spanking between the two characters, while the others are more BDSM oriented, incorporating more intense sexual and kinky play between the characters. Despite the fact that my characters often have to overcome many problems throughout the story, I like a happy ending, because I’m a romantic at heart, and I like my main characters to walk off into the sunset together. However, one or two of my less salubrious characters have been known to come to a sticky end!

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Writing is my main passion now, and takes up a lot of my spare time. However I’m a lifelong and addicted traveller to exotic places and have been lucky enough to have made many trips throughout my life. I travel with a friend, and we have been to China, Tibet, South America, Namibia, Vietnam, India – just to name a few. My brother or sister step in to look after my father for a few weeks, and we set off to discover new places. When not travelling, or thinking about travelling, or planning a trip – I enjoy reading, music and my garden. I’m also lucky to have a wonderful family of brothers, sister, nieces and nephews, and I love spending time with them whenever I can. I am a lucky woman!

If you only had one word to describe yourself, what would it be and why?

The one word I would use, and I hope others would agree, is kind. Kindness is sometimes an under-rated attribute, but it is essential in the turmoil of modern life that we try to be kind to each other. The kindness of others helps us over the trials and tribulations of our lives, and a kind word or gesture can make the difference between feeling neglected and unloved, and feeling wanted and cared for. I try to be kind always.

If you could pick a past life, what time period would appeal to you and why? Would you be male or female? Rich or poor?

To be honest, I’m not sure I’d pick a past life, because for most of the population throughout history, life has been hard for many people, and women, in particular. No, what I would like would be to jump into the future, because I have a tremendous curiosity to see how mankind develops (assuming we survive, of course – I’m an optimist, so I will say yes, they will). So I would like to come back in 1,000 years and see how the world has changed. I hope it will have changed for the better. Will we have discovered the origin and secrets of the Universe? Will we have defeated diseases? What will life be like for our descendants? I’d prefer to remain a female, and neither rich nor poor, but somewhere in the middle. I’d be very disappointed if we haven’t all learned to get along with each other.

Why the change to Juliette Banks?

For two years I have been writing as Rachel de Vine, but my publishers feel that possible mis-spellings of my name (De Vine, Devine, DeVine) may have affected Amazon’s algorithms due to my name being spelled incorrectly at the beginning, and they recommended that I change my writing pen name. I have become rather attached to Rachel, so I have decided to continue to use both names for the time being. My back catalogue will continue to be available as Rachel’s work, as well as my free short stories on my blog. (You can see these at  In time I will probably produce a separate website for each name.

Many thanks for visiting, Juliette, and I hope a lot of people enjoy reading The Artist. I’m looking forward to reading it myself in the very near future and will post my own reviews.

Please contact Juliette at

Or visit her Facebook page at

Or see herTwitter page at

If your interest has been piqued, here are some Amazon buy links:

Sunday, 3 July 2016


When I've read a book or listened to an audiobook, I try to post honest and constructive reviews on as many sites as I have access to. This is usually Goodreads, the Amazon UK and US sites, along with some publishers website shops, and the Audible website for audiobooks I purchased there.

I know how much a review means to me, and I don't think for a second that any other author is different.

So, three books I've recently read, with links, and the reviews I posted on Amazon.

Tsura: A World War II Romance, by Heather Anastasiu
I enjoyed this. The strong storyline combined romance with a very plausible picture of life in Romania in 1943. Tsura, an engaging and realistic character, tries to survive and wants to be with the man she loves, but has to accept some huge compromises.

Some aspects of the story were rather intriguing. I’d never thought about life on the "home front" within Eastern Europe or one of Germany's allies, nor how it might be to have to get along with Nazis and their sympathisers, or that you might actually quite like them despite their politics.

Despite being part 1 of a 2-part story, it doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger. This phase of the story is wrapped up well enough, but with a strong “to be continued” feel. Nicely done!
(in the UK, just swap the .com for

Werewolf U, by Brenna Lyons
Imaginative, entertaining, fast-paced and seriously steamy! I’d love this to be a longer story, simply so Brenna can show us more about the characters and their fictional world. I was impressed by the clear writing in the love-making scenes, as three-way action can be tricky to describe.
(in the UK, just swap the .com for

Trainwreck Book 1, by Michael Michelle Rakes

Wow. The main character isn’t pushed outside his comfort zone, it’s totally out of sight from beginning to end.

