Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sexy Sunday - Elodie Parkes

Another Sexy Sunday and this week I have the pleasure of introducing you to the divine Ms. Elodie Parkes. She went and did all the hard work for me, so sit back, get comfy and enjoy some snippets and a little bit about her. Please feel free to leave comments for her below, too.

Thanks for stopping by, Elodie!


Hi Deliza, It’s lovely to visit with you,

A little about me for your readers.

I live in Canterbury, United Kingdom, and I work in an antiques shop, and write. I have two dogs that keep me fit with their need for walks. They are Dalmatian dogs, Celt and Chaucer’ who big softies. 

I write romance, contemporary, and erotic with a twist of mystery, suspense, or the paranormal, now and then. I like to make the story unusual in some way, by a quirk in the tale.

I never consciously thought I wanted to be a writer. I just knew I had things to write and have always written things, even if it has just been left on my computer for years.

I started writing when I was seventeen. Life intervened in my writing time and I stopped serious writing for some time. I started writing again seriously a couple of years ago, because I had so many stories in my head.

I have published four erotic romance books to date,

Millie Reinvented, which is a book for women, a love story, an uplifting story for the lonely, there’s a little humor in it and lots of yummy sex. 

Two of Them, a contemporary erotic romance that men might like because the two principal characters are men looking for love, lots of secrets and sex in this.

The Horoscope Writer, A deeply romantic, sexy romance, full of delicious sex, that shows the lovely character of the main male lead, Dominic. He’s my ‘wish he was real guy’, touch of paranormal in this.

The Last Time, from Eternal Press was released May 1. This is erotic romance.

I’ve also written a short (14,000 word story) The Picnic, for an erotic romance anthology called A Celtic Anthology published by Moon Rose.

Just had my latest manuscript, The Winter Girl contracted by Hot Ink Press. This is erotic romance again with a twist of magic. That’s a summer release.

Find the books on:

Eternal Press, Amazon, Bookiejar, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, KOBO, Apple iBooks, and Diesel ebooks


There’s a special place in my heart for my male lead August in Millie Reinvented. Even though I wrote it, when I re-read, I always love the way he is so constant in his love and care for Millie.

Here is the blurb: 

When August kissed Millie at a Christmas party, he was perhaps already half in love with her. Millie suddenly realizes that her husband has not really been kissing her for a couple of years. The kiss from August is so different and enjoyable it jolts her into the realization that she has been kissing her husband but he’s just been taking it.

It’s not the only thing he’s been taking.

Millie finds herself assessing her relationship with her husband over the next months as the August starts to pursue her. The things Millie finds out about her husband astonish her.

What will happen as Millie and August develop a steamy and special relationship?


And a snippet,

August was in a meeting and his desk remained empty for the fifteen minutes Millie allowed herself wandering around his department.

She left that floor and went to check if he was making coffee.

It was right then that August had finished his meeting and under the cover of an Imperial sized, artwork portfolio, he took the candy box and dropped it on Millie’s desk. It had been easier than he thought it would be to do that, and now he was on his way back to his office via the stairs. He heard footsteps and then he came face to face with Millie.

She stared at him for a few seconds before she threw herself at him and kissed him. She held his head to hers, and he turned her and pressed her against the wall shielding her with his body. Millie moved her hands from his face to his chest and then his stomach. She kissed him and felt his kiss hungry and searching against her lips, and then her tongue. Her hands strayed down to the zip fastening of his suit pants. They were cut low so that they rested on his hips and Millie found the fastening, undid it, and unzipped them a little. She put her fingers into the top of the trousers and then his boxers. She could feel him hard and yet like velvet, and she caught her breath.

August was totally captivated by this. He felt himself harden and thicken at her touch, and deepened his kiss. He was finding it hard to breathe and stopped kissing Millie to close his eyes against her neck, his head on her shoulder.

“Millie, Millie”, he whispered, and she slid her hand further into his shorts as she licked his earlobe.

“August you feel so good.”

He dropped the portfolio he was carrying to the floor. He pulled himself together and gently moved her hand. He fastened his trousers, and ran a hand through his glossy hair. His blue eyes were dark with desire, and he took her hands in his and held them to his chest.

“Millie I’m not strong enough to resist you any longer. I’m desperate for you and I think of nothing but you. Meet me after work in the car park. I will be finished at six, is that okay?”

