Thursday, 25 April 2013

Blak Rayne

Today I'm fortunate to play host to the fabulous author Blak Rayne to talk about her book 'Older the Better' (a sentiment I agree with more and more as I approach the half century mark). She ponders the question - how far is too far, now there's a question.

How Far is Too Far?

Thank you for having me at your blog, Nephylim! It is awesome to be here! :)

I was reading my Goodreads group digest email just the other day, when I came across a woman's comment on erotic romance, how she felt, that the authors go too far at times, within regards to their description of sex scenes. So the question (article title) is in reference to explicit content within books. She didn't discriminate between genres and neither will I. I've read some YA books, where I question the author's scruples, and what exactly they were trying to achieve, aside from shock value.

I don't know about you, but for me, when it comes to sex, as an example, I find that sometimes less is more, quite literally. Whether plot driven or simply used as filler, sex scenes can be quite satisfying to read. But, then again, that depends if the scene is ingeniously well written. Can you skip the gritty detail, leaving more to the imagination, and still have a wonderful erotic tale? Sure! I think so. In fact, I believe you can have both.

As an author of erotic novels, there are instances when I find it difficult not to add the steamy parts, after all that's what the readers expect. But there is significantly more to a decent erotic story than sex. I know there are authors who would disagree, but there is a difference between PWP and PWP (porn with plot and porn without plot). LOL To set the record straight, I don't write porn, I write erotic romance, and I prefer strong characters and a well-contrived plot versus a drawn-out sex scene with nothing before and after it. *yawns and taps mouth* How boring!

So, from a reader's perspective, which is your preference...lots of sex, less sex, or a combination of both?

Now, if you said, "Blak, I love sex and it doesn't matter how much there is!" I've got to ask.... If sex isn't an issue for you, can you handle the vulgar language? What about graphic description? Do you find either of these offensive?

Personally, love isn't love when a character is raped, and it isn't particularly romantic either. I can handle some language, but if every second word is F*** this and F*** that, I tend to cringe. I think the obscenity can take away from the story. Let's put it this way, I'm not big on mobster movies, and the reason being the usage of foul language can get pretty heavy. The same applies to graphic description, some I can accept, but other things, not necessary. I've got a great imagination, so please don't spell out every gory detail for me.
How do you feel?

Happy Yaoi Hunting!

Blak Rayne

Coming Soon!

Older The Better

’The hardest part of loving someone is knowing when to set them free.’

Indiscriminate sex with strangers is the only pleasure Charles has left in life. No matter how much he wants a relationship, the memories of a painful break-up during his youth won’t allow him to commit—until a friend persuades him to confront the past—to confront the man who dumped him.

Taking his friend’s advice, Charles returns home, in the hopes of rekindling the romance with the man he lost. But, his father’s religious views and the backwater community he grew up in aren’t so understanding when it comes to same-sex relationships and, to his disillusionment, neither is the man he’s returned for.

Author Bio

Blak Rayne

Being a writer and knowing my personality, a long-time friend, who has always enjoyed putting me to the test, dared me to write an erotic novel and not just any erotic novel, but one with a unique twist. I’d never written erotica before and especially a story about two men. But like a fool, I agreed.
Everyone, from friends to strangers read the story and they liked it. In the end, at their instigating, I wrote a second part to the story and now Devotion is complete. On the flip-side, I enjoyed writing the story so much I’ve decided to write more novels in the same genre.
That’s how this book came to be and as for me…I reside North of Sixty, and yes, I am a woman, wife and mother. I’ve been writing and drawing since elementary school and I love anything that involves the arts. As for family, my daughter is my toughest critic and my greatest support!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Wednesday Brief. In The Arms of an Angel - Help

The prompt this week was to use a trope I haven’t used before. Well, no stranger to cheating I have again bent the prompt a little and used a trope I very rarely use but one I love. I have to admit that the thing I love most is the name. I mean oxymoron! Yeah baby.

Pasha was furious with himself that he’d allowed this to happen. He should have thought of it before he stepped over the threshold. Had Gabri’el thought about it? Was he aware of what he’d done? More and more Pasha was becoming convinced they’d walked into a trap after all. Together, he and Uzzy were unstoppable but now…. He stood at the side of the bed and looked down.

If he allowed himself to be honest, Uzzy looked dead. His skin was cold and had a blue-ish tinge, especially around the mouth. Nothing Pasha could do warmed him. Even the hot pillows Gabri’el had brought made no difference and turned cold quickly. He’d tried lying next to him under the covers and warming him with his own body but that had only made Pasha cold and not warmed Uzzy at all. It almost seemed as if he was sucking warmth out of his surroundings and Pasha wouldn’t have been surprised to see ice forming on him.

Trailing his finger over Uzzy’s cheek, Pasha shuddered. He was cold as marble. A hideously beautiful statue.


Striding across the room, Pasha threw himself into the computer chair and booted up. There was no way he could sit for any length of time just watching Uzzy and the clock or he would go insane. Whether or not he found anything useful on the computer, at least it would keep his mind occupied for a time.

When prompted for a password Pasha frowned. Gabri’el had said he wouldn’t have any trouble guessing it, but that was all well and good when you weren’t sitting in front of the screen with a mind blank of everything but fear. All he could thing about was Uzzy.

On an impulse, Pasha typed in ‘Uzziel’ and the password was accepted. Of course. Just great.
Once into the computer, Pasha had no idea where to go next. He typed a few random key words and phrases but nothing came up.


Pasha spun at the sound of his name, but there was no one there.

“Who’s there?” He was met with nothing but silence. Shivering, he turned back to the computer and carried on randomly searching.


This time the voice was so close and so loud he leaped from his chair and spun, ready to fight. But still there was no one. The room seemed to have gone very cold and he rubbed his arms. Suddenly, he was frightened. Was the man who had taken Uzzy coming for him now? Why? Had he finished with Uzzy? Was he…?