There are two interwoven themes, one an interesting sex-related cop story, the other is how Vincent copes with the incredible problems he has in his head, his marriage and his work. Gritty simply doesn't describe it, this is a rough, intense ride and the sex is very BDSM. Although this isn't really my taste, I just kept wanting to read on... Excellent writing.

Whoever advise the author to split this into two books is a rotten so-and-so, as this book ended as things spiralled downwards, and I wanted to know what happens next! But I’ve already bought book 2, so I can find out.
(in the UK, just swap the .com for

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Giving Feedback - Nits, Crits and Reviews

This piece, my personal thoughts about how to give a writer helpful feedback on their work, was originally posted on the ERWA blog ( I tweaked it slightly in light of some of the constructive comments offered on it.

One of the great features of being a contributor to the ERWA is the "storytime" mailing list, where we can post pieces of our work for constructive feedback. Of course, reading this can sometimes be disheartening, but I strongly believe that knowing what readers make of your work is a key step to becoming a better writer. Once I started offering feedback, I found it helped my own writing, particularly if I could mentally "step back" and be fairly objective about my work.

I'm sure every writer feels insecure and hopes for "wow, this is great". Realistically, the best we'll ever get is a variation on "this is good, hope I can help you make it even better".

So, if you want to give a writer some feedback, how can you be helpful?

The first thing is to remember that your feedback is your opinion. By all means be confident in your opinion, but the writer doesn't have to agree with you. It is their work, after all!

What you write may not come across quite as you intend, and it's only courteous to critique others in the way you hope they would your own work.

The simplest form of feedback is to tell them what you thought or how you felt about the story as a whole. You don't have to write a lot. Simply knowing that it engaged and entertained a reader can make a big difference to the writer's confidence, especially if they're having a rough patch and doubting themselves. If you really liked something, maybe the characters, dialogue or "action" scenes, say so. 

And why not make it your feedback? All you have to do is use "I" rather than a generic "you" or "the reader".

If you want to give more detailed feedback, this is typically in the form of "nits" and "crits".

Nits are details like punctuation, grammar, spelling, misplaced name tags, confused descriptions of action and so on. These are things an editor would look out for in a submitted manuscript. Remember that UK and US English have differences in spelling, vocabulary and usage.

Ideally "crit" means a constructive critique, not criticism in the everyday sense - someone put time and effort into writing that piece and will feel anxious about how it's received. Critiques may be fairly general comments about how you found the style, plot, use of dialogue, or the way characters are described, or they can be more in-depth, such as suggestions on how to rephrase sections.

Reviews posted on book purchasing sites are what published writers want. Positive reviews encourage potential purchasers to buy. Amazon's system means a book is more likely to be suggested to customers once a certain number of reviews have been posted. Fake reviews can be purchased, but thankfully Amazon is taking steps to minimise this. I've seen claims that Amazon makes apparently arbitrary judgements about the reliability of some reviews, especially where they consider the author and reviewer to be "friends".

Any Amazon customer can post a review, and if they got the book from Amazon, they're shown as a "verified purchaser". Their system doesn't always share comments between the UK and US sites, so I have accounts with both and post the same review on each. If I bought the book from the UK site, I say so in the US review. If I was offered a free copy, I only accept it on the basis that I'll post my honest opinion, and I say so in the review.

I'm not a fan of structured reviews which summarise the story, as these can unwittingly include "spoilers". I try to say, in general terms, what I enjoyed about a book and acknowledge anything I didn't, basically what I'd say to a friend who asked me about the book. If I read a story to the end, I must have enjoyed it, so there are always things I can write about.

Now and again, we'll all come across a book we really don't like, either because it's not our sort of story or because we didn't like the way it was written. Do you post a bad review, even if it's our honest opinion, or just not bother? I'll leave that to you.

The ERWA is primarily for erotica writers. If you're curious to know more about it, their website is

To join the private e-mail based "storytime" critiquing group...