Millie smiled. “It is and I’ll be watching the clock until then.”

August kissed her, his lips a soft caress, and then a lingering pressure as he found all he wanted to do was stay with her, kiss her, and feel her hands on him.

They went to their respective offices and August was glad he knew where the security cameras were, and they were not on that stairwell. He got to his desk and could hardly sit down he was so hard. His erection pressed up against the low waistband of his suit pants.

Millie got to her desk and sat down. She felt damp and stood up to pull the skirt of her business suit down further, worried she might leave some kind of telltale dampness on her chair. August was going to drive her nuts she thought and maximized her email window to read anything new.

I do love to write.

People and emotions inspire me to write. The complexity of life spurs me to write. I see emotions in people around me all the time, and often they remain unspoken. I think we don’t share ourselves enough, and are encouraged to hide our true selves.

Lots of my characters have some foundation from real people who have passed through my life. They are composites of those glimpses of people and my imagination.

I don’t have family and amongst my friends, no one knows what I write. Just one friend knows I write something (smiles). I seriously doubt anyone I actually know has read any of my books. That’s okay.

Why is that? Well my books fall into the category of erotic romance because of the graphic love scenes. I could have said sex scenes, but for me it’s always about the love my characters feel for each other, even if sometimes they are afraid to say it.

My female lead characters are intelligent and strong, yet have hidden vulnerabilities, or life happenings that are harsh. They know what it is like to be lonely and they are not afraid to go after love if it presents itself.

My male lead characters are deep, gentle, sexy, sometimes afraid of their feelings, sometimes so desperately in love they lay themselves open. They are intelligent and giving. The male leads in my stories with paranormal themes are different. They can be alphas, mysterious, and have strange things in their lives, but they will love their woman forever if they fall in love.

I’ve also brought along The Last Time today, which is my newest release.

Actor Seth Carbery swears he will never fall in love again, that is until he meets private detective Bethany Snow.

Something strange is going on. Seth and other members of the movie cast and crew are receiving threatening letters, but no threat has ever been carried out... yet. Bethany Snow is sent on location by the Black Agency to investigate, and guard Seth Carbery against danger.

The case is not what it first seems and even when Bethany thinks it could be over, a new twist means she becomes a target.

Seth and Bethany find they can’t keep their hands off each other.

Who is sending the letters and why? Does Seth have a secret admirer or stalker?

With steamy romance, graphic love scenes, and a quirky story of what people do for love this erotic romance is for adults only.

Excerpt: 18+

Bethany put her arms up around his neck, and pressed closely along his body. Seth kissed her softly, gently holding her face, his fingers reaching her ear, and sending little waves of sensation down her neck. Bethany opened her mouth a little inviting his tongue with the tip of her own. She moved her arms to hold him around the hips and pull him to hers. He had an erection. She could feel it hard and enticing against her.

Seth began to stroke her nipples through the thin cotton of her crop top. Bethany sighed into his mouth, and traced her fingertips up and down his back, and then unable to help herself, she put a hand into his shorts and held him, his hardness making her give a little throaty sound of need.

Seth’s kiss was overwhelming and Bethany felt melted from the inside out. He thrust slightly into her hand. A little pearl of moisture escaped from his erection. Bethany felt it and smoothed her fingertips over it bringing her other hand to pull his shorts down so that she could hold him properly.

She loved to hold a man like that, one hand curled around his erection, the other stroking him underneath so that he would gasp, and thrust. She liked to have him in her mouth too, but right now Seth’s kisses were intoxicating, and she couldn’t bear the thought of his mouth not being on hers.

Seth moaned a little and took hold of Bethany’s shorts dragging them halfway down her thighs in one move. He was still kissing her hungrily and thrusting his own hips gently.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Blog Tour - 'Distractions' by J.L. Brooks

Proud to be a part of my new friend J.L. Brooks' first blog tour for her fantastic new novel, Distractions. My review and a very cool giveaway follow (and how beautiful is that cover?). As always, please feel free to leave comments below. 

Thanks for letting me host, J.L.!


“We are all pawns in someone else’s game.” 

No one knows this better than Violet Phillips. When her beloved mentor goes missing, she suspects murder, which sends her spiraling out of control and away from the stable life she has built for herself. Soon, her past will begin seeping out with a vengeance. 

“I will teach you how this game is played.”

