Progress!

Finally, after some soul-searching and going through the grieving process three times over as many years, I have made some headway on various writing projects!

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And it feels so good.

Having lost my elderly mother, my fifteen year-old dog and my beloved mother-in-law in the space of three years, I feel like I am coming out of a transformative and humbling experience, back to a commitment to my future as a productive author.

I have just sent the 21K word manuscript for Power Tool, my first attempt at an enemies-to-lovers short story, off to MLR Press and, once the March Break is over, I’ll be performing a thorough line edit/proofread on the 67K manuscript of White Balance, the long-awaited sequel to Exposure before submitting it as well.

Having a taken a week and a half off from my part time retail job, I also had some time to  begin the rough draft of my paranormal vampire novel, Diamond Dogs, before my kids were off for their spring break. The free shorts I released this past fall, FANGS and Aeternum, provide the set-up for that novel, introducing the characters of Gemini, Justice and Yvonne, establishing their poly relationship, and revealing a subtle and undefined threat to the three central characters from the vampire community in Ottawa.

It feels great to have completed these projects and to be embarking on my first bisexual, poly, paranormal thriller. I grew up reading vampire fiction and knew in my heart at some point I would attempt to write something in that line. I’ve never written a thriller before, so this will be a new challenge for me, something I’m very excited to attempt.

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As excited as I am to work on these projects, I’m also looking forward to some needed family time this week as my husband, kids and I take a train trip to Toronto to visit the Ontario Science Centre, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum, enjoy a show (Sting’s, The Last Ship) and get together with my brother, his partner and their kids.

If you’d like to keep up with my new projects and receive news of my progress, recommendations for books I’ve enjoyed from other authors, and links to free stories and/or contests, please join my email list. I only have time to send a newsletter once every few months these days, so rest assured you will not be spammed with information from me.

Cheers!

Liz

 

Book Review – Sara Dobie Bauer “Escaping Mortality”

 

Sara Dobie Bauer’s vampires are a lot of fun.

In Book One of the Escape Trilogy – Escaping Exile – long suffering vampire, Andrew, finds a shipwrecked sailor washed ashore like a sea-tossed care package sent just for him. He quickly falls for the delectable and unpredictable human, and swears never to do him harm.

In Book Two, Escaping Solitude, Andrew falls more and more in love with the impulsive Edmund, agreeing to find an Elder vampire to change Edmund into an immortal being like himself.

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In Book Three, Escaping Mortality, Edmund struggles with his newfound health and strength, and wonders what the mysterious Elder, Brien, truly wants from him.

Exploring fascinating settings like a tropical, cannibal-infested island, the bustling port city of turn-of-the-century New Orleans, and Victorian London, Sara Dobie Bauer propels her vampires through escapades and adventures while weaving a tale of love, dark magic, sensuality and violence.

I enjoyed the fast-paced conclusion to the expertly written trilogy. Sara places the reader right in the action and keeps them interested with diverse characters and compelling personalities. I loved the dynamic between Andrew and Edmund, but also the way they interacted with their chosen family – Michelle, Felipe, Flynn and Elder vampire, Brien. The historic details seemed accurate and Dobie Bauer is able to paint a picture with words so that the reader has an immediate sense of place no matter where they end up.

If you like vampires, historic settings, graphic sexuality between men (and vampires), and gory outcomes, you will love this exciting series.

 

 

Friday Flash Fiction – Whiskey

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The glass was empty, even though I swear I’d just ordered the drink a moment ago. I felt the burn in my throat through a hazy brain-fog and realized I must have already downed it.

I ordered another.

This wasn’t the way New Year’s Eve was supposed to go down – in a painful swallow of booze and grief that made me want to sob. But I wouldn’t. Goddamn it, I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of buckling under the disappointment and abandonment.

The bartender placed another drink in front of me, side-eyeing me with suspicion. “You got someone to drive you home?” he asked, piercing my heart with yet another arrow.

I winced. “I’ll get an Uber.” My voice came out quiet and meek. I cleared my throat. “Thanks,” I said with more force.

What was I thanking him for? For caring enough to ask, or for bringing me the drink even though I was drunk as fuck already? I don’t know.

The whiskey soothed me even as it burned its way down. It warmed my insides where he’d shovelled cold words and sharp insults. It dulled the memory of our last tumultuous encounter and allowed me to wallow in a pool of disfunction.

