The Submission of Theodora by Siobhan Daiko

Today I have revealed the cover of my erotic romance “The Submission of Theodora”, which will be released on 27th October.

Title: The Submission Of Theodora
Author: Siobhan Daiko
Genre: Erotic Romance
It’s not every day a girl gets to meet the most powerful man in the world – but it’s not every girl that’s deemed useful. I’ve been deemed useful to the heir apparent to the Roman Emperor!
My skin prickles with awareness of him.
His hips form a perfect V; his chest seems forged from iron.
I long to touch him.
I long to be possessed by him.
I long to lose all sense of Theodora and be lost in Justinian.
Crazy, impetuous, domineering Justinian. With each word he speaks, I drift deeper into the maelstrom of his mind.
They tell me he has unusual tastes. They tell me I must surrender to him. “But as a former courtesan  it’s usually been me in charge.”
But when his true plans for me reveal themselves, and the darkness in Justinian comes…

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My Monday guest, Jade West, queen of erotic romance.

Today I’m absolutely delighted to be chatting with the amazing Jade West. Jade and I met about a year ago through our editor John Hudspith. Her “Dirty Bad” erotic romance series has stormed up the Amazon USA charts and her current release, Dirty Bad Strangers, has been ranked as high as #14 in the top 100 bestsellers. All well deserved. Jade is a hugely talented writer, unafraid to push the boundaries, and I love her work.

Jade

Welcome, Jade. How would you describe yourself as a colour?

The very darkest red, bordering on black. I’m an absolute goth at heart, but there is a flash of scarlet and blood and Coca-Cola. I’m quite a drama queen – a gothic drama queen – so black-red sums me up very nicely. 🙂

Are you a morning person, or a midnight candle burner?

Most definitely a midnight candle burner. I often see the morning, but it’s invariably through lack of sleep the night before. I pull all-nighters way more than I’d recommend. Sleep deprivation is a close buddy of mine.

I find there is something magical in the quiet of the early hours, some kind of psychic stillness which allows my muse to play. I get most of my writing done during this time.

Fascinating! Tell me something you would like your fans to know about you.

I write largely from experience, and I hope that shows. I really was a chatline operator, and I really am a filthy cow.

Hahaha! Bedtime, relaxing so you can sleep sounds or Is your preference for white noise, TV, soft music, ocean waves, forest or meadow sounds, babbling brook, or something else?

My bedtime is often in the middle of the day, and I’m normally like a zombie when I climb between the sheets. Silence and heavy curtains suit me.

When did you start writing?

I started writing years ago, and in fact I quit my day job when I was about twenty-five with the intention of becoming an author. I was working on a godawful paranormal story at the time, and completed a year’s creative writing course with the Open University to help me along my way. Luckily, I didn’t finish that book! I ended up running a business for seven years instead. 

In honesty, I’m not sure as to why I started writing. Some kind of calling, I guess. I’ve written journals since I was eleven, so writing has been a part of life for a long time now. I live in my head, a lot, so stories seem to appear naturally, along with the urge to write them down.

Awesome! Where do you get your ideas from?

The subconscious. It’s a greater storyteller than the rest of me could ever hope to be.

How did you come to write erotica?

I think I was born dirty. Erotica is the obvious choice for me. Nobody who has ever known me in everyday life would be even vaguely surprised!

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What is your favourite part of writing a novel?

My favourite part of writing a novel has come about quite recently. I work with John Hudspith, who’s an incredible editor, and we’ve taken on a way of collaborating which suits me well. It’s almost like real-time editing, although we are in completely different parts of the country. I’ll be writing while he’s editing, and it comes together beautifully. It’s one of my greatest joys.

Mine too! So, how do you handle a writer’s block?

I get my editor to kick me up the arse. He has a strong foot. 🙂

Hahaha! Do you write long hand first, or does it go straight onto the computer?

Straight onto the computer. I use a software package called WriteItNow and I would strongly recommend it.