Self-destruction threatens to consume Violet when a handsome neighbor that has been watching her from afar intervenes on her behalf. Shepard Leone may be six years younger, but it does not stop him from seducing her ears as well as her heart. 

“Fascinating how much life can change in twenty-four hours.”

When Violet is forced to go down a dark road into a past where she must confront the demons that nearly destroyed her, will she be unable to deviate? Struggling with the loss of her missing friend, Shepard will find a way in and reawaken desires that she thought were forever lost. But Violet never forgets that if you are not careful, distractions will be your undoing. 

My Thoughts:

Now THIS is a frickin' frackin' mother effin' BOOK, people!  smiley 167shsx

Not what I expected in that it blessedly strays from formulaic romance, uniquely moves from chapter to chapter in non-linear patterns and underlying the relationship arcs percolates a mystery slowly and quietly destroying our heroine's life. Who did what and why? Who's a good guy, who's a bad guy? Can anyone in this blasted book be trusted??? J.L. requires the reader to actually think a little bit, pay attention and whatever you do, don't blink.

Violet is a mess and has been from quite a young age. I can't even begin to go into the reasons, not only because it would be exhausting lol, but because I want you to read it and find out. She is also ferociously intelligent. It was refreshing to read a female lead who has a career goal other than "quaint boutique owner," "office assistant," "elementary school teacher," or "singer/songwriter" (guilty smiley Whistle ). She's a scientist and this, it turns out, gets her into loads of trouble.

But not before she falls for Shepard, a mere babe at 21, whose p.o.s. father lives next door and whom Shep visits on his breaks from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN (my old stomping grounds!). Despite Vy's slightly unsavory past, their love story is innocent and lovely and J.L. writes it with tenderness. 

Oh but ya know, can't have nuthin nice, this girl. The lovebirds are separated quite dramatically and eventually in saunters Connor, demon spawn first love, to provide some twisted anger-fuckery and another heaping dose of heartbreak before all is said and done. Booooooo! smiley Mad But here, J.L. writes this relationship with thick, broad strokes of darkness. You know it's doomed almost from minute one.

How this book ends will bend your mind and have you screaming, "NO, I REFUSE TO BELIEVE IT!!!" Brilliantly, suspensefully, artistically written. I think my heart stopped.

AND NO CLIFFHANGER (thank God for epilogues)!!!  smiley Sign0200

Much of what I loved about this story is how many points in which I could personally relate to it that many other readers simply won't. The fact that Shepard is a violinist and the first instrument I learned to play was violin. That he attends college in Nashville, TN as did I. That he's an Italian boy (paisan!). That Violet loves her a good soak in a big ass tub, like I do. That if something is old and pretty, she likes it, as do I. Her love for things with historical significance. Her inability to let go of her past and self-destruct because of it (though I think I've broken the cycle, thank God). I simply enjoyed all the different personal surprises that popped up for me in this story, and there's no way J.L. ever could've known it would happen. Stuff like that is kinda creepy and way cool. smiley Wink

So in the end, I loved this book and I am absolutely a new fan of J.L. Brooks and anxiously await what she comes up with next. AND it gets my first five smooch review ever. Get. This. Book.

smiley 16a3c6a

Rating: Five smooches! (out of 5)   smiley Kiss smiley Kiss smiley Kiss smiley Kiss smiley Kiss



Meet The Author:

JL Brooks lives with her active family along the Ohio River at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. A former columnist turned novelist, she spends most of her time engaged in women’s health issues and education. Believing everyone has a story to tell, chances are she will encourage you to tell yours.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blog Tour Stop - 'Inseparable' by Missy Johnson

Today is the first day of Missy Johnson's Inseparable blog tour - how excited am I to get to kick things off??? Unforch I didn't have time to review, but I have a couple excerpts - some humor and some hotness - AND a giveaway for you! So take a gander and as always, feel free to leave comments below.

Thanks for letting me host, Missy! ♥



Nineteen year old Lily is still struggling with the death of her identical twin, Abby, a year earlier when she moves away from home for college. 

Following Abby’s death, Lily spent time in a psych facility after she was still seeing, hearing and speaking to Abby as though she was still alive. Now, ready to begin college, Abby only shows up in her dreams. 

A chance encounter with Dane Hansen changes Lily’s life. Lily’s friends warn her off becoming involved with Dane. He’s bad news, according to the rumors, anyway.. 