Pasha ran to the bed and bent over Uzzy. As much as he hated to touch his cold skin, Pasha pressed his ear to Uzzy’s chest and almost fainted when he heard the faint but steady thump of his heart. He stood and laid his hand on Uzzy’s chest.

“I’m going insane,” he said softly. “This is driving me mad.”


Suddenly, with shocking awareness, Pasha realised the voice was coming, not from the room behind him, but inside his head.

“Uzzy? Is that you?”


Pasha looked down at his mate. Uzzy’s eyes were closed, the lids still and blue. There were no signs of life and when Pasha tried to find their connection there was nothing.


“Alright,” he snapped. “I’m listening. What am I supposed to do?”

Looking around a room that suddenly seemed sinister, Pasha shivered. “Uzzy, we’re in trouble here. We’re prisoners in Gabri’el’s house and I don’t think he’s our mate, and I don’t think he’s innocent in this. We did walk into a trap. That’s right isn’t it?”


This time the voice was definitely not inside his head and he spun with a snarl. “What do you know?”

Gabri’el looked dreadful. He was almost as pale as Uzzy and his hair was dishevelled as if he’d been running his hands through it repeatedly.

“I didn’t want to be involved, Pasha, I swear. If I’d known they were going to hurt him I’d never have—.”

Pasha flew across the room, grabbed Gabri’el by the front of his shirt and slammed him against the wall. 

“What do you know?”

“Nothing. Not much. I… When I…. When I came back they were waiting for me. I don’t know who they are. Not the Council. I don’t even know if they’re angels.”


“Hell no.”

“Then what?”

“I don’t know. I’ve been trying to find out but I can’t…. I….”

“And you led us into a trap?”

“No. Yes. I didn’t know it was a trap. They’ve crushed the Council and have all the civil unrest under control. They seemed…genuine. They said…they said they know about you – you and him – that you’re special and they wanted to talk to you. I agreed to get you here, but I swear I thought it was only to talk.”

“Then why all that bullshit about handing Eden over to Uzzy.”

“It’s what they told me to say. I didn’t know they were going to do this. I swear I didn’t know.”

“Who was that man?”

“One of them.”

“And all that bullshit about being our own gods and about Uzzy…coming into his destiny…?”

“I don’t know. I’d never heard any of it before. I swear Pasha, I thought they were going to talk to you. Just talk to you.”

“And where are they now?”

“I don’t know. I’ve been to Council Chamber but there’s no one there. I tried every method they gave me to contact me but they’re all offline.”

“I bet. They’ve got what they want.”


“Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?”

“Someone calling my name.”


Turning his back on Gabri’el, Pasha walked back to the bed and took Uzzy’s hand. “Baby, please. Show me how to get to you. Give me some kind of opening. Something.”


“Is that you? Is it? What do you want? What do you want me to do?”

Uzzy’s eyes opened and Pasha recoiled. They were completely white. “Help.”

Now mosey on over to the other flashers for more treats

Friday, 19 April 2013

Interview With Madeline Dyer

Today, I have the great privilege of interviewing Madeline Dyer, author of fiction and non fiction works, and a really cool person. We met on Twitter and quickly became one of my favourite tweeps :)

So, let's find out a little more about the person before we get on to the writing.

About Madeline Dyer, fantasy and prehistoric fiction author.

Ever since I was little I have been a keen reader and have wanted to write my own book, that I can display proudly on a shelf in my kitchen. Wherever I am, I always seem to find inspiration, whether it be for a setting, plot or character. Now I try to always carry a notepad to jot down those ideas that come flying at me when I least expect it, (although the ‘notes’ application on my iPod is also very useful!).

The main genres I like to write are of the fantasy category, young adult fiction and prehistoric fiction. As a teenager I was very impressed with Auel’s ‘Earth’s Children’ series and even started planning my own prehistoric series – books which I still haven’t finished.

I am the co-owner of a miniature Shetland pony stud, and the ponies are absolutely adorable. Each has their own personality, making them so individual – something that is important for characters in fiction too! 

I am an expert author – here I write articles on a variety of topics from Pets to Article Marketing. Check out my articles!

Also don’t forget to have a look at My Blog I try very hard to update it regularly with all the latest writing news, new releases and recommended reads.

When I’m not writing or reading I like to do a spot of photography, drawing and anything to do with arts and crafts. Or of course watching Eastenders on iPlayer.

I get my inspiration for such writing from a variety of sources and places. The initial idea for a story may be sparked by going to an atmospheric place, reading folklore and mythology, listening to songs (with good and meaningful lyrics), seeing a very good t.v program or reading other novels in similar genres that I’m interested in. Alternatively, I’ll just see something in real life and think about what could have caused that to happen, expand on it, build a story behind and there it is – a story waiting to be written.

When I have an idea for a story I’m really excited about I’ll try to ‘hold off’ writing it for as long as possible, so I can develop it in my mind and add new twists to the plot. And when it eventually comes to the actual writing stage I’ll write out a brief outline, add more detail, do research into the background of the story (where’s it is going to be set e.t.c) and then write the scenes that are the most exciting, usually the climax of the plot. And then it’s just the rest of the book to write that’s left. Easy!

On a recent ‘count-up’ I found I had over fifty different story lines written in great detail (both on paper and the computer) but I doubt that all of these will be novels I finish, and even less will be the ones that get published. This is mainly because I lose interest in some of them, or think “I’ll do that one another time.”

Recently I’ve been thinking about maybe writing some non-fiction on animals and animal-narrative-fiction.

I write because “it’s fun creating magical new worlds you can escape into where anything you want to can happen.”

Interview with Madeline

Who's your favourite character from your own writing

My favourite character from my own writing would probably have to be Jadeiani Tayali (aka Jade); she's the narrator of my Spirit Of Fire series, and is one of those characters who's just always 'there' for me. Like, when I encounter strange situations, somehow, I just know what she'd do.

