Hey, all! Please welcome Jay Northcote to the blog today. We swapped interviews, and mine will be on her blog next week (11/22), but for now, check out Jay’s answers to my questions and the blurb for her newest release, Nothing Ventured, which just came out from Dreamspinner yesterday (and I am very excited to read!). 🙂
Thanks for hosting me today.
What do you love about fanfic? How did you come across it?
I came across fanfiction because a friend told me about it and I was intrigued, and then I started reading and became hooked. But I was fascinated by the authors as much as by the stories. All those people—many of them amazingly talented—writing stories for the love of characters and the joy of writing. It was very inspiring. The first piece of fiction I wrote in 20-odd years was a short fanfiction story and the floodgates opened. I’ve been writing ever since.
As a reader I love fanfic because it allows me to lose myself in a story with familiar characters that I adore. You know how when you love a story so much that you don’t want it to end? With fanfic you get to keep reading more stories with the same characters so you never get that post book slump. There’s always more!
What is the most difficult thing about writing for you? The easiest?
I think the thing I struggle with most is motivation and that goes hand in hand with confidence for me. When I’m in an ‘up’ phase and I’m feeling good about my writing, I’m inspired. The ideas flow and I don’t find it too hard to get stuck in and get the story down. But when I’m feeling vulnerable or low, I get really negative about my work and then it’s an uphill battle to write at all.
From a technical point of view, I’d say that my weakness as a writer is plotting. I get very tangled in plots and timelines and they stress me out. Sometimes I have no idea how I’m going to find my way through it and get a bit panicky. The parts I find easiest is writing characters, they usually make themselves known and are quite easy to channel.
Do you prefer writing stand-alone books or a series?
I prefer stand-alones. Partly because of the plotting issues, my brain would really struggle to keep plot threads going through more than one book. Also I love writing getting together stories, the part where they meet and fall for each other is the part I want to tell. I rarely have any inclination to carry on writing my characters once they’re in an established relationship.
However I do have a possible plan for a sequel to The Dating Game, so that might be an exception.
What’s your favorite cover of your books?
That’s really hard, because I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of really gorgeous covers. But if I had to pick just one, I think it would be the cover of Not Just Friends. I had terrible trouble finding an image I was happy with, but as soon as I found this one I knew it was perfect. I was thrilled with how it turned out. (The photo is by Dan Skinner and the cover artist was Paul Richmond).
Which book of yours would you like to have made into a movie?
I would be utterly thrilled to see any of my books made into movies! But if I had to choose I’d like to see Not Just Friends. I think it would be super cute and fun to watch. Sort of like an American high school movie but British and with more smut and alcohol involved (because the characters are college age). The scenes with the flatmates would be good, because there was a lot of fun dialogue with all the boys together in the kitchen. I’d love to see that on a screen.
Tell me about your new release.
When Aiden agrees to run the Mad Mucker—a twelve-mile muddy slog over an obstacle course—he’s expecting it to be a bit of a laugh. The training will be tough, but Aiden could use the motivation to regain some fitness.
Matt is the sexy cousin of one of Aiden’s coworkers and a last-minute addition to the team. When he agrees to train with Aiden, Aiden suddenly finds the prospect of regular workouts a lot more appealing.
Soon attraction flares, and they embark on an intense physical relationship. Matt doesn’t want to fall in love with a man, and Aiden doesn’t want to fall in love at all, but despite their insistence on no strings, they grow closer. As the day of the race approaches, time is running out for them to work out how they feel about each other.
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.
“ Music chooses you. ”
~ Almost Famous.
~ ~ ~
“Oh, what bands do you like?” Laura asked.
“Yeah,” Natalie chimed in. “What music you into?”
“Oh, I mostly listen to classical,” Alex said.
Laura and Natalie stared at him, their mouths slightly agape. “Classical?” Natalie said with disgust. “Ugh.”
Laura grinned, then fished around in her bag. “Here,” she said, handing him a cassette. “This is our favourite band. The first album. Do yourself a favour and listen to it.”
“Er, thanks.” Alex turned the cassette over in his hands, scrutinising the front. He liked the art work. It was a stylised skull with roses all around it; there were even roses in its eye sockets. A guitar was sticking out of the skull, almost like a sword in a stone. The words at the top said Death Rose.
~ Phoenix, Melanie Tushmore
~ ~ ~
Welcome to the Phoenix blog tour.
I’m starting with a linear approach, as the story begins when our hero, Alex, is a young lad still at school. I based him very much on my own experience of being somewhat of an outsider, too obsessed with his chosen subject (art) to have taken much notice of himself., or the goings on around him… until that point where everything changes and you see a whole new world opening up in front of your eyes.