Yes, I’ve got that one too but mostly use it for planning and making research notes. Are you a “sit down and play it by ear” kind of writer, or do you need a structured guideline, or maybe a little of both?

I have a structured guideline – a list of scenes – and I let myself flow freely within that. So, I’ll know which scene I’m writing, but let it take shape however it wishes.

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So, do you always know how a story will end when you begin writing it?

Yes, although the route to that end will sometimes surprise me.

And your work is definitely based on real life experience?

Most certainly. 🙂

Do you like to read the genre that you write?

Yes. I love a good erotica novel, especially a dirty-as-hell one with a filthy talking lead.

Hahaha! What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?

Dirty Bad Strangers was only released last week, and I am now at the beginning on the next project. It’s a dark tale, with Halloween in mind.

Wow! Tell us a bit about your recent release, Dirty Bad Strangers.

Dirty Bad Strangers is the story of a chatline operator who gets involved with one of her clients. They share the same fantasy – group sex. Our lovely curvaceous heroine wants to be taken by multiple men she doesn’t know, and she well and truly gets her wish.

I loved writing this book. The characters really got under my skin, as did the romance. It’s my favourite of the three.

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It’s my favourite too. Gemma and Jason are wonderful characters. It’s been great chatting with you, Jade. Before you go, please let us have your stalk links.

You can catch me over at:

www.facebook.com/jadewestauthor

www.twitter.com/jadewestauthor

www.jadewestauthor.com

Thank you for having me!

THANK YOU! 🙂

 

My Monday Guest, Pam Howes, queen of rock fiction.

Today, I’m delighted to welcome the lovely Pam Howes to my blog.

Pam bookcase. 2015

Pam and I met about four years ago on the peer review site YouWriteOn, and now we’re friends on Facebook. It was Pam who introduced me to my fantastic editor John Hudspith, the man who has made such a difference to my writing. Pam is the author of The Rock and Roll Years series: Three Steps to Heaven; ‘Til I Kissed You; Always On My Mind; Not Fade Away, and That’ll Be The Day, which follows the lives and loves through the decades of fictional Rock’n’Roll band The Raiders. Her stand-alone true-life romance, Fast Movin’ Train, set in the nineties, was published in early 2012. A new series of Fairground Romances, set in the sixties, begins with Cathy’s Clown. 

Welcome, Pam. How would you describe yourself as a colour? Are you a light and airy pastel person, or more of a deep, dark, sultry and mysterious colour?

Purple, definitely purple. The darker and richer the better. There’s a colour called royal purple. That’s me!

And are you a morning person, or a midnight candle burner?

Midnight candle burner. I don’t do mornings. I have more energy at night for some reason.

I’m the same. Please tell me something you’d like your readers to know about you.

I’m the driving force behind a campaign for Blue Plaque status for buildings in my hometown that housed our brilliant clubs where iconic acts like The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Small Faces and the Walker Bothers performed in the sixties.

Wow! I hope you’re successful. What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have an all-time favourite song?

Mainly Rock’n’Roll or sixties pop songs. Favourite song of all time would have to be Let The Heartaches Begin by Long John Baldry, one of the best ballads ever recorded.

I love that song too. Pam, if your life were a movie would it be considered an action film, comedy, drama, romance, fantasy or a combination?

Definitely drama mixed with a handful of comedy and a lot of romance. Drama because of the large family I have around me and comedy because there’s plenty of laughter that such a big brood generates and romance – well why not?

Absolutely! Please tell us, when did you start writing?

I first had a dabble in the mid-nineties when I started to write what was to be a factual book about the local music scene in the sixties.

From where do you get the ideas for your novels?

Life in general. My teenage years. Songs inspire me too, and my musician partner’s tales of his times on the road with his old bands.

How did you come to write rock fiction?

By default I think. When my non-fictional attempts were abandoned because someone beat me to it, I turned the facts into rock fiction.

PamHowes_RockNRoll_BOXSET

What do you think is the hardest part of writing a book?