For the character of Jade, I did LOADS of characterisation notes and interviews. She's probably the character that I know most well out of all my books—she's just so full of life and in your face (but not in a bad way!). Also, Spirit Of Fire was the first fantasy novel that I actually managed to finish, so that book's special to me, and so, naturally, Jade is too.

Who's your favourite character from someone else's work

Now, this is a tricky one! I absolutely fell in love with the character of Rose Hathaway in Richelle Mead's 'Vampire Academy', so I'd probably have to say her.

Which of your characters would you most like to have round for dinner and what would the topics of conversation be

With this question, the answer came into my head as soon as I read it: Zaklos Ebern. He's one of the main character from my Forbidden trilogy, and I had so much fun writing him. He's so internally conflicted and full of hatred, yet he has an element of 'properness' to him that would make him the perfect dinner guest. Conversations with Zaklos would likely rotate around politics, imprisonment and his sister.

Which of your characters would most like to have after dinner and why

Okay... I think I'll have to say Jade's twin brother, Jakar Tayali (commonly known as 'Jack'), also from the Spirit Of Fire series. Like Jade, he (and their younger sister Lilivati) were disowned by their parents, and he's been through a tough time; because of this, he has an interesting take on life. He's protective towards his sisters, loyal towards his friends, has no qualms about standing up for what he believes in, but he also knows how to have a good time. Many a time, I have had to 'rescue' him when he's been out doing his crazy stuff... He's not the type to sit down for a formal meal, which is why he'd have to come after dinner, and, most likely, take me out!

if you could look twenty years into the future what would you like to see your characters doing

Okay, so for the Spirit Of Fire series, I'd love to see Jade having been accepted for who she is, and for there to be equality in the world between the two warring species, and their human pawns, (I'm trying not to give away the massive spoiler at the end of the first book here!). As I'm still writing the later books in this series, I can't really say more than that (or which guy Jade will end up with) as I don't want to give too much away for any potential readers!

What's your favourite image or photograph

I have this brilliant photo of my pony, Victor, holding a stick—when he was a foal, he used to engage in a lot of dog-like behaviour, and would actually fetch it for you! So, it would be this photo, that's probably my favourite.

What's your favourite holiday destination. It has to be somewhere you've already been and an anecdote about what you did when you were there would be cool

I love Valldemossa in Mallorca. It's a little village on the island, that's situated kind of between the mountains and the sea. I've so far been there once, and would love to go again.

Hmmm... as for an anecdote.... There are wild goats that roam the mountains and a small herd (with a few kids too) came right up to the hotel's grounds and appeared to be 'joining in' with the table tennis tournament that was taking place!

What's your dream holiday destination, somewhere you haven't been. Which character from your own or anyone else's work would you like to take with you

I'd love to go to Iceland as I've heard that it's sooooo beautiful! And I'd love for Mr Darcy to go with me! ;)

Have you ever laughed out loud or cried in public either when writing your own work or reading someone else's

Well, I don't tend to write in public places, but I've certainly laughed out loud and cried when I was writing in my house. As for reading others' work in public; I remember laughing out loud when I was with a group of friends at lunch one time. I had to read them a small extract of what I'd been reading, and we couldn't stop laughing. I can't remember what the book was though...

Choose a character and tell us, using their voice, why we would want to read about them

This is one of my favourite questions that I have been asked! Okay, this is Jack from the Spirit Of Fire series.

Ya better read about me for these three reasons. If you don't, it's your loss. Not mine.

One. My twin has gone mad. She thinks she's an alien. And she thinks she's in love with this bloke who's just... It's would be too rude to put it here.... He's obviously just using her, but she's too stupid to see through him. And my other sister? She's fifteen and pregnant by a guy who's nine years older.

Two. I've got meself in a bit of trouble, and who doesn't like one of them action chases that you see in them films that are always on? Oh, and the blood too. Always room for a bit of blood and gore.

And three. I'm just so cool. I'm way cooler than anyone else you'll read. If ya don't read about me, ya won't know what you're missing. And, man, are you missing loads. Loads, I tell you. I know just how to have a crazy night and still be functioning the next morning. Ask Jade. She'll tell ya.

Are you ticklish

Nope, I'm not!

Are you allergic to anything

Yes, potato starch. Weird, I know!

Do you have a recurring dream

I have a lot of dreams with reoccurring themes and motifs, but not one particular dream. Often, I'm being chased by animals or people into dark woods... and when I was little I did keep having dreams that would end with the ground folding up into a football, with me in side. Giants would then precede to play a match with this football. And, then, thankfully, I'd wake up.

Do you have any phobias

I can't think of any of the top of my head, (I'm not scared of the usual ones, like spiders or heights), but every single person has some sort of phobia on some sort of level...

What would be the most frightening situation you could imagine yourself being in

I suppose the most frightening situation would be if someone had hurt all my family, or maybe I had to watch someone hurt them? I also wouldn't like to be chased into a dark alleyway either.

Have you, or would you consider, writing about it.

There are elements of both of the above in Forbidden Embrace (Book 2 of the Forbidden trilogy), as Rose is forced to watch those she loves be hurt, and she does get chased at a number of points too.
What do you like to read

I like to read anything that's fantasy or science fiction, particularly if it's aimed at the YA readership, though I do love Richelle Mead's adult novels too. I also like historical romances, mainstream and Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children series.

Could you tell us a little bit more about your work, current and future and add any sales links, information etc. You can include an excerpt in you'd like

I'm primarily a fantasy and science fiction writer, though I do delve into other genres and I also write the Mad On Animals non-fiction series. I started off as a short story writer, and still love to write shorts and flash fiction. All my published fiction has been published traditionally, and I self-publish my non-fiction through Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing.

Okay, so my current projects; I'm working on Blood Of The Phoenix (Spirit Of Fire #2) and Spirit Of Fire #3 (I haven't yet finalised the title). In terms of word counts, I'm around 40,000 words into Blood Of The Phoenix, and I expect it to be around 130,000 when finished. I'm also working on a new project, The Werewolf's Daughter, which will be the first in a new series, and am currently 35,000 words into the first draft.

