Erotic Historical Romance … appears to be very much alive and well!

The hand print was immediate and the brief permanence created by his own stinging palm pleased him.

‘Why does the girl not yelp? Has she no tongue?’ He watched his man move through dried leaves to take a look. Pulling her head back and receiving spittle on his clothes was confirmation enough.

‘She’s an animal My Lord! May I dispose of her for you?’

‘No. I think I should like the opportunity to do so myself.’ Archie lowered his eyes from his soldier to the girl’s backside. Pale skin shivered against the November air, his handprint still visible. Movement was not an option while her thighs and calves were bound tight by thick leather belts. His cock twitched as he noted her flesh squeezed above the leather and brass. Treatment fitting for a thief. He pulled her rough garment back down and its heavy folds fell to the floor. ‘Put her back in the cart. It’s getting dark and I have Court to prepare for. You shall bring her to my quarters at eight.’        

He did not have time for games in the forest today but later, in his rooms, he would play until his body no longer desired attention. Her life had already been extended. If they had left her where they found her, she would be dead by now. Stealing meats and apples from the winter stores of a neighbouring clan carried only one penalty.

So, if this was the start of chapter one in a book you’d never heard of, would you read on? I’m thinking rags-to-riches, thief-to-Queen type thing.

I’ve evidently been watching too many Game of Thrones episodes! Man of the Woods and I have binge-watched our way through Season one and two and now we are three episdoes into the third. Khaleesi is reunited with her dragon babies and is headed ‘home’. There’s gonna be carnage when she arrives …

Is it just me or does her right-hand man remind you of Hutchinson from the original Starchy & Hutch? David Soul I think his name was.

I try to write or type these dragon eggs of ideas as they pop into my head. Saucy fiction, as we know, is a genre I enjoy reading occasionally. I couldn’t only read it though as I would a) get nothing else done in life and b) spend the rest of the time sleeping to restore the balance. Seriously though, I find it escapism; easy-reading and I might read one in every ten books I devour. It was only natural that I would attempt to create some of my own at some point.

While Book 1 is being critiqued by a Reader in the New Writers Scheme with the Romantic Novelists Association, along with the other members of this incredibly supportive scheme, we have to continue writing and exercising our fiction-creation muscles. Martha and Antonio’s story, presently with a working title of Secrets Under a Tuscan Sun, has no sex in its pages. Chemistry, yes and some hugs and kisses. Nothing like a good hug and a kiss.

Book 2 Paper Goodbyes is taking shape in plot form, using Save The Cat method as I am intrigued to see if a different approach from the start makes a difference to Draft 1’s creation. Yesterday I developed ideas for those final ‘beats’ in pen in a journal I bought in Waterstones in Hampstead. I buy lots of journals and have wasted a few. This time I feel I am using one to its full potential.

The story will be told through one POV, that of Toby, a shy boy – I’m thinking around eleven with High School imminent. It is set over the six weeks of the summer holiday accompanying his mother to the small independent book shop where she works (stay with me). Creating a time frame from the start has the added advantage that I can ‘see’ the beginning and end before I even type a word of the manuscript and, more importantly, it adds a great fiction tool available to the author – the ticking clock.

With a shout-line of ….

When all you want is a friend, but all you have is imagination

…. I can categorically tell you with confidence that I can narrow the theme of this novel down to one word – FRIENDSHIP.

Now, this is something I could never do with Secrets. It was one of the first questions I was asked while on the Julie Cohen course last November and when I couldn’t answer (succinctly) she was right to point out that I had ‘Possibly written this story without a theme in mind?’ This could mean the story has no soul, no point which the reader shall grab onto and carry with them through the chapters.

Secrets had morphed organically from a group of collated snippets of flash fiction. I pushed them together with the air of someone excited who knows not what they do. By goodness, we’ve had some fun with it though. Through it I’ve met friends, read books, attended courses, joined the RNA, started new books, kept a blog with decreasing regularity (I actually had some days last week when no-one visited. I know! Zero readers the stats said! Insert three laughing face emojis here – I can’t remember how to find them with this big keyboard).

Lovely to catch up with you all – I’m going to make tea now and take it back to bed for an hour. I hope all your writing plans are going accordingly but if they take a back seat sometimes, I hope you are enjoying what else life has to offer.

Much love xxx