Being chained to a desk all day. I get restless and want to go out, especially when the sun is shining.

Which element is most difficult for you?

None of it really. Once I get going I enjoy all the writing part.

What’s your favourite part, then?

When I can picture my characters and see them moving through the lives I’ve created for them.

That’s mine too. What’s your least favourite part?

Marketing! It’s boring and time consuming.

Snap! Would you ever consider a joint project?

Maybe. It’s been mooted. I have a friend who was married to a musician from a well known band. She has diaries and stuff from those days and the tours of America with many famous names. One day we plan on getting it together to collaborate on this non-fiction project. I’m looking forward to it as she promises some wild tales!

Sounds intriguing. Which one of your own releases was your own particular favourite?

Fast Movin’ Train. It’s based on a true tale and is written from deep within my heart.

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I can’t wait to read it. Tell us, Pam. How do you handle a writer’s block?

Don’t really get it once I’m on a roll. I had a break this year while my mother was ill and needed care. Took me a while to get back in the saddle, but once I got there I’ve been fine.

That’s good to know. Do you write long-hand first, or does it go straight onto the computer?

I used to write long hand, pads and pads of it, but not anymore. I just use the computer and then print a chapter at a time and add any bits or edits that way and then input them.

Are you a “sit down and play it by ear kind of writer”, or do you need a structured guideline, or maybe a little of both?

I play it by ear most of the time. I don’t work well if I have to stick to structure.

When crafting the story do you go from beginning to end, or do you jump around writing the scenes that are pushing themselves forward in your brain?

I always have the end in my head first. That way it’s easier to start, but sometimes it takes me by surprise…

Generally speaking, is your work based on real life experience?

Yes, a lot of it is. My characters are nearly always based on people I know. I use the looks of one and the traits of another and mix and mingle them a bit!

How long does it take you to create a novel, on average?

About twelve months these days. Maybe a bit less if time permits.

Do you like to read the genre that you write?

Sometimes. But there’s not much around like mine; they’re sagas without clog and shawls. My guys wear jeans and leather jackets in the main. I love to read crime thrillers.

What are you working on now, Pam? Would you like to share anything about it?

I’m working on the second novel of my fairground series, Ruby Tuesday, but I’ve had to put it temporarily on the back burner due to working on a secret project. I’ll be back on the job soon. No release date planned at the moment. This will depend on the secret project and the available time to complete both.

How can we find you? Do you have a web page, Facebook  page or any buy links?

My Facebook author page

My Amazon page with all book links

Twitter

Thanks, Pam. It’s been great chatting to you and I wish you every success with your secret project and Ruby Tuesday. I loved Three Steps to Heaven and really look forward to reading more of your books.

My Monday guest, Joy Wood, definitely not a donkey!

Joy Wood

Today, I’m delighted to host debut novelist Joy Wood to my blog. We’ve recently become friends, both of us sharing the same fantastic editor, John Hudspith, and amazing cover designer J D Smith. Welcome, Joy! Please tell me something you would like readers to know about you.

I have worked at a nurse all my adult life, and despite the many reorganisations I have been involved in throughout the NHS, I’m passionate about healthcare with the patient being the focus and not bureaucracy. If we all put the patient at the centre of decision making, then there would be a great improvement in the service. Instead we are driven by numerous targets, which can be ‘fiddled’, and dare I say, implemented at the cost of quality patient care.

If you could morph into any creature what would it be?

A Donkey.

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If you don’t mind me asking, why a donkey?

To join the rest of them in Parliament!

Hahaha! Good answer!!

I’m a music lover. What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have an all-time favourite song?

I prefer music from the 50’s 60’s and 70’s. I was brought up on this music as my late father was a fisherman, and when ashore (in those days maybe for just 2 days at a time), music would feature loudly throughout the house each morning ’till dusk. On a school morning, I would wake to the beautiful voice of Roy Orbison, the unique strings of Buddy Holly and the rhythm of Elvis blaring out from the record deck – those where the days!