Once these are finished, I'll be drafting out an outline for the third Forbidden novel and writing that, then going back over the latest drafts of Blood Of The Phoenix, The Werewolf's Daughter. And then I'll start 'proper work' on the third Spirit Of Fire book.

Along side all this, I'll be finalising the publication of the fifth Mad On Animals novel, writing a few more short stories, and hopefully working on a new sci-fi novel that I've been planning for ages. In terms of an excerpt, I'm going to give you a very short one. This is the opening sentence of my new sci-fi novel:

I'd always known he'd come for me; I just hadn't expected it to be on my wedding day.

You can find Madeline on her website Here

At her Amazon Author page Here

At her Blog Here

Check out her articles Here

Read some free short stories HereHere and Here

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Wednesday Brief - In The Arms of an Angel - What Have They Done To Him

Here we are at another Wednesday and, after two weeks of shaking up and shaking down things are okay again and I'm enjoying writing. That's my biggest issue with my life at the moment. Between working, editing, looking after my son and new hamster, there isn't nearly enough time to write. So, how glad am I of the Wednesday Brief to make me put words on paper, so to speak. This week the prompt I chose was to use a peacock in my writing. I did consider having a peacock nipping at their toes or being sold on a market stall but then I found this

“Uzzy!” Pasha threw himself to the ground next to his stricken mate. Uzzy was completely unresponsive. He was breathing but only just and, when Pasha pressed his ear to his chest his heart was beating very slowly.

“Don’t just stand there,” Pasha cried to Gabri’el. “Help me. Help him.”

Gabri’el looked shocked. He stood, frozen, staring at Uzzy.

“Gabri’el, snap out of it. We have to help Uzzy. I’m scared. He might be dying.”

“He’s not dying,” Gabri’el said flatly.

“How do you know?”

“He’s not dying.” Gabri’el seemed to shake himself mentally and his eyes came to life. “Can you carry him?”

“Yes, of course. To the ends of the earth if I have to.”

“That won’t be necessary.”

Carefully, Pasha lifted Uzzy in his arms, terrified of his stillness. What had happened to him? Who was that man? Where had he taken him? What was he doing to him?”

Pasha was about to walk toward the doors when Gabriel said, “Not there. Bring him.”

Pasha followed Gabri’el down the steps, cradling Uzzy carefully, periodically looking into his beautiful face and praying he’d see some sign of life. He reached out constantly with his senses through the bond but there was nothing. It was as if it had never been.

Gabri’el led him across an empty square and along a short street to a rather grand house. “Hang on a minute.” Gabri’el slid aside a panel beside the door and pressed his hand against it. The door swung silently open. “This way.”

The house was large and cool, with high ceilings and spacious rooms. They climbed a rather ornate staircase to a grand bedroom. Pasha’s attention was drawn to an amazing tapestry of a peacock which hung over the bed. Without prompting, Pasha laid Uzzy on the bed. “He’s freezing cold.”

“Take off his clothes and get him into bed,” Gabriel said. “I’ll get some heated pads.”

Lovingly, Pasha stripped Uzzy and rubbed his body, trying to warm it. He might as well have banged his head against the wall.

“What’s the matter with him?” he asked when Gabri’el returned. “He’s so cold.”

Gabri’el shook his head and heaped velvet covered pillows around Uzzy. When Pasha touched one it was hot.

“I don’t know,” Gabri’el said. He sounded thoroughly miserable.

“Who the hell was that man?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t seen him before.”

Pasha tucked the covers around Uzzy then lay down beside him, gently stroking his face and hair. “Do you have any idea what he was talking about?”

Again, Gabri’el shook his head.

“What did he mean about us? About you being part of our bond?”

“I don’t know,” Gabriel said miserably. Suddenly he spun and punched the wall, so hard he made a hole. 

“Fucking hell! I feel so fucking helpless and I can’t do a damn thing about it. I can’t help him.”

“Calm down. We’ll figure something out.”

“How? Neither of us have a clue who that man is or what he’s done to Uzzy. Where do we look for him? Where do we start?” Gabri’el’s voice was rising and he was clearly very angry.

“There’s no point getting mad, Gabri’el. We have to think this through. There must be somewhere you can search for that man. A library? A data base? You must have the internet, or something like it. What about the Council?”

“The Council’s gone,” Gabri’el snapped.

“Alright, what about those who took over?”


“I can’t help but think,” Pasha said thoughtfully, “that this is a ruse, a clever way of separating us. Together we’re a force to be reckoned with. Without Uzzy, I’m nothing.”

“You have me,” Gabri’el said, his tone quite different.

“Let’s get one thing clear. No matter what that man said I can’t and won’t accept you as my mate, at least not until Uzzy is here. I don’t feel anything for you?”

Gabri’el stared at him, then stared at Uzzy. “I won’t lie. I don’t feel anything for you either. There was something… a connection when we touched but it’s gone and frankly I don’t want to rekindle it. Uzzy….” Gabri’el shook his head. “It’s no secret how I feel about him, but he’s yours and I’ve accepted it, I’ve had to.”

Gabriel drifted to the side of the bed and gazed down at Uzzy. With that tender expression on his face he was even more beautiful. The archangel was flawless and in other circumstances he would have taken Pasha’s breath away.

Gabri’el’s lips trembled and he reached out to brush his fingers across Uzzy’s lips. “I can’t do this,” he said and abruptly turned away. “Take care of him.”

“Wait. Where are you going?”

“To look for answers.”

“What about me? What about him?”

“You’re safe here.”

“I can’t just sit here. I have to do something.”

“I have a private library, and I have access to the data base. I don’t think you’ll have too much trouble working out the password.”

“But—.” It was too late. Gabri’el had gone, leaving Pasha alone.  Pasha continued to stroke Uzzy’s face, which got no warmer. Neither did any other part of him, despite the warm pillows.