For me, it was discovering music. And it wasn’t just the music on its own, as I’d ‘liked’ music and certain groups before, and been to shows, but that special moment where you discover the band that will change your life, that it’s much more than just music.
The band that changes your life is as much about the musicians as it is about the music you hear. Their music speaks to you, and it’s like a switch being flicked on inside your being. Suddenly you need more, you need to read interviews, pin up posters, wear their t-shirts and go see their shows…
And thus the obsession begins!
~ ~ ~
Young painter Alex Tatton has always loved music. When a tragic accident takes away his parents, he turns to a darker style of music and discovers the rock band, Death Rose. Feeling isolated from his own life, Alex develops a crush on guitarist Danny Death who, despite the name, is vivacious, full of life, and has a reputation for being ‘the nicest guy in rock n’ roll’.
After a gig, Alex finds Danny to give him a signed painting. Danny is everything a star should be: charming, sexy, a beacon of light in Alex’s otherwise dark life, and after meeting him Alex is determined to see him again—and this time he wants more than just an autograph.
Content: Contains explicit content.
~ ~ ~
Even with the AAA pass hanging from his neck, like some sort of illicit medal, Alex still couldn’t believe he was being granted access to the Death Rose dressing room. Giddy with excitement, he followed Danny inside.
The room was plain, but full of open bags and suitcases spilling their contents, promising clothes of sexy black leather, spandex, studded garments and more. When he imagined who’d be wearing them, Alex felt hot. The warm air in the room didn’t help matters.
There was no one else here, though voices filtered in from the hallway. The entire structure was temporary. Sounds eked through: music, shouts, bangs. Alex was about to ask where the others were, just for something to say, when Danny stopped in front of him and turned. Alex almost stepped away, about to apologise for getting under his feet. Danny’s arm snaked around his waist, drawing Alex to him. Alex barely had the wherewithal to look up as Danny’s mouth pressed against his.
It felt like a dream, too surreal. Alex opened his mouth and kissed back while he was still living the fantasy. Danny’s kiss was fast, full of want, but altogether too brief. Suddenly he pulled back, half turning away. Alex was left reeling, his lips wet and his nose full of Danny’s smell.
Voices preceded the arrival of people into the dressing room. With a shy glance from Danny, Alex realised this was why he’d stopped, and silently cursed whoever it was for interrupting them. He pressed his lips together, preserving the feel of Danny’s lips on his.
The people who’d entered the dressing room were arguing. Nicky D. Muir, Death Rose’s drummer, was being apparently told off by a pudgy, older man with a tan, wearing glasses. “Don’t push me, Nicky,” he said, as Nicky grumbled and collapsed into a battered couch.
Danny glanced at the pair over his shoulder, but otherwise kept his back to them. He didn’t seem overly concerned with the row unfolding.
Alex took the opportunity to risk a look at Danny’s body, wondering if Danny was hard, like he was. He so wanted to reach out and feel, onlookers or not. God, what he wouldn’t give to touch Danny … But nerves held him frozen. He would follow Danny’s lead, wait for his cue.
Alex’s eyes wandered. There was a suitcase open, balanced on a chair. Alex hadn’t noticed its existence until Danny rummaged inside it. It had to be his. Clothes of black and some varied colour escaped at either side.
Danny said quietly, “What do you want me to wear, Alex?”
The continued argument in the room was mildly distracting, but Alex’s focus was on Danny. Even so, he was sure he’d misheard him. “Pardon?” he stuttered.
A smile teased Danny’s lips, like he was about to laugh. He picked out a pair of black, spangly leggings. “What do you want me to wear? To be honest, I don’t think I can get away with leggings right now, unless you get my guitar for me so I can hide this stiffy.”
Alex’s groin flooded with warmth, making him even harder. He laughed, feeling dizzy with nerves and want. His next words came out more breathy than he’d intended. “I wouldn’t mind seeing that.”
Danny looked at him, like he had to check if Alex meant it. His eyes seemed larger, searching. Again, Alex had a small stab of realisation that perhaps Danny wasn’t as sure of himself as he’d assumed.
Either that or he was a pretty good actor.
Who cared, Alex thought. This was better than his fantasies of Danny. This was real. The desire must have showed in his eyes, on his face. Alex did nothing to hide it. A dirty grin spread over Danny’s lovely mouth, then his hands went to his belt. “Help me with my shoes, gorgeous.”
His words were barely audible, but they were the only thing Alex heard. Heedless of where he was, Alex dropped to a crouch. It seemed only fitting to kneel before someone like Danny, like he’d been born to please this man.
