What am I up to right now?

I thought it was about time I did an update on what’s going on in my life right now. You might not give a fig (LOL) but it’s nice to get it out there anyway. I’m told authors need to keep their profile fresh and ‘vibey’ so maybe this will help rekindle the love for my books and make me that million I’ve always wanted.

First on my list of bucket things to do was my recent trip to LA to meet my publisher, Boroughs Publishing Group, and writing partner, actor Nicholas Downs. I’m not going to say too much about it here because you can read all about here

https://www.divinemagazine.biz/my-la-experience-the-trip-of-a-lifetime/

Suffice it to say it was the best trip of my life and I intend having more of them. Hence the need to make that million.

I came away from that adventure with contracts for six books from now until the end of 2018. I hope to get back to publishing a new book every 3-4 months. I’ve slacked off with writing due to other pressures I’d had but now’s the time to pull up my big girl pants, stope eating and sleeping, forget I have a family and a day job, and get those words written.

Those books are the ninth Men of London book, ‘Survival Games’ featuring Kyle Tripper, Vegas croupier and nightclub manager, and Eric Kirby, paramedic, from Hard Climate. It’s the story of two survivors -one of spousal abuse, the other of losing a lover he couldn’t save.

Then there’s the eagerly anticipated ‘Living on Air’ (oh, is that just me? Right then…) This is a stand -alone novel depicting a psychotic paedophile priest (try saying that three times quickly), an abused youth turned man who finds solace in self-harming, and hides away as an aerialist in a circus, and a world-weary war photographer who wants to find the beauty in life again instead of cruelty and death. Bring these last two together and it’s a little like the witches’ boiling pot in Macbeth-

‘Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble.’ Sparks will fly, blood will spill, emotions will run at fever point – oh and did I mention there’s clowns? Sorry to all you coulrophobics out there. I can give you some solace though -it isn’t IT.

Lastly for now, I’m writing a new spin off series from the Men of London book, ‘Feat of Clay’ featuring Clay Mortimer, former SAS operative, and Tate Williams, undercover DEA cop. Personally, I think this was one of my most under rated books. I adore this cover out of all my MOL covers, and the fact this was a story based on an existing relationship made it special to me. The chaps are coming back in a new series called Fetish Alley. It’s going to be sassy, funny, tongue in cheek madness with a mystery spin and of course, two hot men and their relationship. And yes, the word ‘fetish’ is exactly what it means. But you’ll have to stick around to find exactly what it’s all about. Tate’s education in weird is about to get very intense.

I’m also toying with the idea of a short Leslie and Oliver story, if I can stop breathing long enough to write it. (My take on this is that I’ve given up everything else and this is all I have left.) I want to write about Leslie and his new corset range with Debussy Fashion and how he makes Oliver his muse and model. Imagine Oliver in a corset and high heels. Teamed with the feisty Leslie, this would be one spectacular sight.

I’ve also been extremely busy with Divine Magazine well. Being Editorial Manager is a lot of hard work. I can say though that I‘ve been privileged to meet, speak to and interview some wonderful people like David Booher, whom I had the pleasure of having dinner with in LA,  and Scott McGlynn, who has the most lovely Welsh accent. I’m also talking to Guillaume Sanchez who’s a fascinating character. All of these interviews will be featured soon.

As for The Being Me Campaign, of which I’m a Board Trustee, we’ve been busy behind the scenes building up what’s needed for 2017. I’m co-ordinating a wonderful charity anthology with Louis Harris from CoolDudes Publishing where sales of this book will benefit the charity. My story, ‘Strawberry Kisses’ has been submitted. I’d like to thank all the authors who are working with us on this for contributing their time and effort to help out the charity.

Jack L Pyke                          Heather C Leigh

Duncan Swallow                 Melissa Costa

J P Bilbao                             Amelia Faulkner

Louisa Mae                          Jennifer Slusher

Valynda King                      Violet Joicey-Cowan

Susan Mac Nicol                Rhys Christoper Ethan

Melissa Costa                     Alex Jane

Sherri Jordan Asble         Lane Swift

Heather C Leigh                Dilo Keith

On a non-writing note, I’m off to South Africa with my husband and daughter to see family from 1-14th May. I’ll be in Cape Town and the West Cape so it’s going to be epic. Sun, sea, sand, wine, beer and family.

I’m at shiMMer in July, Brighton Pride in August, going to Dublin with a friend in September and hopefully then the travelling stops for a bit.

And I think I’ve said enough. I will leave you with this picture……I’m sure you’ll fit right in.

 

Hey 2017!! I’m over here.