Sounds great. If your life were a movie would it be considered an action film, comedy, drama, romance, fantasy or a combination? Why?

A drama. It would be a lifelong true story about nursing. I would hope the ending would leave the audience begging for a return to the traditional values of the NHS.

So, when did you start writing and why?

To see if I could. I used to be very successful in consumer competitions as a slogan writer. I love word play, and quickly deduced that humour would win me the prizes. So, I worked on humour, and interjected it into each ditty I wrote, and was rewarded handsomely. I moved onto poems and short stories, and then decided I’d go for a ‘proper story’, and the plot for my book was ‘hatched’.

Where do you get your ideas from, Joy?

I moved to the seaside (Cleethorpes) two years ago. Each day I walk the sea front (come rain or shine) and weather permitting, sit and watch the tide. I just love water.  I make little chapters up in my mind, and then when I’m home, capture them on the laptop.

How did you come to write romance?

I like reading romance myself. It’s a bit of escapism and I felt, as a new writer, I would be more likely to attract a larger audience. What woman doesn’t like a bit of romance?!?

Very true. What do you think is the hardest part of writing a book?

Editing. Without doubt. I’d not written before, remember. I could write what I thought was a good story, but I wondered whether the writing was good enough, and, initially, it wasn’t. So, there was lots of POV work to be done, and lots of cutting, and my grammar needed a bit of work. (I hope John Hudspith is not reading this as he’ll be choking on his tea at ‘a bit of work’!)

What’s your favourite part of writing?

Just writing, initially. Whether it’s satisfactory, bad, not quite good enough, needs some work, etc., doesn’t matter to me. I just love sitting and writing my thoughts down. I write as I speak. Obviously there is a lot of cutting that has to be done, but I like the feeling of getting those words down on paper.

And your least favourite part?

Promoting! I’m not a great one for pushing myself forward. It’s ridiculous really when I’ve spent my life as a health educator, speaking in public/in schools, lecturing at University, and counselling, and yet, when it comes to promoting my book, I’m not good at all. And let’s not go there about having my photograph taken . . .

Would you ever consider a joint project?

No, it wouldn’t be fair on the other person, I’d always think my ideas were the best!

Do you always know how a story will end when you begin writing it?

Yes, I have the beginning and the end written of the next one, I just need to fill the bits in-between!

Generally speaking, is your work based on real-life experience?

Oh, my goodness, no. If I’d been lucky enough to be with any of these hunky leading men, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this now!

Would you want it to be based on real-life experience?

No, I wouldn’t. I’ve been exceptionally lucky, and have had a wonderful life so far, which, God willing, I hope will continue, but nothing exciting that anyone would want to read about.

What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?

Yes, I’m working on a book about a small independent hospital, and the staff that work in the operating theatre. It’s a romance, but has a definite story to it, with a few surprising twists and turns along the way.

Tell us about your recent release, Joy!

I released my debut novel, For the Love of Emily on 15th August, and the response has been amazing. Currently, it’s received twenty 5 star reviews on UK Amazon, and five 5 star reviews on the US site. The book is a contemporary romance about Rebecca, a young woman with a deadly secret. She creates beautiful dresses by day, and works as a high class prostitute for female clients at night. The two other central characters, a middle-aged lesbian, and a strong charismatic wealthy businessman, both want Rebecca and will stop at nothing to get her.

FOR THE LOVE OF EMILY

While the content of the novel is very graphic sexually, (Amazon review ‘…the author gets you turning the pages so quickly, your fingers will be on fire…’), I sincerely hope the reader will enjoy the content of the story and the intrigue along the way. (Amazon review ‘…I found myself led down many dead-ends, as I was convinced I had ‘sussed’ it all out, only to be dealt another clever, well thought out and executed ‘twist’… and there are a number of them so be ready for a roller coaster ride.’) It is available from Amazon as either a paperback, or a Kindle version, and I’ve specifically asked at the end of the book for feedback from the readers, which hopefully will shape my next novel!