As much as Alex wanted to lean in and bury his face in Danny’s crotch, he kept himself in check. Perhaps he was still in shock at the situation, it all seemed too good to be true. What if one hasty move prompted Danny into action? Would Alex be expected to suck him off in a backstage dressing room?
Alex’s blood heated, and his dick clenched. I’d do it, I would. But … what would happen after? Would he throw me out, never speak to me again?
He swallowed, and tried to concentrate on the simple task at hand. Get Danny’s shoes off. Danny’s jean-clad legs were stuffed into black cowboy boots, and now Alex was closer he noticed patterns of rhinestones up the sides of the boots as they caught the light. Danny raised one foot, and Alex gripped the boot, wriggling it free. His whole body thrilled at the task. It wasn’t how he’d envisioned undressing Danny, but for now, this would do.
One boot off, and Alex helped rid Danny of the other boot. He noticed Danny’s black socks, saw one was actually inside out. Just that tiny detail made Alex’s heart expand to painful proportions. He longed to be the one to dress Danny, and undress him, every day for the rest of his days. Make sure he wore his socks the right way round.
Alex tried to quash down his impulsive thoughts. A potential hook up was one thing, and seeming more and more likely by the minute, but anything more than that? Hollie was right. He was only setting himself up for a fall. A big one.
He must have paused, as Danny said softly, “Hey? You okay?”
Alex snapped out of it. He resolved to deal with the fall out when it happened. He could just paint his experiences for the rest of his days. Being with Danny now was like having a real life muse. Raising his head, Alex looked up at him, memorising every detail. Danny’s belt was undone, his hands poised at his fly, waiting.
Alex promised himself he would paint this picture one day. Smiling, he bit the bullet and said, “Sure am.”
~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~
Tush’s 80s playlist
Mötley Crüe – Live Wire
Ratt – Round and round
The Cult – Rain
L.A. Guns – Never Enough
Aerosmith – Young Lust
Hi Piper and thank you for inviting me into your blog house for Day 2 of the Restoration Blog Tour.
I’ll probably start each blog with a similar warning – this is not a happy, fluffy story. This is a story about a couple’s struggle to recover from sexual assault. There has been a lot of media focus in the past couple of years regarding rape and many of the socially-entrenched myths still alive and well about it, but there is less discussion concerning male rape, which comes with its own myths. For some of the posts on this blog tour, I’d like to put some of these myths out there and stake them like the vampiric monsters they are.
Myth: Only gay men rape other men.
This may be the most dangerous myth of all, since far-right extremists trot this out whenever they want to illustrate that gay men are dangerous, aggressive pedophiles. First off, let’s be clear: rape is an act of violence. It’s about power and control. It’s not about sex.
Most men who rape other men identify as heterosexual, which further supports the fact that rape is not a sexual act. Furthermore, 98% (yes, 98%) of men who rape underage boys identify as heterosexual. This is not to say that gay men don’t perpetrate rape – it merely illustrates the fact that sexual identity and sexual desire have nothing to do with it.
If you have been assaulted, please reach out. Get support. Don’t think you have to just “be normal” again to get through it. You’re not alone.
National Sexual Assault Hotline
by Angel Martinez
Victor and Cody have the American dream – a house, two cars, upwardly mobile income, and each other – but all is not well in paradise. Cody’s trust in other people’s goodwill led to one recent assault. A few months later, a friend’s betrayal leads to another. Battered every waking moment by fear and shame, all his joyful creative energy transforms into brittle, aggressive lashing out.
Victor, wracked by guilt and shackled to a grueling, time-devouring career, must find a way to help Cody back from the darkness and to keep him safe from his self-destructive behavior. With the help of a common-sense therapist, some loyal friends and Cody’s own impetuous nature, their recovery and their relationship might even stand a chance.
Please Note: This is a re-edited third addition with expanded content. (Formerly titled Aftermath)
Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of a writer of several genres who writes mainly Science Fiction and Fantasy with gay heroes. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware, (and full time inside the author’s head) Angel has one husband, one son, two cats, a changing variety of other furred and scaled companions, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.
For more information on Angel’s work, please visit:
Website: Erotic Fiction for the Hungry Mind
Why did I write a story about a merman? Come find out. 🙂
So, as I was talking to Rhys about our upcoming joint takeover of Dreamspinner’s Twitter account, she asked me a question about Love Rising. “Why mermaids?”
Well, there’s a short answer to this question—and a longer one.
The short answer is: one of my closest friends, Melanie Tushmore, posted some prompts last year before her birthday asking people to write stories for her as gifts. Since I happen to love my dear Ms. Tushmore, I decided I would write one. The prompt that appealed to me the most was her request for mermen, of which she is a huge fan. In fact, that’s something we have in common, and so Wick the merman and Love Rising were born.