“I… can’t just sit here, my love. I have to do something. I have to try. I’ll be right here, in the room. I’m not going anywhere. If you need me just…reach out.” Bending down, he kissed Uzzy on the lips. It made him shudder.

Pacing the room, Pasha located a computer console but was too restless to sit down and use it. Pausing in front of a window he gazed out into a street that was busier than any he’d yet seen. The window looked down onto a commercial area, with stalls and hawkers. People wandered around, examining the wares.
Maybe he’d go take a look sometime.

Suddenly it hit him. He could leave the house, but he needed Gabri’el’s handprint to get back in. There was no way he could leave Uzzy alone. He was effectively a prisoner.

So, we leave our boys in some trouble. Is Pasha right? Is the whole thing just an elabourate plot to separate Pasha and Uzzy to effectively render Pasha helpless? If so, is Gabriel involved? For once, I know the answers.

Why not go check out the other fabulous flashers in this week's flash fest.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Black Sheep Three - Fighting for a Future

Today I’m having a great treat. I have Vic, Jack, Adam and Tom from the Black Sheep series with me. If only you could see them!!

Hi guys, thanks for agreeing to talk to me. It would have been better if you'd sat down and talked to each other a bit more but hey...

So... how did you guys meet

Vic: Thanks for having me here again and that I could bring the other guys. Let's see... I've known Adam my whole life. I don't think there is a time I didn't know him.

Adam: Tsss, you just can't remember not knowing me. I didn't meet you until you were two. *he winks to Vic*

*Vic grins*

Jack: *shakes his head at the boys and then looks at Nephy* I met Vic just a couple of months ago when he moved to my school.

Tom: Same goes for Adam and me, we met when he went to university, a few years ago though.

Forgive me for saying Tom. but you're not what I’d have thought of as Adam's 'type'. You seem to be the 'normal' one in the group, and the most stable. How do you cope with your own little spitfire and his...erm... colourful friends.

Tom *laughs out loud and the rest glare at him* They are colourful, in a way. *he thinks for a moment* I guess I'm just too calm to get upset by them.

Adam: *whacks Tom on his arm* No you don't.

Tom: Okay, okay. I just don't dress like the rest. They stand out enough, they can do my part too.
*Tom pulls Adam sideways into his lap and wraps his arms around him as he leans his head on his shoulder* I met Adam at university, he was so shy but still dressed all in black. I liked the way he looked, I never dared to do something like that. It wasn't until Vic came over for a weekend that I dared to confess to Adam. I think it's because I met Adam first that I wasn't surprised by the rest.

What about you, Jack? You took the step to change the way you look to get Vic's attention. And Vic, do you think you would have noticed Jack in the same way if he hadn't done that

Jack: I'd been wanting to change for a while, but never had the guts. I'd seen some goth guys in magazines Marie would bring with her. After a certain interesting night I knew I had to change if I was ever going to get Vic's attention.

Vic: *laughs* Halloween.

Jack: *winks and reaches out to Vic* Halloween. Marie, me and the girls were drunk. We played a game of truth or dare and Marie asked Vic what he found the sexiest piece of clothing.

Vic: Fishnet shirts, I remember.

Adam: You're serious? You actually said that? You're hopeless.

Vic: *nods* I could always try, couldn't I?

Tom: Pervs, both of you.

Vic: *winks* I never said I wasn't. But for if I would have noticed him if he hadn't? I had noticed him way before that. I just didn't dare to act upon it.

Jack: *pouts* So all was for nothing?

Vic: *leans over and quickly kisses Jack* Of course it wasn't, black looks a lot better on you.

I have to say I agree. Not that it's the only reason but the fact you guys dress the way you do was certainly one of the things that first pulled me into the story, and I hadn't even met you then, Adam. You're certainly the colourful one in the group.

We hear a lot, in Black Sheep, about your problems, but there must have been good times too. What are your favourite memories of fun times you've spent together?

Try to keep it clean please.

Adam: Pfff, keeping it clean. You're mean. Hmmm...

Jack: I know something. The way you looked at me when we met. You didn't expect me.

Adam: You looked a bit like when I was younger, though less skinny. It wasn't as much surprise as that I was just captivated.

Vic: *pokes Adam* Eyes off my guy. The best moment? I'm going to have to agree with Jack though. That was interesting.

Tom: Am I going to be the party pooper when I say that actually the four of us watching tv was the best thing? I liked how comfortable that felt. It had always felt slightly weird with Vic on his own.

Adam: *elbows Tom* Don't say it like that. What he means is that he found it uncomfortable to be all cuddly with me when Vic was on his own. Right?

*Tom nods quickly*

Nice save. Although that wasn't exactly what I was hoping for. Have you guys never had fun? I mean rocking with laughter and falling on the floor, fun?

*the boys look at each other*

*Vic grins and opens his mouth*

Adam: NO!

Tom: *cover's Adam's mouth and holds him close* Oh yes.

Vic: Right before we went off for Tom's birthday...

Tom: While everybody was getting ready...

Jack: *tries not to smile too broadly as Adam is struggling to get away from Tom* You guys are mean.

Vic: Adam had a great idea... He decided that because we were supposed to go out dancing afterward, he should wear something sexy.

Tom: Adam always has great ideas at the last moment.

Adam: *fights free* Don't you dare. That wasn't even funny.

Vic: It was very funny. It just shows how much of a-

Adam: *cover's Vic's mouth* Don't you dare. I was just too excited, I hadn't realised that... *Adam sits down on his chair* I'm not telling and neither are you. *he glares at the other guys*

Jack: *trying, and failing to keep shut* The skirt he wore wouldn't really cover everything when sitting at the restaurant, and he hadn't realised why we were giggling until he was trying on his shoes and had to bent down.

*Vic and Tom laugh out loud*

Adam: Jack! I thought I could trust at least you!

You guys are so cute together. If I was your fairy godmother and could give you each one wish, what would it be?

Tom: Enough money so I didn't have to work and could just spend my days at a pool in some warm country.

Vic: But you love being a doctor.