How can we find you? Do you have a web page, a Facebook page or any buy links?

Yes, I do:

Buy link: hhttp://bookgoodies.com/a/B012GKUK8I.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/joywoodauthor

Website: joywoodauthor.wordpress.com

Twitter: @Joywoodauthor

Thank you Siobhan for giving me the opportunity to share ‘a little bit about me’ today.

If there are any queries at all, I’m happy to be contacted by email joymarywood@yahoo.co.uk

Thank YOU, my lovely. It’s been a REAL joy hosting you on my blog and I wish you every success with your writing. I’ve got “For the Love of Emily” on my Kindle and can’t wait to start reading.

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Massive Book Rant (contains swearing)

Oh, yes. This really hits home…

jjmarsh

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I’ve now destroyed three Kindles by flinging them at the wall. Number of paperbacks taken to recycling – three bags full. I am so tired and weary of reading half-baked bollocks, I want to give up my treasured pleasure of literature and watch Blackadder repeats.

No, you beard-strokers and bespectacled nodders, this is not the ‘Great Unwashed Tsunami’ of self-publishing. It’s far too many shite books by authors whose gaze rests otherwhere than on their readers. It’s self-indulgent crap and it comes from every kind of publishing arsehole.

This week I hurled a Booker Prize nominee out the window. Gave up on a small press manuscript. Spent three hours trying to refine a critique which should simply read: Don’t.

book job

From a reviewer’s perspective, here are the Golden Bloody Rules.

  1. Stand in your readers’ shoes. We don’t know your characters or storyworld as well as you do. Tread that fine line…

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My Monday guest – Judith Arnopp – One Hundred Windows –

I’m thrilled to welcome Judith Arnopp to my blog this Monday. Judith is a Facebook friend of mine and I appeared on her blog last spring. It’s an honour to have her here on mine. She’s the author of seven historical novels. The titles include:  A Song of Sixpence: the story of Elizabeth of York and Perkin Warbeck; Intractable Heart: the story of Katheryn Parr; The Kiss of the Concubine: a Story of Anne Boleyn; The Winchester Goose: at the court of Henry VIII; The Song of Heledd; The Forest Dwellers; Peaceweaver

 It’s a formidable list and I’m full of admiration for her. I read The Winchester Goose and absolutely loved it.

Welcome, Judith! Please tell us about your writing.

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Writing historical fiction is never easy. Every event, every recorded instance has another story behind it, another perspective, or another possible explanation. Researching the past is like being in a tall building with a hundred windows, each showing a different aspect of the invents, or an alternative route I can take. I spend a long time choosing. None of the books I’ve written have been easy but so far my current wip is proving the most difficult.

 The Beaufort Chronicle is the life of Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. Set during the Wars of the Roses, I have to deal with the conflict itself, the fluctuating mind set of a host of characters – each with their own agenda. I take into consideration the chopping and changing of sides, the confusing upheaval of what was ultimately a family at war. Then I need to understand the constantly evolving politics and try to come up with a story that is fresh, offering something new and a little different from the usual representations.

Judith Arnopp 3

In the past I have dealt with some big historical figures, William Rufus, Harold II, Henry VIII’s queens, Henry himself, and his mother Elizabeth of York. This time his grandmother, Margaret Beaufort, is my most formidable task yet. It is as if she is looking over my shoulder, waiting for me to get it wrong. She was an intimidating woman. She won’t hesitate to rap me over the knuckles if she doesn’t like the way I paint her.

 In the part I am writing now Margaret is just thirteen years old and about to give birth to Henry Tudor, later to become Henry VII. Recently widowed, heavily pregnant, and surrounded by the pressures of imminent civil war, she has turned for protection to her brother-in-law, Jasper Tudor. She is frightened, of both the pending birth and her future. She has no idea if she or her child will survive. Medieval women were usually detached from their children and, although Margaret and Henry were parted for much of his youth, she was devoted to him and fought tirelessly for his cause. But at this point, I have to remember she couldn’t see the future, she is just a child in a draughty fortress, about to face childbirth, or possibly death.

