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

 

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 – 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

 

 

Book Review – Sara Dobie Bauer “Escaping Exile”

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*Having followed Sara Dobie Bauer on Twitter, I was delighted when she PM’d me and offered to send me a copy of her new book, Escaping Exile, for free in exchange for an honest review. Since it was a sexy story about a male vampire and a human sailor, what the hell was I supposed to say? Yes, please!

I’m always a bit wary reading new authors because I have quite high expectations in terms of story and writing style. Also, summer is a busy time of year for me with my kids on their summer break and my husband taking vacation time as well. I don’t have as much personal time to read and write and I struggle to keep up with my own projects.

So I was only able to give this little beauty of a story the attention it deserved this morning while my fourteen year-old slept in and my eleven year-old watched Youtube on his computer with headphones on the sofa near me. Thank God for headphones.

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First person present is not a point of view I’ve seen often in stories these days, but I got used to Sara’s compelling style very quickly. Her beautiful words flow on the page, creating vivid imagery and enticing tableaus: A plain grass hut on an island filled with cannibals, a beautiful shipwrecked sailor, a lonely vampire who frets with lust and hunger.

I read this little novella in one go. It seduced and entranced me with its language and subject matter. I’ve long been a fan of Anne Rice and her early vampire novels, and yes, this story did remind me of them.

But Sara has her own vampire vision and I loved the way that Edmund (the sailor) was nothing like the traditional human victim to Andrew’s vampire cravings. His intelligence and reckless courage were just as fascinating as Andrew’s implicit strength and newly discovered self-control.

Such a juicy little treat for a lazy Saturday morning! I would recommend this story to anyone and look forward to the continuation of the series.

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

Buy Links: Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Ninestar Press

Book Review – Ella Frank “Confessions: Priest”

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*I think this is my favourite of all the covers in this series.

Joel Priestly is a fantastic character and one that Ms. Frank has taken pains to create and present as a stoic, intelligent survivor of intense trauma as a child. His early years were a haze of manipulation and violence, more of which she makes clear in this third book using flashbacks to his life with his mob boss of a father.

The delicate relationship that he is just beginning to flesh out with Robbie Bianchi, along with his husband, Julien, takes a big hit at the end of the second book (Confessions – Julien) and the first chapters of this book follow the three men trying to rebuild a level of trust with each other.

I like the way Ms. Frank writes about emotional issues like this. She seems to understand the psychology of people who are coming together – the doubts and fears that can plague us when we are getting to know someone new – and is able to communicate this through the thoughts and actions of her characters.

Honestly, I found this book to be my least favourite of the three, only because it deals with more angst and less “happy fun times”. I don’t write a lot of angst in my stories because I prefer to see people happy and dealing with the everyday challenges of a regular existence, rather than the less common trials of extreme violence and trauma.

I did like the way that Priest went out of his way to protect his loved ones in the face of the storm he knew was coming. It showed his strength and his faith that he could triumph over what had haunted him throughout his life.

I’m REALLY glad that Ms. Frank has promised to write a fourth book to give these guys a happier story together, now that their personal truths have been dealt with. Because when Joel and Julien and Robbie are relaxed and just enjoying their chemistry together? It’s perfection.

So yes, do read this book to learn the truth about Joel’s past and watch him protect his men, then keep your eyes out for Book 4 later this year!

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

Confessions: Priest, book three in the steamy contemporary MMM Confessions Series from Ella Frank, is available NOW!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2waxq4X

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ConfessionsPriest

Add to GoodReads: https://bit.ly/2MbqMTy

Start the series with Confessions: Robbie today!
Amazon US:http://amzn.to/2HdQ7IU

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/confessionsrobbie

Add To Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2EWp3Aq

About Ella

Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite contemporary romance, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Phillips.

Connect with Ella:

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Website: https://www.ellafrank.com/portfolio