Now, he’s back, nearly a year after he disappeared off the face of the earth weeks into his freshman year at college. But Dane is far from the popular, womanizing, athlete he once was.

Dane has experienced loss himself, after his six year old sister was abducted and murdered nearly ten years ago. He understands Lily, and the more time he spends with her, the harder he falls. 

There is something he hasn’t told her though, something almost nobody knows, and it’s something that might stop Lily from feeling the same way. 

Excerpt #1:

“Dane Hansen?” She repeated, her voice far above the whisper I would have appreciated. Several students surrounding us stopped their conversations to stare at Gem. Her eyes grew wide.
“I’m so sorry,” She gasped, clapping her hand over her mouth, as she realized just how well her voice had carried through the hall. My face flamed as I stared straight ahead, too terrified to look around.
Surely her voice wouldn’t have carried that far, would it? There were a lot of rows between Dane and us. Slowly, I turned my head in his direction, convinced that he wouldn’t have heard her, but for some stupid reason I needed to check. What I wasn’t prepared for was to see his eyes firmly on me. Our eyes met and he grinned.
Shit. I quickly turned back around to continue my minor breakdown.

Excerpt #2:

His hand ran up my bare leg, lifting my thigh up onto his hip. I gasped as I felt his erection push flush up against my entrance, separated only by his pants and the thin fabric of my panties. His finger toyed with the lace edging, teasing me with his touch, his fingers threatening to dip inside me.
“I better go,” I whispered with all my resolve, when all I really wanted to do was spend the next six hours letting him explore my body. However, I also knew that if I didn’t take things slow, I would regret it. What I was feeling for Dane ran so much deeper than physical lust; the last thing I wanted was to rush into a sexual relationship too early.
“If you have to,” He mumbled, his hands caressing my face, with no intention of letting go. I kissed him again and smiled. He wasn’t making this easy.
“I do have to,” I replied, raising an eyebrow, “I had a great time tonight,” I added, meeting his gaze, my eyes reflecting the happiness in his. Kissing him again, I pulled away, knowing if I didn’t leave right this moment, I wouldn’t be able to leave at all.


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Meet The Author:

Missy lives in a small town in Central Victoria with her husband, and her confused pets (a dog who think she's a cat, a cat who thinks he's a get the picture). 

When she's not writing, she can usually be found looking for something to read. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sexy Sunday - K.L. Prince

This week's Sexy Sunday features the erotic poetry of Mr. K.L. Prince. These brief, previously unreleased pieces were whipped up especially for my blog today and I couldn't be more honored. Hope you enjoy. Please feel free to leave comments below; writers love to know our efforts are worthwhile. :-)

Thank you for sharing your art with us, K.L.!





(All © May 2013 by K.L. Prince)

Meet The Author:

I am a New Indie Author of Fiction / Adult Romance. My Dancyville series is romance for adults. Looking to add several more titles soon and follow up on my Dancyville series. Reviews from fans of the genre are welcome. I want to Thank my wife Dee for having patience with my passion for writing. I love you!

Unbroken is now RJ #1 of the series and has been updated due to the demand for more! I hope to release Unbridled RJ #2 next as RJ continues his adventures in romance & crime.

A Fancy in Dancyville the historical family saga is currently unavailable and receiving some revisions for re-release. A new book will be available in the near future.

Look for me on Facebook @ K.L.Prince or contact me at

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cover Reveal - 'Rose' by Alison Chaffin Higson


Mackenzie (Mack) Harper is a twenty-four year old school teacher who moves to Rose Cottage in Cape Elizabeth for the summer.  She arrives with her six year old nephew, Lucas, who’s staying with her for a few weeks ­while his parents are in Europe.

Placing storage boxes on top of the kitchen cabinets, Mack finds a diary, opening it to the first page it reads, ‘This is the diary of a Rose, dated March 4th, 1947’.  Settling down to read this diary, Mack discovers a love story between Rose and a man named Jacob Evans.

Realizing that Jacob is still alive and around eighty-eight years old, Mack tries to contact him to tell him Rose’s story.  She leaves a message with Jacob’s housekeeper and hopes that he returns her call. 

While talking to her sister on the phone she watches a denim and leather clad guy dismount his Harley and move in next door. Unbeknownst to Mack, he’s Jacob’s thirty-two year old grandson, Dean, who has come to Cape Elizabeth to find out why she wants to talk to his grandfather about a diary and to make sure she isn’t after his grandfather’s money.