Tom: But I like spending lazy time with Adam better.

Vic: *nods* True. Hmmm, my wish. Getting away from that annoying town soon and being able to live together with Jack.

Jack: Awwwh, that’s sweet, thank you. I would like for my parents to accept me so that Vic and I can actually spend more time together.

*Everybody looks at Adam*

Adam: Ehhhh... I guess being able to spend more time with you all.

All: What?

Adam: I'm just a simple soul, I'd like to be surrounded by family and friends more.

My wish for all of you is that you find peace...with each other, the world and most of all yourselves. you're beautiful boys and I'm so happy to have had the chance to meet you. Do you have anything to say to potential readers of your story that might make them want to get to know you better?

Vic: Adam is a real perv.

Adam: Vic, I don't think she means like that.

Vic: Oh. Ehhh... Jack is really cute?

Jack: That is almost the same thing. Doesn't count.

Vic: Yes it does. There are some really cute things about you in the book.

Jack: Hush!

Tom: You should read the book because these guys are very lovely even if they are notoriously flawed.

Jack, Adam & Vic together: We're not!

Tom: Yes you are, and that is the good part about you all.

We're all flawed, and that's what makes you’re so interesting to read about. Who wants to read about perfect people?

I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to you and the things you've gone through, and I also think every single one of them will fall madly in love with you. So, you'd all better get ready to fight off the crazed hoards of fanboys and fangirls

It's been absolutely lovely to have you visit my blog. You've really brightened the place up. I wish you all the very best of luck with the sale of Black Sheep and I hope that when the royalties make you rich you’ll make a space for me on the luxury yacht


Kia Zi Shiru is a Dutch girl studying English and Creative Writing in the UK.
Amongst her interests she finds writing, reading, doing research and learning
different languages (including but not limited to: English, Dutch, French, German,
HTML, Java, PHP and Assembly). Her writing and reading habits include books
with Young Adults, gay themes, strong female or minority characters and fantasy
elements (more often than not all at the same time).

You can find me:

And if you want to keep up to date you can sign up for my newsletter here:


Jack is dead, Adam is back in the hospital in the worst condition he's ever been and
Vic believes it's all his fault. That he's the reason everyone's hurting and that there's only one
way to end it - to end his own life.

Then the doctor bears bad news, Vic’s own condition has worsened and his days are

This is the wake-up call Vic needs. Maybe he can, for once, make people happy
before he hurts them in the worst way possible. He hides his condition from everyone, not
wanting anyone to worry while he's trying to make them happy.

But time is running out. Will Vic see his wish fulfilled before the end comes?



“Did you tell her?” I look up as Dr West walks into the garden.

He shakes his head and sits next to me. “She left for France this morning.”

I nod. “To our grandparents on Dad’s side.”

“Yeah. Your mum said she didn’t know when Anne would be back. By the way, you didn’t show up at our session.”

I look at the drawing in front of me, a drawing of Jack and myself. “I was thinking about a few things and lost track of time. I’m sorry.”

“What were you thinking about?”

“I’m never going to fully recover, am I?”

“Even if they find the right medication for you, possibly not fully, no.”

“And there is a large chance that I’m going to get worse, right?”


We are quiet for a few minutes. I’m trying to find the right words to say and not make this sound like I’m giving up on myself.

“I want to…” I pause, rephrasing. “I don’t want to leave everybody behind in the mess it is right now. I don’t want to pull everybody down with the possibility that I might never recover. I want everybody to be happy again.” I stop talking, tears streaming down my face. I take a shaky breath. “I couldn’t make Jack happy, I can at least try to make everybody else happy.”

“Including yourself?”

“I’d be happy knowing that if something goes wrong with me everybody else has a possibility to get over the grief.”

“Can you get over the grief of losing Jack?”

“I don’t know.”

“Then why do you expect them to be able to get over losing you?”

“Because… I don’t know, I just do.”

“I’ll help you, under two conditions.”

I look up, staring at Dr West for a few seconds before I nod.

“One, you won’t skip any more sessions as long as you have to attend them and no more slacking off from doing any school work.”

I nod. Sounds reasonable.

“Two, you promise you won’t aggravate your illness. You keep to the doctor’s advice and make sure you stay as healthy as possible. So no drugs, no tiring yourself out too much and you need to eat healthily.”

I don’t miss a beat. “I promise. Anything that makes them happy and lets me be with them as long as possible.”

“It’s not going to be easy. I won’t let you slack off. You do realise that, right?”

I nod. I realise it all too well. Dr West is nice but really strict if he wants to be.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Black Sheep Three - Fighting for a Future

Today, we have something a bit out of the ordinary. To celebrate the release of Black Sheep Three - Fighting for a Future, the Author, Kia Zi Shiru, instead of the usual - being interviewed by me - has turned things on their head and interviewed me, a great fan of her books, about the Black Sheep series

What attracted you to Black Sheep, why did you start reading it?

Well, first of course there's the fact there are hot goths in it. I read anything that has goths in it because I have a 'things' for them. Of course I only then stay with the story if it's good and once I started reading I was hooked. It was then the realism of the writing and the gripping story that had me interested and kept me interested.
Do you remember at which point the story was when you started?

I'm not sure. It was when you'd started posting on GA. I think there were only a few chapters posted when I first found it. It was serendipitous really

This is something I know and so do you but I think most people don't know, you've beta-read some of the earlier rewrites of the first book, what was the worst error I kept making

Gosh, I can't remember yesterday let alone years ago :) I'd say, looking back, it was sentence structure. Your grammar was always good as was your dialogue, which I particularly like, but you had some strange sentence structures, I suppose from English not being your first language. 

We all know that you love Vic the best of all the characters, who do you like the least?

I can't really say I dislike any of the characters. I enjoyed reading Anne's bits least but purely because they weren't Vic or Jack and I really like being inside their heads, even though it can sometimes be disturbing

What did you think was the best moment between Vic and Jack in any of the books?