 Margaret was married to Edmund Tudor when she was twelve years old and he was twenty four. The immediate consummation of the marriage sounds outrageous to our ears but they were living in a different world. It was usual to wait until the bride was fourteen to consummate the marriage but when Margaret fell pregnant while still only twelve, there were only a few contemporary murmurings against his decision. There was no undue outrage, no hue and cry as there would be today.

 Edmund Tudor, half-brother to Henry VI, was ambitious, and Margaret’s immense estates and properties would not be his until she bore him a child. That was the purpose of their marriage, to strengthen her relationship with the king, and to further expand Edmund’s wealth. There is even some suggestion that, using Margaret’s claim, Henry IV might name Edmund heir. Love and romance had no place in medieval marriage. Power was everything and Margaret would have been raised to understand that.

 The closest she came to commenting on her marriage to Edmund came much later, when her granddaughter and namesake, Margaret Tudor, was joined at a young age to James IV of Scotland. Margaret Beaufort insisted that consummation of the marriage would be postponed until young Margaret was older.

 These days we mostly pamper and protect our children (or think we do) and to us, Margaret’s position seems unbearable; it raises our hackles and makes us want to yell ‘rape and ignominy!’ But Margaret never said a bad word against Edmund. Because he was ambitious and greedy doesn’t necessarily mean he was cruel. There is nothing to say he didn’t treat her as gently as he could and I have found nothing in the contemporary accounts to suggest rape, or unwillingness on her part. I am not in any way condoning the act but most criticism of the union seems to appear later, and I feel we may be judging the past by our own parameters.

 Although she went on to marry twice more, Margaret expressed a wish to be buried with Edmund at Carmarthen. Her wishes were ignored and she lies close to her son at Westminster. But her request to be interred with her first husband, Edmund Tudor, suggests to me that she respected him, or at least understood, or accepted his reasons for his actions; perhaps she even formed an attachment, a sort of adolescent crush.

 Henry Tudor, whom Margaret gave birth to in January at Pembroke Castle, was an only child. It is believed that damage to her immature body made it impossible for her to conceive again; or perhaps the act itself was made so repugnant she avoided sex. She married twice more but in later life, although married, she took a vow of chastity.

 The absence of written proof of her feelings offers scope for the writer of fiction. Margaret’s story is a great one, she was a woman of great courage. Initially a pawn in a man’s game Margaret quickly took control of her life, fighting tirelessly for her son’s rights. Once he was on the throne she took her place as his advisor, his staunchest supporter and ultimately, barring the king, she emerged as the most powerful person in England.

 As I stand in my many windowed tower and decide from which angle to approach Margaret Beaufort, I am certain that whichever route I choose, the journey won’t be a dull one.

I’m sure it won’t be either. Margaret Beaufort is a historical character who fascinates me, and I’m looking forward to reading your novel. I’ve got A Song of Sixpence on my Kindle and will be starting it soon.

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Thank you for being my guest today, my lovely. Readers, you can connect with Judith via her  Author Page and Website

 

Book Review: Veronica Courtesan by Siobhan Daiko

A wonderful review of “Veronica COURTESAN”.

SydneyGen Reads

Title: Veronica COURTESAN
Author: Siobhan Daiko
Genre: Erotic/ Historic
I watch him watching us, imagining how he would take me.
I send him the message with my eyes.
This is who I am. 
I am Veronica Franco. 
I am a COURTESAN.
I court the cultural elite for fame and fortune, giving my body to many. 
And I’m good. So very good. After all, I was taught by my mother, and mother always knows best. 
How else to please the future King of France than with the imaginative use of Murano glass? How else to fulfil the desires of all yet keep my sense of self-worth?
But when disaster strikes and my life begins to unravel, I’ll have to ask myself one question:
Is it too late to give my heart to just one man?
Set in Venice 16th Century.

Advisory: sensuously erotic. 18+
 

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