Within an hour of actually meeting Dean has his hands on her legs, although due to spilled coffee, he discovers he can’t stop touching her.  Dean was only too glad to escape to Cape Elizabeth, away from his mother, who wants him to be married to Cynthia, her friend’s daughter, who he has no interest in.

Together Mack and Dean try to unravel the mystery of what actually happened to Rose in 1947.

Thomas Degan the owner of Rose Cottage is a loveable eighty year old man who befriends Lucas, taking him fishing and spends time with him reading ‘Our Gang’ Comics.

All these characters come together in a story of loss, love and friendship.

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Watch the trailer:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sexy Sunday - The Cougar Diaries (Part I) by Aoife Brennan

This week's Sexy Sunday features an excerpt from The Cougar Diaries (Part I) by Aoife Brennan (and that's pronounced Eef-ah, for us Americans). I'm excited to share this with you, because our heroine is in her 40's and starting her life over again, as opposed to the 25 year old miraculously multi-orgasmic princesses in most erotic romance novels. I haven't read the entire book yet, but as a more seasoned woman myself, I'm certainly gonna! 

Please enjoy. :-)



The name of her lover is changed so as not to be a spoiler for the plot

Walking back to the hotel, we fell into a companionable pattern. Out steps were in sync and our breathing even. Crossing the main road in front of the hotel, Mark held my elbow. It felt kind of natural.  ‘Do you fancy a night cap,’ he asked as we entered the foyer. I looked at him. ‘Yes, that would be nice,’ I said.
Several night caps later, Mark and I were roaring with laughter. His sense of humour was very wicked and poor Matt had received a terrible ribbing in his absence. I dreaded looking at him in the morning.  In the spirit of the new world I also confessed my recent dates, and gave an edited but highly amusing account of my disastrous BDSM experiences. Mark laughed until the tears rolled down his face. ‘Only could happen to you Aoife – although I must confess I thought you were a paragon of virtue.’
‘So did I.’I laughed. ‘They just sort of happened, by accident if you like.’
‘Sex by accident,’ said Mark. ‘Now that’s a great title for a book. You should write it.’
‘Yeah, just what my kids would like.’
Finally, I looked at my watch. ‘It’s late, well it’s only nine thirty, but it’s the early hours in Ireland and I need to sleep,’
‘Do you?’ asked Mark touching my knee. I stiffened and then relaxed. I looked intently at Mark. ‘Do you think that is a good idea?’ I asked.
Mark smiled. ‘I am a great believer in what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.’
‘That’s arse-ways,’ I laughed. ‘It’s what goes on tour, stays on tour and we are in San Francisco anyway. ‘
‘All the more reason for it to stay in Vegas,’ said Mark.
‘So, you would like to have sex by accident with me, ‘I said.
‘Very much,’ said Mark. ‘You can call it research for your book.’
‘How kind, except I’m not writing any book,’ I laughed.
We went to my room giggling as we walked along the corridor. We passed a guest and it was all I could do not to burst out laughing. ‘Oh, now we’ll be found out,’ said Mark in my ear. ‘Why did you have to laugh?!’
Falling against the door, I tried to insert my card. It took several attempts and Mark had begun nuzzling my ear now. I giggled harder and as the door opened, we both fell in. ‘I think I’m a bit tipsy, ‘I said.
‘I think you are too,’ said Mark, ‘and I like it. Drop your knickers Aoife Brennan, now!’
‘Feck off Mark. I’m done with all that BDSM crap,’ I said. ‘If I want to be tied up again, I’ll be, I’ll be, I’ll become a parcel.’
‘A what?’
‘You know, tied up like a parcel. Oh feck it, you know what I mean.’
‘You are the funniest thing, Aoife Brennan,’ said Mark and began pulling down my knickers.
‘Stop calling me by my full name. I’ll think I’m in trouble.’
‘You are. I’m the big bad wolf and I’m going to eat you up,’ said Mark who had also
managed to remove my blouse and bra. I looked at him. ‘What happens in Vegas?’
‘Yes, stays in Vegas.’ Mark nodded seriously and began kissing me. He pushed me back on the bed and I fell giggling. ‘How come I’m naked and you are not?’
‘Easily remedied,’ said Mark and undid his trousers, let them fall and kicked them off with a flourish. Then as I watched, still giggling, he pulled his shirt over his head, swung it around and chucked it flying through the air. He hooked a finger on each side of his boxers and pulled them down and up again just before his cock could be seen. He did this several times until in a fit of giggles I demanded he …’Ger’ em off!’
