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.

 

 

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 – 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

Craving – Friday Flash Fic., Feb. 15th

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I was on the treadmill at the gym when I got an idea for this flash fiction prompt.

I realized that these guys could easily be two characters from my Vampire erotica WIP, Diamond Dogs.

Theo Matowski is a devoted lover to my protagonist, Gemini (a bisexual, androgynous female vampire who keeps Theo and his male lover, Justice, as human pets/companions). However, when an older male vampire, Kristofer Vallespi, comes to Ottawa seeking excitement, Theo finds his loyalties tested.

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Theo waited restlessly on the park bench, eyes glancing furtively about and hands in his jeans pockets.

Kristofer Vallespi had texted him the night before, requesting that Theo meet him here at noon because he needed to ask him something.

Theo knew he shouldn’t have replied. Shouldn’t have texted Kristofer that he’d come. Shouldn’t have thought about Kristofer all evening and all morning.

Gemma had told him that Kristofer was dangerous. She’d said Kristofer was not like she was. He’d want to take advantage of Theo – use him for sex or food and then toss him away like spoiled fruit.

But Theo didn’t believe her. He didn’t think she was lying. He believed Gemma supposed Kristofer to be like that. But from the moments Theo had spent in Kristofer’s commanding presence, he couldn’t believe it.

And now, as he glimpsed Kristofer approaching along the gravel path in his pea coat and jeans, looking so very human and yet not-at-all human, he wondered if perhaps Gemini was right. Theo knew vampires had powers he didn’t yet understand even though he’d been sharing Gemma’s home for seven years. Perhaps he shouldn’t have come.

But it was too late now.

Theo straightened as Kristofer approached. Even though he knew very well that most vampires could walk about during daylight hours, it still made him uneasy. These creatures were supposed to be night dwellers. But maybe that was what people believed in order to feel some kind of partial security.

Theo knew better.

Kristofer stopped in front of the bench. He looked Theo over with a frank and obvious hunger.

“Theo,” he said in greeting, offering a small smile and a glint of fang. So he was hungry. Hungry for either sex or blood, or his fangs wouldn’t have descended.

Theo shuddered in the face of such desire. “K-Kristofer. I wanted to see you.” This was the truth.

Kristofer nodded, sitting down beside Theo on the bench. “I know. I wanted to see you too. Needed to.” His vibrant blue eyes drifted over Theo, consuming him on the spot.

They locked eyes and Theo felt that connection, the same one he experienced with Gemma but even stronger here, now, with Kristofer. Was it because Kristofer was male, or because he was an older vampire?

It didn’t matter.

“Theo, I need to taste you. Now.” Kristofer’s voice felt like smooth amber covering him as if Theo were a tiny insect who would soon be trapped and paralyzed.

Theo nodded, his desire ramping up in Kristofer’s intoxicating presence. “I know.”

No sooner had Theo said those words than Kristofer’s cold hands slid along his neck and the handsome vampire pressed his lips to the younger man’s mouth.

A bomb could have gone off nearby and Theo wouldn’t have cared. Kristofer’s cool lips on his, the vampire’s soft tongue pressing inside Theo’s mouth, the fingers pressing against his pounding jugular – this was everything.

Theo opened his mouth and let Kristoffer have his way, loving how the vampire savoured his taste. He hadn’t taken blood yet, only kissed Theo like any man or woman would. But Theo knew it was coming. He moaned into Kristofer’s mouth and gripped his coat.

But Kristofer didn’t bite. Instead he pulled away and swore softly. “You do this to me, Theo,” he murmured, licking his red lips and gripping Theo’s neck tightly enough to alarm him. But just as Theo noticed, Kristofer’s fingers loosened and he let go. “You make me want you.”

Theo just sat there, trembling, cock hard and full of blood from that kiss and from Kristofer’s nearness.

“I want to really taste you,” Kristofer breathed, eyes drilling into Theo’s.

“Yes,” Theo replied without question. It was too late for any other answer.

“Do you know what I’m asking?” Kristofer said carefully.

Theo nodded. “Yes.”

Kristofer smiled, slowly, with genuine pleasure and relief. “Then come with me.”

Theo nodded again and stood, taking Kristofer’s offered hand.

He would go. He had to. He needed to experience everything that Kristofer was, everything that Kristofer had to offer him, if he was ever to sleep again.

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