I was worthy of love. I must be. I needed to hold onto that conviction despite the doubt and the loneliness that threatened to send me into a dark spiral.

It was all that was left. A basic instinct for survival that I would grip gladly in my two fists and use to keep my head above water.

Book Review – Misha Horne “Looking for Trouble”

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If there was ever a cure for the dismal second half of Brokeback Mountain, this book is it:

“Will…”

“You say my name so pretty,” he told me, his breath drifting over the root of my cock, his mouth just a second from where I wanted it. So close, but years away. “I want you to say it just like that, all night. All dirty and desperate and wicked.”

My god, I didn’t know how this was the same man who grunted half his words and thought I reckon was a full conversation. I wanted to weep for all that was inside him I didn’t know.

~ Looking for Trouble, Misha Horne

We’ve got Will Caplan, one older loner cowboy who lives on a farm with just his dog, Captain, some horses and chickens, only coming into town once in a blue moon to sell his homemade whisky. And Jesse Morgan, one young troublemaker from Chicago – a city boy through and through – looking for guidance and discipline, though he only realizes it when he hooks up with Will.

Then saddle up your horse for one long slow burn of a sexy romance between two men who barely know how to kiss each other, and sure don’t know how to say the things they need to say to get the good times rolling.

But when they finally do – hold on tight. The final few chapters of this book are some of the hottest I’ve ever read and sweet as hell to boot.

I love everything Misha Horne has ever written. She is the Queen of writing emotional and loving kink, with characters who are discovering their sexuality and digging their way out of shame and confusion to determine exactly what they need in a lover.

Looking for Trouble strikes me as the most pure of all her stories, with two innocents who meet by chance only to discover they fit perfectly together.

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Two other Misha Horne books I recommend:

Working Out the Kinks

Old School Discipline

Book Review – Sara Dobie Bauer “Escaping Solitude”

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*It’s not just a pretty cover, folks.

This second instalment in Sara Dobie Bauer’s Escape Trilogy takes Andrew and his beloved Edmund to nineteenth century New Orleans, a setting rife with secret brothels and fancy vampire lairs.

Again, the writing is exceptional.

Sara’s portrayal of Edmund’s restless character and Andrew’s protective, yet deadly nature, are bang on and compelling. Her secondary characters, like Danys, Philipe and Michelle, are equally distinct and well-crafted.

I enjoyed the way Andrew was challenged in his attempts to reign in Edmund’s impulsive behavior, and resigned himself to dealing with him as a parent with an energetic and boisterous child. Edmund seems to run on adrenaline and curiosity, and it was enchanting to see him so distracted by Michelle’s giant library and the two male prostitutes at May’s brothel.

These novellas are fast-paced and enchanting and not your average vampire read.

Looking forward to the third and final book of the series!

*A free copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Pre-order links (October 29th release): Amazon.com, Amazon.caNineStar Press.

My review of Escaping Exile (Book 1)

Book Review – Tom Cardamone “The Lurid Sea”

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I have not read anything like this before.

A fantastic, Alice In Wonderland type journey through whirlpools as opposed to rabbit holes and mirrors, with its protagonist, the god-spawn Nerites, delighting in his curse/gift to wander the bathhouses of the world, meeting and enjoying countless strangers.

Tom Cardamone’s writing is a revelation – lyrical, raw, earthy, dark, fetid, glorious and depraved.

There is an innocence to Nerites that balances the evil incarnate of his half-brother, Obsidio. Nerites is propelled forcefully though willingly from encounter to encounter, joyously satisfying his relentless hunger and the lascivious requirements of a host of men, while Obsidio trails behind, leaving death and destruction in his wake.

Everything about this story revolves around fluid which is why I adore the title. The fluidity of space and time. Bodily fluids. Effluvia.

It is a Bacchanalian orgy of a book, a writhing verse of sex and spunk. The story drags you down and along at a breakneck pace through the damp reaches of multiple watery worlds, almost necessitating a towel-dry at the end.

But through it all are splashes of history and spurts of reverence and romance. This is a beautiful read, even though it touches on dark themes of death, disease and incest.

I simply cannot wait to read more of Tom’s work.

Buy Links: Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Bold Strokes Books, Nook, Kobo