‘For you my sweet,’ he said and pulled them down in a single movement. He stood naked with a large erection and his socks. I pointed at the socks, ‘Off!’. Mark growled and jumped on the bed on top of me. ‘My saucy wench wants to the give the orders now,’ he barked. ‘If I want to wear my socks, then I shall. It’s safe sex after all.’
I giggled even more. ‘So you’re going to put your socks on your cock?’ I said. ‘That’ll make it pretty safe alright!’
In answer Mark started kissing me. He stopped my giggles with his tongue and by slowly rubbing his erection against my leg. I pulled my arms around him, feeling his shoulders and rubbing my hands down his back. I came to his buttocks and squeezed. ‘Oh,’ moaned Mark into my mouth. He kissed down my neck and reached for my right breast. ‘Oh my god, your nipples are divine Ms Brennan,’ he said and bit them.
‘Oh Mr Wolf,’ I said panting, ‘Eat me, eat me!’
Mark obliged, moving down my belly, kissing and nibbling until he reached between my legs. With one hand, he pulled my lips apart and moved in to suck my clit. I let out a long sigh. His tongue went in and out very deep, licking me out before returning to my clit and sucking and pulling. He put one finger in my pussy and began to pulse it in a rhythmical beat. Then he put two fingers in and moved them in a ‘come hither’ motion. I gasped. This was very good. Mark put three fingers inside and stopped sucking, concentrated instead on thrusting his fingers into me. I could feel a building urge. ‘Yes Aoife, come on,’ he said never varying the rhythm. I could feel something very different inside me, I could feel something building, his fingers pulled steadily deep and strong. ‘Yes, Aoife, you can do it,’ he said. I cried out and suddenly felt a release. I squirted all over Mark. ‘Oh my God, what have I done?’ I said in horror as Mark was drenched in my liquid. Mark laughed. ‘Oh, is that a first?’ he said. ‘You have just squirted Aoife Brennan and I love it.’
I half cried, half laughed. ‘Is that normal? I’m so sorry,’ I said horrified and fascinated all in one. ‘That is fantastic,’ said Mark. ‘Now for the safe sex.’
I looked at him half expecting the socks to make an appearance, but he drew a condom from his trouser pocket. ‘You brought one with you, ‘I said. ‘Were you always going to have sex with me?’
‘I’m a boy scout,’ said Mark, tearing the wrapper and putting the condom on in a swift move. ‘Now, prepare to be boarded, Ms Brennan.’ He fell on top of me and pushed his cock into me. ‘Oh, you have the tightest pussy,’ he said and began thrusting into me. I was still groggy from the unexpected squirting, but arched up into him and held him. He kissed me and began going faster. Mark was still damp and he moved slickly on top of me. He pulled me up into him and bent his head onto my shoulder. His breathing quickened and his thrusting became more urgent.  Our bodies moved in unison as he cradled me to him. ‘I’m coming,’ he said and he did. I could feel his cock vibrating and quiver inside. He collapsed on top of me and breathed heavily.  I stuck a tongue out to lick his shoulder. It tasted of me. I marvelled at the sensation and the wetness. I had never, ever done that before. Wow, another first, I thought. Then I remembered the socks.
‘We had sex and you never removed your socks,’ I said in mock indignation. 

Buy The Cougar Diaries Part I:

Meet The Author:

So how did a nice woman like me end up writing filth?

I see myself in the dock, facing the judge and having to answer his question. How did a nice middle class, middle aged woman like me end up writing lascivious copy? I can’t even pretend that my debut novel is a bodice ripper in the traditional sense because I used some very frank language and also the sex scenes went on for pages. I didn’t hide behind the euphemisms normally employed to soften text. I did not have my heroine have a ‘between her legs’ or ‘lady garden’ and I didn’t have my heroes have ‘throbbing manhoods’ or ‘sabres’. I called a phallus a phallus and a vagina a vagina. Actually, I used colloquialisms instead including the quite harsh words such as pussy and cock. And I had them doing some very descriptive things - did I mention these couplings went on for pages? Also, you will note I also have only one heroine but lots of heroes. I thought it was time to readdress the balance of the player. Women have needs too, don’t you know.  

