Saturday, October 7, 2017

Coming Soon: Two Man Station

I'm so excited to announce that I have a new release coming out in January 2018 from Riptide: 

Gio Valeri is a big city police officer who’s been transferred to the small outback town of Richmond with his professional reputation in tatters. His transfer is a punishment, and Gio just wants to keep his head down and survive the next two years. No more mistakes. No more complications.
Except Gio isn’t counting on Jason Quinn.
Jason Quinn, officer in charge of Richmond Station, is a single dad struggling with balancing the demands of shift work with the challenges of raising his son. The last thing he needs is a new senior constable with a history of destroying other people’s careers. But like it or not, Jason has to work with Gio.
In a remote two man station hours away from the next town, Gio and Jason have to learn to trust and rely on each another. Close quarters and a growing attraction mean that the lines between professional and personal are blurring. And even in Richmond, being a copper can be dangerous enough without risking their hearts as well.
You can pre-order Two Man Station from Riptide! 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Henry, the Great Detective

Well, it's been six hundred years since I've updated the blog... whoops! So to hopefully get the ball rolling again, here's an old fic I found on my hard drive. It's years old, from way before I was published, and it probably shows. Nevertheless, I'm sharing it with everyone since what the hell else am I going to do with it? Enjoy! 

  Henry was always looking for an opportunity to show off his towering intellect, the problem being it wasn’t as towering as he imagined. For forty years he’d been a chartered accountant who enjoyed the occasional detective novel, but since retirement it had become an obsession for Henry. From Holmes to Hercule, Marlow to Marple, Henry knew them all backwards. 
     “For heaven’s sake, dear, you’re a retired accountant, not an epicure,” I murmured as he picked fussily over his dinner, a trait he’d inherited from Nero Wolfe. 
     Henry had become more finicky in everything since retirement. Things had to be just right, from the creases ironed into his trousers each morning, to the one and a half spoons of Splenda in his tea three times a day, to his slippers just so beside the bed each evening. I had the feeling that he was going to make this holiday, our first in years, absolute hell. 
     His seasickness didn’t help. We had hardly left Sydney Harbour before that struck. I had just unpacked and we were sitting down to our first cup of tea when Henry suddenly made a dash to the toilet. 
     “I don’t feel well,” he moaned from the u-bend. “Bea, I’m not well.” 
     “Henry, you’re seasick. Come and have a lie down and you’ll feel better.” 
     Henry, being irrepressible, rallied for dinner, and we were in the restaurant in plenty of time for him to start criticising the service, the food, and the size of the complimentary cocktail. 
     It was the first night of the cruise, and it was “Meet and Greet Evening” aboard the Pacific Sunset. We were at a table with five strangers: two holidaying couples and a crewmember, and Henry was drawing attention to himself already with his disapproving Wolfesque sighs over the lobster thermidor. 
     “And what do you do, Mr Willmott?” asked Dr Neumann, a pleasant young Austrian chap, and the ship’s medical officer. 
     “Call me Henry,” said Henry, beaming around the table. “I was an accountant, but my lovely wife Bea and I are here celebrating my retirement. Now I’m an amateur detective.” 
     Henry paused for effect. No one quite met his eye. 
     “Really? How very interesting,” managed Dr Neumann at last. 
     The young lady next to the doctor bravely soldiered on. “Um, hi, my name’s Julie Mason, and this is my husband Kevin. We’re on our honeymoon.” 
     They looked at one another adoringly for a moment, as young couples do before forty years of Where are my keys, Bea? and Have you ironed my pants, Bea? takes the shine off marriage. 
     The last couple wore Versace. They were both tanned and bleached in all the right places, and probably waxed and buffed as well. They were a matched pair, except fot the good fifteen or twenty years age difference. 
     “Hello, I’m Violet Cavill-Smith,” drawled the bejewelled woman from behind a puff of cigarillo smoke and at least three facelifts. She brushed a manicured hand over the young man’s cheek. “This is my Jet, my fiancĂ©.” 
     “Oooh!” exclaimed Julie. “You’re Veronica Saint-Just on Deadly Sins!” 