Actually, I think it was the moment at the bonfire right at the very beginning. I don't think they ever had a moment that was quite so intense and so pure again.

What surprised you the most?

How can I answer that without giving away an enormous plot item? I shall only say the bit at the end of book 2. Also the revelations by Adam of the meaning of Vic's drawings of the boy under the tree.

What moment did you hate me the most?

When I read what happened at the end of Book 2 :) Also when I found out what Adam was doing. As if that poor boy didn't have enough to cope with :)

What relationship in the story do you think was the most interesting (secondary and other small character couples included)?

In one way it's Tom and Adam. Tom is the solid one, the one who's always there in the background taking care of things. In a way he's to Adam what Anne is to Vic the stabilizing influence, as far as either of them are ever stable.

However, the relationship that really fascinates me the most is Vic and Dave. Being a family lawyer the dynamics of abusive relationships have always fascinated me, to the extent that I wrote my own story 'Love In Chains' to explore it and see if I could better understand it. I do that in my writing a lot - live out certain situations and issues through characters to see if I can deconstruct and understand them. Therefore, I was extremely interested in the relationship Vic had with Dave and, more than anything, the way he kept going back even though it was that relationship that completely destroyed him.

One of the questions I keep getting asked but I have no clue: What actors do you think should play the main cast of Black Sheep if they ever made it into a movie?

Well Anne has to be Anne Hathway, not just because of the name but because I picture Anne Hathway when I'm reading Anne.

Steve would be Ewan McGregor without a doubt because I picture him as very Ewanish

Adam I think maybe Tom Felton, I've seen pics of him with dark hair and he looks lush

Tom, someone solid like Jeremy Sumpter

Jack would either be a young Jake Gyllenhall or (don't kill me) Zac Effron NOT like he was in his stupid teen films but he can actually act and look good. Also I'd love to see him gothed up

Who the hell would we have for Vic? Hmm. Maybe Jackson Rathbone. He's the only one who springs to mind who has that cuteness but a real edge and he has the most expressive eyes which I think Vic would have

Who of your own stories reminds you the most of one of the Black Sheep characters?

Well, elements of the story remind me of 'Love In Chains' ie the exploration of a destructive and abusive relationship. However, as for characters, hmm  I think Adam reminds me a little of Daniel in 'Dangerous Liaisons', and Jack is quite Riverish (River in 'Enigma') if that he gets drawn into a dark world and remains stable and supportive of his man, although I don't see much comparison between Vic and Silver.

Many thanks to Kia for the novel experience of being interviewed on my own blog.

So, on to the book

Black Sheep: Fighting for a Future

Jack is dead, Adam is back in the hospital in the worst condition he's ever been and
Vic believes it's all his fault. That he's the reason everyone's hurting and that there's only one
way to end it - to end his own life.

Then the doctor bears bad news, Vic’s own condition has worsened and his days are

This is the wake-up call Vic needs. Maybe he can, for once, make people happy
before he hurts them in the worst way possible. He hides his condition from everyone, not
wanting anyone to worry while he's trying to make them happy.

But time is running out. Will Vic see his wish fulfilled before the end comes?



I sit, looking around the room, waiting for Tom to be done with his placement so he’ll come over. It’s boring being on my own in the hospital. Normally I have my laptop or at least some books with me, but next to my bed there is only a bag with clean clothing, no books or anything to entertain me.
A soft knock diverts my attention to the door. Tom is standing there with a broad smile on his face and my laptop bag in his hand. He can be such an angel.
“They told me you’d probably be awake by the time I returned from my placement so I thought I should bring you something. How are you feeling?” The words keep coming as he walks around the room, putting my laptop on the table and leaning against my bed. His mouth smiles but his eyes are sad.
“How long have I been out?” I feel the stubble on my chin. “More than a night, I would say.”
“A few days. They did a couple of tests on you but they were scared your body wouldn’t be able to handle another attack in such a short time.”
“They drugged me.” It’s not a question, it’s a statement. “You allowed them to drug me because it was easier on you? Because they asked for it?” My anger flares and Tom cowers. That is wrong, Tom doesn’t cower for anyone like that, especially not for me. What has happened while I was out? Was the attack that bad?
Tom sits down next to the bed on a chair, just out of my reach, and sighs. “You almost didn’t make it. I was not going to take the chance that you’d die.” He shakes his head, the next words barely audible. “Not you. I wasn’t gonna lose you.”
“What do you mean?” I reach out, the pain on Tom’s face reflected in my own heart. I don’t know what happened in the past days but it must have been bad, really bad.
Tom looks at my hand and then at my face. He stands and pulls me in a close hug.
“I don’t know how to tell you this,” Tom whispers, his voice thick with tears.
            “Tell me what?” I’m scared, scared about what is going on, what has happened.

Don't forget that Black Sheep 3 - Fighting for a Future is preceded by Books 1 and 2 of the Black Sheep series.


Kia Zi Shiru is a Dutch girl studying English and Creative Writing in the UK. Amongst her interests she finds writing, reading, doing research and learning different languages (including but not limited to: English, Dutch, French, German, HTML, Java, PHP and Assembly). Her writing and reading habits include books with Young Adults, gay themes, strong female or minority characters and fantasy elements (more often then not all at the same time).


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Sunday, 7 April 2013

Renee Stevens - Joined By Blood

Renee Stevens is a writer at Gay Authors I have a lot of respect for. We worked together briefly on a doomed Round Robin and I had the great privilege of helping her out a little on her story Joined By Blood. It's a very unusual vampire story following Damian who, captured by one vampire clan, with the assistance of his sister who they claimed, and rescued by another whose leader tells him he's his mate, has to negotiate a path between rejecting vampires altogether, falling in love with not one but two vampire mates, and coming to terms with the fact that his sister is lost to him forever.