So the New Year has arrived with a shy kiss and a gentle caress. It’s the start of something fresh, new beginnings that let us plan and decide how our future may look. I for one have a lot planned this year and I mean to make the most of it. Top of my list though (no, not a New Year’s Resolution, as I don’t believe in those, this is more my To Do list) is getting back into writing. You may not have known this, but the last year to eighteen months has been tough for me.  There’s been an insecure demon sitting on my shoulder who has led me down a dark path and made me doubt myself and my abilities to bring stories into the world.

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And I still don’t know why. I simply lost my passion for my craft and that in itself triggered a huge backlash, a sense of failure which fed on my own insecurities. 2017 is my chance to get back that writing passion and try and immerse myself once again in words.

And boy, 2017 is looking like a great year for me.  So without further ado, let me tell you a bit about it.

Firstly, Sight Unseen comes out for release on January 26th. This book is the result of a partnership between me and my wonderful friend and collaborator, the amazing Nicholas Downs. In life, we are meant to meet people who come to mean something to us. I had no idea when I first interviewed Nicholas for Divine Magazine (at the bequest of the Divine CEO who thought Nicholas was hot and sexy and wanted to feature him) that it would form a lasting relationship that led to us to this point. I mean, you can see why he thought this, right? This is Nicholas. Sigh. The man looks so good in a suit. And a cowboy hat. And a plaid shirt…nicholas_suit_128_web_only

Bottom line, we had respect for each others’ talents – me for writing and Nicholas for acting – and decided we’d create a medium to bring both of these to bear in that of a potential film creation.

Nicholas provided the story line in the screen play he’d already written, I developed it into a novel and together we’re writing the screen play to potentially bring it to the screen. It’s been an amazing journey for both of us, learning about each other’s industries and melding them together to where we are today. And not only are we doing this but -SQUEEE! I get to travel to LA in March next year to attend a conference with my publisher, Boroughs and do a series of book signings with Nicholas, even get to stay with him and his husband Nick for a couple of nights. I am so damned excited. And not only do I get to hob-nob with Nicholas and Nick, I get to meet my publisher for the first time.

Boroughs are quite simply, amazing. They have treated me with absolute respect, compassion on the bad days, and LOVE. Yes, it’s tough to say this about someone you’ve never met but the CEO, Michelle Klayman, has been a rock for me. Not only is she a fantastic editor, making my stories flow better and offering advice and support, but she’s also there when I need to vent or talk to someone. She’s like a big sister, only tougher. Smarter lol. Boroughs’ faith in me when I have floundered myself and had doubts has been heartening and welcome. I am so looking forward to giving Michelle the hug she deserves when I arrive to stay with her at her home with her husband Miguel. Bless him, he even asked her whether he was expected to make me Bubble and Squeak! I told her an emphatic No, I’m in his country now so anything other English food is what I want. Mexican sounds good…

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I’ll be at the California Dreamin’ Conference and at various other locations in Los Angeles with Nicholas and Michelle but more to follow on the itinerary once we get it all confirmed. And another SQUEE! I’m hoping to catch up with the supremely talented voice over artist and actor Jason Frazier ( we owe each other a drink at Chateau Marmont, it’s a long story…) and *sigh* hoping to finally meet the most awesome and fabulous of writers Cody Kennedy. This particular coming together of souls has been a long time coming.

I’ll be back from the US at the end of the March then jetting off again to Cape Town, RSA to visit family at the beginning of May. The wonderful thing about this holiday is that my whole family is going over, my husband, my kids, and my daughter in law. It’s going to be wonderful seeing my mum and sister again and touching base with my brothers in law.

I’m signing at the fabulous event in Birmingham in July, the ShiMMer Author Event, which promise to be a great day out seeing old friends and readers. If you haven’t already made a plan to attend this, you should. It’s going to be awesome.

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In August I’m at Brighton Pride with friends and in September, my best pal and author friend John Trevillian and I are off to Dublin for a creative few days, writing, gaining inspiration and drinking wine no doubt.

Oh and did I mention I’m also a trustee for the Being Me Campaign which I’m hoping will see a busy and fruitful year, as well as taking back my old position as Editorial Manager for Divine Magazine, because I really missed this. This particular role has bought with it many opportunities, not least of which was meeting Nicholas.

Heh. Luckily I have a very understanding boss at the day job who simply rolls his eyes and says ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever, Sue. You do what you need to do.’ I’m blessed to be where I am with such lovely people who really care about my ‘other life’ and encourage me. Eunisure, you rock !!