     Henry had been upstaged, but that didn’t stop him from contributing his usual claptrap for the rest of the meal. 
     “Motive, means and opportunity are the keys to solving any crime,” he pontificated. “Everyone from Sherlock Holmes to Philip Marlowe knew that!” 
     Poor Kevin Mason, who had never heard of Philip Marlowe, found himself on the receiving end of a twenty minute lecture. It was a relief for everybody when we had to skip dessert as Henry’s nausea resurfaced. Dr Neumann was kind enough to see us back to out cabin. 
     “I’m sure you’ll feel better in the morning,” he said. “If you don’t, my office is on B deck. Goodnight.” 
     “I don’t feel well, Bea,” Henry griped, but once sitting on our bed he shipped out his notebook and began scribbling away while I made our tea. 
     “Now really, Henry, can’t you put that away?” 
     Henry sipped his tea and looked smug. “I don’t suppose you noticed anything odd about that dinner, Bea, since you don’t have my mind, but I most certainly did! Would it surprise you to know that Jet, if that is his real name, is having an affair with Julie Mason?” 
     “Oh, Henry, leave it alone, won’t you?” I drank my tea in silence while Henry itched to display his powers of deduction, and finally relented. “Go on, then, how could you know that?” 
     “I have been studying lip reading,” Henry said. “During the man course I saw Julie Mason lean over to Jet and whisper Meet me later. How do you explain that?” 
     “Lip reading is not an exact science, Henry, especially if you’re a retired accountant.” I shook my head at him. “And I hardly think a girl on her honeymoon and a boy who is being kept in the lap of luxury by a soap star would risk it all on a fling. She’d lose her husband, and he’d lose his bankroll.” 
     Henry, being Henry, had an answer for everything. 
     “Whish is probably the reason Jet stole Violet Cavill-Smith’s ring!” Henry’s triumphant look wavered as his stomach rebelled. “Oooh, Bea, I’m not taking to the ocean at all!” 
     “Have some more sweet tea, Henry, and tell me about this ting theory. It will take your mind off the seasickness.” 
     “It’s not a theory, Bea,” Henry puffed, slurping his tea. “I have a mind like a steel trap. You’re not observant like me, so you wouldn’t have seen the pale band around her finger where she usually wears a thick ring. She seems like the sort of vain woman who would wear all her flashiest jewels to dinner, so why wasn’t she wearing her thickest ring tonight?” 
     “Maybe it fell down the sink,” I said. 
     But Henry was on a roll. “No, it’s far more likely it’s been stolen, and my money’s on Jet. He’s a real fancy man, Bea, a real player. A lady-killer! In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s planning on doing her in!” 
     “That’s quite a leap from a missing ring,” I said mildly. “Are you alright, dear? Do you need me to call Dr Neumann?” 
     “Ha! I’m not sure he’s even a real doctor. He certainly isn’t Austrian! Shall I tell you how I know?” Henry had gone quite grey while we spoke, and he clutched his stomach. “I wish we’d gone on the rail trip instead, but you wanted this cruise. I should have known better than to listen to you!” 
     “There, there, Henry,” I said soothingly. 
     He smiled grimly through his nausea. “Still, it has given me a chance to pit my keen intellect against this criminal plot. Motive, means and opportunity!” 
     I thought back to dinner. “But Henry, everyone seemed so nice. Are you sure, dear, that you aren’t just jumping to conclusions?” 
     “I suppose you think I’m just a silly old man!” Henry said indignantly. 

     “Yes, dear,” I answered, feeling a little sorry for him that he just wasn’t clever enough to figure it out in the end. “That’s why I poisoned your tea.” 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Have a free (very dark!) story

Earlier in the year I wrote a free short story as part of the Goodreads BDSM Group's "Bound by Ink" event. The prompt asked for something dark, violent and bloodthirsty. There's nothing safe, sane or consensual about this one. On the other hand... murder husbands! 

In a post-apocalyptic world, Dante is a star. He kills for the entertainment of an audience of millions. When his path crosses that of Seto, another hunter, their encounter is violent and blood-soaked. Seto is something new, something unexpected, and for the first time in as long as he can remember, Dante doesn’t know how the game will end.
To download Give Me Your Heart, follow the links: 


Monday, November 14, 2016

Turn that frown upside-down!

Turn that frown upside down!