I have always found Damian to be a fascinating character and I have had the great privilege of interviewing him. I therefore, without further delay, introduce you to Damian and leave you in his capable hands

Welcome to my Blog, Damian and thank you for taking time out of your busy life to answer some questions that have been burning in me since I read your story.                    
  • What was the worst moment of your life? The worst moment in my life?  Believe it or not, it wasn’t even the being kidnapped.  I honestly think the worst moment is a toss-up between finding out my entire relationship with my sister was a lie, the realization I couldn’t save her, or witnessing the pain the Vik suffered when he had to kill his own brother.  It would be nearly impossible to pick between the three.
·         How did you feel when you realised that you were bonded to a vampire? To be completely honest, scared out of my mind.  I mean, I also found out at the same time, or close enough anyways, that vampires really existed.  To know that I was tied to one for the rest of my life, which could be a long long time, was terrifying.  A part of me just wanted to run and hide and never come out.
·         How did you feel when you realised you were bonded to two vampires?
Stunned.  Disbelieving.  Confused.  All of the above.  I had accepted by then that vampires existed, but just like when I first found out I was bound to Vik, there was so much more than just finding out I was bound to Dante as well.  Those two don’t do anything in half measures and not only did they bind me to BOTH of them, without me knowing, but they changed me.  It’s a lot to take in, and there are still moments when I think it’s a dream.  A really good dream, but a dream nonetheless.
·         When did you realise you were in love with each?
I always chuckle when I hear this, because I don’t think it was ever a smack me upside the head moment.  My feelings for both my men grew over time, even when I didn’t know what I was feeling.  When I told Vik I loved him I was still so unsure of so many things, and Dante was one of the things I was unsure of.  The one thing I was sure of was that I felt more for Vik than I ever had for anyone else.  He was my safe place, the one person at the time I felt connected to and the one person I felt I could trust.  With Dante, it was a little different.  There was always something there, and I wasn’t the only one who felt it.  Like with Vik though, I knew I was safe with him, I knew I could trust him, and by the time we were all bound together, all those feelings had morphed and become a greater love than I’d ever experienced in my life.    I just can’t really pinpoint the one moment when I said to myself “I love him” with either of the guys.  It kind of feels like it’s just always been there.
·         Do you still regret that you couldn’t save your sister?
Regret is such a strong word.  Do I wish she could have been redeemed, of course I do, but I did everything I could to save her.  In reality, Becca quit being my sister a long time before the end, I’m not really even sure who she was anymore.  The one thing I have asked myself repeatedly since that day is if anything of the sister I had known was still in there.  Was it truly her that turned so evil or was it the thing inside her.  That’s something I’ll never know for sure, but I did what had to be done.  I refuse to live my life full of regret, besides, I doubt Vik or Dante would let me. Also, in a way, we did save her.  Not in the way I would have liked, but she’s free from the ancient soul that was ingrained within her.
·         Everyone knows how special you are; do you?
I’m really nothing special.  I mean, I know that there has to be something about me, otherwise neither Vik nor Dante would want to be with me, so there’s got to be something, but I’m just me. 
·         If you could have changed one thing what would it have been?
This might surprise you, since I’m sure you expect me to say that I wish I could have saved Becca, and while that is true to a point, that isn’t the one thing I would change above all else.  If I could go back and change anything, it would be for me and Vik to realize sooner what Dante was to us.  It would have saved Dante so much pain if we had only realized what the three of us had.
·         What are your hopes for the future?
I could tell you that I just wish to spend the rest of my life with Vik and Dante, and in a way that’s true, but there’s so much more.  I hope that, eventually, our kind no longer have to remain hidden away.  I hope we never again have to fight the ancient soul that wants to destroy us.  In the end, I really just want our clan and ourselves to be happy, whatever route that may take, I’m willing to do what it takes.
·         If you could have one wish what would it be?
One wish is so limiting.  I’m not sure I could narrow down things to one single wish.  Actually, now that I think about it, there is something that I would wish for above all else.  I would wish that our kind could walk into the sunlight.  I haven’t even been a vampire long, but not being able to go into the sun really sucks, I can only imagine how it is for those who have been vampires for far long, like Dante and Vik. 
·         Do you wish that the whole thing had never happened?
No.  If it had never happened then I wouldn’t have everything I have now, and I don’t mean material things.  Where would I be now if it had never happened?  It probably wouldn’t be sleeping between two of the greatest guys I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet every night.  If everything that happened was the price I had to pay to be where I’m at now, then I can only say that while it wasn’t pleasant and I could only hope to never have to face such a situation again, I wouldn’t trade anything.
·         Are you happier now than you were before?
Being happy is really subjective.  I would say that yes I am happier than I ever have been, but that is kind of a hard distinction to make.  Throughout my life there have been countless times that I’ve been overwhelmingly happy, but in a different way, and there were things I know now that cast a bit of a gloom on my happiness.  If you take away the things I have learned that I wish I never had, then I would say that yes, I’m happier than I was before in most aspects.
·         How did you cope through the bad times? What was it that kept you going when you were lost?
I think what helped me cope and kept me going, is that I was never alone.  Through everything in my life, there has always been someone there to support me and guide me when I needed it.  There’s times when things have almost gotten too much, but the same stands true.  I’m not alone in anything that I go through anymore, in fact, quite the opposite.  I not only have one guy to help me through the rough patches, I have two.  And they both know that I’ll do the same for them.   
·         What’s your favourite possession?
I really don’t have a favorite possession.  Vik had told me we could go to my home one night and get more of my stuff, but we haven’t done it yet and I’m not really in any hurry.  Besides, there’s not that much room in the caves for a lot of possessions anyways. 
·         What’s your favourite place to be?
Would it be totally cheesy to say anywhere that Vik and Dante are?  Yeah?  Okay.  Other than that, my favorite place to be would be this little waterfall that’s not too far from the lair.  Now that there’s not a constant threat hanging over my head, I’ve had the opportunity to explore around my new home.  The waterfall is so peaceful, I love to just lay there on the grass next to the bank and stare up at the stars while I listen to the waterfall.  There’s very little in this world that is more peaceful and calming than that.

You can find the story Here