So busy, busy, busy…oops, sorry in all the excitement I forget to tell you about the writing plans. *Facepalms* In between all this I’m co-writing a screenplay, have to finish writing Living on Air, (my ‘circus’ book) and possibly carry on writing the ninth Men of London book as well, Survival Game which is Kyle and Eric’s story from Hard Climate. I have so many other books planned, and some truly exciting ideas and I need to get cracking if I want to bring them all to life. I need lots of coffee and mince pies and a healthy dose of ‘slap me silly when I lose focus’.

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So that’s me for this year and no doubt there’ll be a lot more happening and I’ll let you know as it does.  To those people who helped and encouraged me over the past years and no doubt will continue to do so because that’s the kind of people they are-  Joanne Swinney, Val Degeorge, Kirsty Bicknell, JP Bilbao, Rita R, Janice Birnie, Petra Andrea, Karen Jones, Anders Rodskar, Isa Jones, Ann Alaskan and myriad of others (forgive me if I haven’t mentioned you specifically but you are legion lol)  who kept me sane and also indulged my girlish passion for Benedict Cumberbatch and Adam Lambert – thank you. You are all the spokes in my wheel without which, there would be no turning and moving forward.

To the bloggers who’ve ever allowed me space on their blogs to promote or share something, you are truly the other wheels of this industry that keep it turning. And to my fellow authors who give so much of themselves in many ways without expecting anything in return- you have my eternal gratitude and appreciation.

May 2017 be everything you want, need and deserve and if I can help you in any way to reach your own goals and dreams, all you have to do is shine this bat signal and I’ll be there.

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SYNERGY IS BETTER THAN YOUR WAY OR MY WAY. IT’S OUR WAY.

Stephen Covey

 

What Christmas Means to Me Blog Hop

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I’m taking part in the Christmas Blog Hop 2016 hosted by Divine Promotions & RAM PA Group

We were asked to write a bit about what Christmas means to us. And share a favourite recipe but as you all probably know, I don’t cook much so don’t have one…

To be honest, in the words of Natalie Imbruglia, I’m a little torn. There’s good and bad aspects and I’m going to tackle them both. Because I’m nothing if not a realist. I love the vibe and hype of the season, shopping for presents for people and seeing all those sparkly lights. I’m not religious so Christmas for me has never been about Jesus or anything remotely biblical. Especially as Jesus wasn’t born in December. But I digress.

Christmas for me is the shiny season. It’s the vibrancy of coloured lights and tinsel. It’s the silky sheen of wrapping paper and the twinkle of baubles on the tree, the smell of spruce, and orange chocolate, and mulled wine. It’s a sensual time when everything meshes together into a festive package of scents and sights that stirs the senses and brings families and friends together.

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It’s a time for kindness, when soup kitchens are manned by volunteers willing to give up their time to contribute to making someone’s else life a little bit happier for a while. It’s a time for smiling when kids open their gifts to see the thing they’ve always wanted right in front of them. It’s also the time you can get your own back on grumpy Aunt Mabel, who insists on giving you socks each year. The dildo you bought for her will go down a treat. She may even find a unique use for it, ‘stirring’ the Yorkshire pudding mix perhaps. *sniggers*

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It’s also the time of a high suicide rate, a plethora of homeless people on the streets, watching with jaundiced eyes as those more fortunate than them strolled past in laughter and merry cheer, while carting presents that would probably have bought a week’s shelter and food for one of these street people. The time for TV adverts of misty eyed children with sad faces, as charities lamented over the fact that for some children, there was no such thing as Christmas. This season is a time of extremes-—one parent buying their kid a Ferrari or a football team, another just managing to scrape together enough money to buy their child a football or a toy truck; of one-upping the Joneses, of making sure things are bigger and better than the other person’s offerings; of corporate companies growing rich and rubbing their hands in glee like Scrooge at the clinking of the money in the coffers. It’s time people abandon their pets because they have better things to do with the money and their time.

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So, like a piece of tinfoil, there’s a dull and shiny side to the season. It’s a pity we can’t find it within ourselves to bring the season of goodwill to all men to people the whole year around instead of just a few short-lived days. That as a species we can’t simply adopt an attitude of love and acceptance to all mankind as we work together to keep this world of ours from spiralling into decay.

Yes, this might depress you, and as blog posts go about Christmas, it’s not all glitter and glamour and I’m not going to apologise for that. Putting on the rose-coloured glasses and ensuring that your own Christmas bubble is untainted with the bad things of Christmas is not cool. In the true spirit of giving, buy a homeless person a cup of coffee. Drag out those old blankets you have in the cupboard, give them a wash and let the people suffering the cold have them. Donate to a deserving charity, like one that teaches people about respecting diversity. Show a starving pet some kindness. You don’t have to give much – just a little. It would mean the world to someone like this.