So, how did a nice woman like me end up writing filth? My first answer is poverty. There is nothing like an empty bank balance to make the mind go into overdrive. Love may be free but lust will pay the bills. I had two choices. I could either go out there and sell my body, but while it had one careful owner and two offspring, and was in good nick for the mileage, it still wasn’t that attractive. Nor did I fancy doing the dance with no pants with lots of strangers possibly even more decrepit than me! Call me old fashioned, but I scratched that idea off soonest. So, what was the alternative? Writing about it. I decided to follow the old adage - where there is muck there’s brass.

And secondly, I also wanted to put sex into a context. My debut novel, The Cougar Diaries, Part I, is not autobiographical but I had so much say about a woman in her forties entering the dating world again. I had read, along with the rest of the world, 50 shades and hated it. I had said, along with the rest of the world, I could write better and so I did. Of course, time will be the judge of whether my debut novel is better than 50 Shades but I think it will give the genre a good run for the money.

While I disliked the actual books themselves, and could not get past the mid-point of the second, I liked what they did. Take a bow EL James for you brought erotica out of the shadows, dusted it down and put it square and centre in the middle of the living room. I liked that. Women have always liked sex but somehow this century we took a back seat. In ancient Ireland, women had a much more important role to play and could by Brehon law even demand conjugal satisfaction. Somehow this equality got lost and women, especially ‘good’ women were not meant to like sex and God forbid, to like arousal in the form of erotic books and visual aids (aka porn).

However, while I admire the good work in outing the fact ‘women like sex’ achieved by EL James, what I disliked was the main female character. Let me just tick off a few of my annoyances. She was young and virginal yet managed to achieve orgasm at the touch of button – and very often not her clitoral button. For a supposed intelligent woman she was just plain stooopid. When I read the opening scene where she was interviewing Mr Grey and she read out the question ‘Are you gay?’ by mistake, I went what?  How could a university educated woman not be able to read a line ahead without speaking the words out loud? Finally, she was ridiculously beautiful, bagged a billionaire and managed to get loads of really expensive presents into the bargain. This is Barbara Cartland territory only with nipple clamps and whips. Actually, Cartland did have whips, just not the nippley things.

So, I wanted to write a bonk buster but based a bit more on reality. I understand fiction is fiction, but I wanted a main character that I could identify with. And since I am a woman in her forties, newly separated, with teenage children and aged parents, I thought I would write a bit about me. Or me if I were in a bonk busting novel.

Also, I think I am not alone. There are many women in their forties re-entering the dating marketplace. And by parallel causes, men too. But since I am a woman, I decided to write from experience (and imagination). I discovered many things when I became single again. I discovered that men, marital status immaterial, hit on separated women. As a male friend said to me, once he knew a woman was separated, she took on a more sexual appearance to him, even more so than single women. He could not explain why he felt this way. I could not either, but I certainly experienced it first hand.  Then women tend not to trust you around their husbands – ridiculous it felt to me, since affairs are rife in modern Ireland, but I was certainly cut from many social outings as a result.

Then, when you separate, you lose friends. Sometimes, in an acrimonious breakup, you lose the lot! But even in amicable separations, it happens by default. I was again shocked as I felt I hadn’t changed. Of course, it is not me that had changed, but the other person’s view of who I was.  Still, I found it very upsetting to lose people who were friends. It took me a long while to figure out that stuff happens. I learnt not to question myself and not to blame them either. Sometimes, friends are for a reason and for a season.

Then there was sex - the whole thorny issue of getting naked with a stranger. As is pointed out to me in my novel, hopefully the man naked in front of you is not actually a stranger. But it still boils down to the same thing – having sex for the first time with a new person. You’d think, like riding a bike, sex should be easier or at least the same twenty odd years into adulthood. Think again. It is twice as daunting starting out again and you need to be a very brave person to take the first step.

Finally, this novel is not anti-marriage. It does not celebrate singledom.  It is a very realistic look at the life of a 40 plus woman learning to the do the dance with no pants again. Learning to live again. The best review I have got so far was from a happily married friend. Half way through the novel, she booked herself and her husband into a hotel without the children for a 24-hour shagathon. Now, that is a good review!

Happy reading!
Aoife Brennan