Don’t worry, this isn’t an exhortation to cheer up. I hate those. When people tell me to cheer up, it just makes me want to stab them harder.             But I learned something really interesting at GRL, and since then I’ve been sharing with everyone. Ask J.A. Rock. I shared it with everyone she introduced me to on our recent road trip.

First of all, my apologies to whoever brought this up at the panel at GRL. I missed your name, but I’ll take your wisdom to my grave!

So here it is: did you know that “frown” means two very different things, depending on whether or not you use UK English, or American English? Really.

Ask an American what part of the body you frown with, and they’ll tell you it’s the mouth.

The mouth! How crazy is that? (Clearly I am on the UK English side of the argument.) In the UK—and the rest of the commonwealth, I guess—we frown with our foreheads. What we call a frown is probably what Americans would think of as a scowl. And what they call a frown, we would think of as a downturned or grimacing mouth.

On our road trip, J.A. and I listened to the audio books of our Playing the Fool series, narrated by the awesome Nick J Russo. And every time Mac frowned—and Henry is as annoying as fuck, so this happened a lot times—we had to try and remember who wrote that section, and what Mac was actually doing with his face. It’s weird to think we’ve been writing together for so long, and never suspected we were envisaging two entirely different things.

“He’s scowling!” I insisted when we got to one line with a cranky Mac. “Why would he be doing that weird thing with his mouth?”

“What? Frowning?” J.A. asked me.

I hate her sometimes.

She has a point when it comes to the emoji. It’s called a frowny face, and it’s clearly all to do with the mouth. Otherwise instead of :( it would be ):( Which actually looks like an emoji for a corset. But, like the rest of the UK-English speaking world, I guess I thought the forehead scowl was implied. Or that instead of seeing that as the eyes and the mouth, why not tilt your head and see it as the eyes and the forehead. With no mouth at all.

The point is, emojis aside, I’m going with which defines a frown as “to contract the brow, as in displeasure or deep thought; scowl.”

This woman here, who I found on an ad for wrinkle treatment, is frowning. She's probably annoyed because she's only in her twenties and some asshole thinks she needs botox already. 

This guy here though? I don't know what's going on with his face, but that's not a frown. 

I’m not frowning at all as I write this though. I’m laughing, because just when I think I’ve finally got the hang of this language in all its weird local variations, it throws something like that at me. And when I say laughing, hopefully that means the same thing to everyone reading this. But who even knows anymore?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Adulting 101 - Join the Tour!

It’s here! It’s release day for Adulting 101! Which also means it’s the blog tour! If you follow along, you can not only win an ebook from my back catalogue, but also a Riptide gift voucher, and s Super Secret cute little present that I’m not going to tell you about because you deserve a nice surprise in your life!

To join the tour, check out the sites and times below:

August 15, 2016  -  Love Bytes Reviews
August 15, 2016  -  Boy Meets Boy Reviews
August 15, 2016  -  Man2Mantastic
August 15, 2016  -  Rainbow Gold Reviews
August 15, 2016  -  Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews
August 15, 2016  -  My Fiction Nook
August 16, 2016  -  BiblioJunkies
August 16, 2016  -  Unquietly Me
August 16, 2016  -  Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
August 16, 2016  -  Creative Deeds
August 16, 2016  -  Prism Book Alliance
August 16, 2016  -  The Novel Approach
August 17, 2016  -  Joyfully Jay
August 17, 2016  -  Book Reviews and More by Kathy
August 17, 2016  -  Alpha Book Club
August 17, 2016  -  KT Book Reviews
August 17, 2016  -  Attention is Arbitrary
August 17, 2016  -  GGR-Review
August 18, 2016  -  Keysmash
August 18, 2016  -  Dog-Eared Daydreams
August 18, 2016  -  AReCafe
August 18, 2016  -  TTC Books and More
August 18, 2016  -  Butterfly-o-Meter
August 18, 2016  -  The Day Before You Came
August 19, 2016  -  Bayou Book Junkie
August 19, 2016  -  Booklover Sue
August 19, 2016  -  Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
August 19, 2016  -  Boys on the Brink
August 19, 2016  -  Sinfully Gay Romance
August 19, 2016  -  MM Good Book Reviews