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http://www.akt.org.uk/2/spg357/albert-kennedy-trust-helping-young-lgbt-people/can-you-help/donating.aspx

https://give.thetrevorproject.org/checkout/donation?eid=63307

www.beingmecampaign.com

www.crisis.org.uk

www.bluecross.org.uk

It’s about making a difference to someone else, or something and that, to me, is the true essence of Christmas.

You can come out from under the blankets now. I’m finished with my sermon and the soapbox has been tucked back into the cupboard.

Merry Christmas everyone and may it bring everything you deserve.

Here’s a chance to win a little something for Christmas too.  There’s  a RAFFLECOPTER  and a Grand Prize.

 

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3D fun face Charms Bracelet

18 K Gold Filled Crystal Pearls Heart Party Dress Jewelry Set

$10 Amazon Gift Card from RAM PA Group

5 Days Promo Tour from Divine Promotions

Dreamspinner Press Vouchers

$5 gift voucher from Pride Publishing

Ebook of your choice from Author Grein Murray

Swag donated by Author Grein Murray (only available to those living in the USA)

Ebook of your choice from Author Sean Kerr (from his series Dead Camp)

Ebook – The Hard Boys: Alien Abduction (Case #1) from Ian Cadena

$15 gift voucher from Susan Mac Nicol

Below you’ll find all the blogs taking part 

 

 🎅🏻 Alpha Book Club – http://alphabookclub.org/2016/12/08/divine-promotions-christmas-blog-hop-2016/

Divine Magazine Summer Blog Hop 2016

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In celebration of Divine’s new author service, Divine Promotions,  I’m participating in their Summer Blog Hop.

I don’t cook much, so giving out my favourite Summer recipe is a no-no. Instead I’ll tell you a bit about my best memories of Summer.

I lived in South Africa for over thirty years. So, summer there was celebrated exactly how you’d think it would be – swimming, having what we called ‘braais’, and others call a BBQ, tanning on our towels, stretched out on grass or sun loungers, running around drying off in the dry heat of day and basking in the sunshine. It was cold beers by our pool, crisp gin and tonics at sundown, the insistent and annoying whine of mosquitos at dusk and during the warm nights, sweating under the loose covers and wishing there was a breeze to make things just that little bit cooler. It was the cold, refreshing shower you took when you went inside then had an afternoon nap because it was so hot. It was the late afternoon thunderstorm, like clockwork around 3 pm, when you sat on your ‘stoep’ or patio, and watched the clouds build into dark grey masses of angry. A thunderstorm in SA is a magnificent thing to see. They are fierce, unapologetic, magnificent in their majesty and you are left in awe of their power. Car alarms would sound down the block when the thunder hit, the house alarm would go off, the dogs would howl and it would be a cacophony of fierceness. Then as suddenly as it hit, it was over. The clouds dissipated, the sun shone again, the garden smelt of scents released by the rain and the wind and we all jumped back in the pool without a care in the world. Towels that were left out in the rain, and were sodden, are quickly dried by the dry heat of the African sun.

Picture courtesy of my husband when he visited a few years ago

Picture courtesy of my husband when he visited a few years ago

The summers in SA are different to the ones I experience here in the UK. Summer here is softer, more genteel. More refined. The temperature is pleasantly warm, not hot and dry. Summer in England is the buzz of bees around country gardens. It’s the chirrup of birds in trees and the chattering of squirrels. It’s the soft pitter-patter of raindrops against leaded panes, the steady swish of the rain as it falls in sheets. It’s the rushing around bringing everything in before the rain hits, because the temperature drops and one can’t count now on the scorching African sun to dry everything out within minutes.

 

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Where summer in Africa is a fierce warrior, full of extremes, summer in England is a genteel country gentleman, full of nuance. I love the differences, I’ve been fortunate to experience them both. I like them equally, not having a favourite. Both have their own charms and quirks. A little like me.

To take part in the giveaway, go to the blog hop page here and leave a comment (Share your best summer memory, or your favorite summer tips or activities)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hooray – Grand Prize Giveaway

18K Gold Filled Crystal Pearls Heart Party Dress Jewelry Set 

Divine Promotions – 10 Days Promo Tour

Divine Promotions – 3 Day Release Blitz

$75 credit from Dreamspinner Press

$30 credit from Dreamspinner Press

Click here to view all the participants taking part in the blog hop!