See, I’m a bit of a fairy tale and folklore junkie. I’ve read plenty of stories about mermaids and selkies and the creatures that live in the…
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Hello there, ladies and gents! 😀 So as part of their Advent Sale this month Less Than Three Press has my and Tami Veldura’s books on sale for 25% off. The sale on our stuff is for one day only – today – so be sure you take advantage if you want to save a little cash.
To celebrate, Tami and I decided we’d host each other on our respective blogs. To check out my interview on her blog, go here. And, now, without further ado, here’s Tami…
Power Exchange by Tami Veldura
Lance surged forward, suddenly vertical. Alex wasn’t sure how he got there and didn’t move out of the way fast enough. Lance leaned over him. “Don’t think I’ll go easy on you for this.”
Alex shook his head.
“Have you been thinking about me?” Lance asked, deadly.
Alex bit his lip and didn’t respond. He didn’t like that he got off on the pain of Lace’s bite. He didn’t like that he was hard now, thinking about Lance forcing him down on his knees to…to… he to a deep breath through his nose.
D’Angelo smiled cruelly. “You have, haven’t you?”
Inception, Part 14 by Tami Veldura
Consent is not the simple black and white decision most people believe. This is never more true than when dealing with alternative lifestyles that play with power exchange relationships. BDSM is a catch-all acronym for several types of power exchange that are practiced in the world and it has become a thriving genre for writers and readers alike with the advent of e-readers.
Generally, the acronym can be broken into three categories: B/D for Bondage and Discipline, D/s for Domination and submission, and S&M for sadism and masochism. B/D play includes things like erotic restraint, cuffs, floggers, spankings, and similar. D/s encompases a relationship between a dominant or alpha partner and a sub or slave partner. S&M is pretty straightforward. Sadism = enjoying inflicting pain (emotional, physical, etc) and masochism = enjoying receiving pain (fun fact: this may be a physical difference in the brain for some people).
Consent Isn’t Optional
The BDSM community has a slogan you’ll find everywhere as soon as you start looking into these types of lifestyles. It is: Safe, Sane, Consensual. At the highest level of interaction, a BDSM relationship is no different than any other. It requires willing participants, trust and respect. Without these, dysfunctions can easily tear the relationship apart. But when dysfunction destroys a BDSM relationship, there may be physical or emotional repercussions far greater than a traditional (or vanilla) relationship.
No one should ever engage in sexual play without mutual trust and respect, but people will always be people. They make bad decisions, emotional or drunk decisions, they succumb to fear, greed, pride, or the desire for revenge. When something goes wrong, it can go wrong badly. Unfortunately, it’s these situations that often make it to the press, giving the BDSM lifestyle as a whole an appearance of danger or rampant abuse.
A spanking gone wrong may result in bruising, but a whipping gone wrong can draw blood and tear muscle. Blindfold a partner and they might kick the wall or roll off the bed, but gag them without doing some research and they might not be able to tell you when something hurts that shouldn’t.
Knowing that the BDSM lifestyle can be dangerous, the issue of safety and consent has been brought to the forefront by the community at large. Contracts that define hard limits (never going there) and soft limits (not comfortable, but willing to be pushed/experiment) are common, especially in D/s or long-term relationships. Classes on safety, aftercare, and how to properly use and stow equipment can easily be found. Information is the key to a fun and healthy BDSM experience.
Dubious Consent and Consensual Non-Consent
The grey area of consent is a very slippery slope. Things can quickly go from questionably uncomfortable to rape and combining the situation with a gag or fear/psychological influences only makes things worse. Safewords are one solution to the question of consent. All participating members agree on a word that won’t be said accidently in the middle of play (like a cooking ingredient, car type, or simply ‘red’) that signals everything needs to stop immediately. A safeword can be used for any reason and must always be honored; that’s the only way to ensure the situation won’t get out of hand. Some people choose two words, a ‘warning’ word that indicates things are tough, not-quite-fun, or generally uncomfortable but doesn’t require play to stop entirely, and the safeword that stops everything.
Some people enjoy being forced. Some people enjoy being humiliated or made to endure pain. Some want to be forced into enjoying an experience. Many times they want to be able to struggle, fight, say no, or scream while in the middle of play and they want all of these traditional signals of non-consent to be ignored.
Consent in advance (or consensual non-consent) is a way for these people to establish the boundaries (or lack of them) in a scene and trust that all parties are aware of their desire for the situation. It allows people to interact with each other in a different way they want to explore without damaging the relationship they’ve built otherwise. Scenes like this can be time-based (for the next half hour, two hours, etc) or action based (until X happens). They’re usually negotiated in advance.
Even stronger D/s relationships such as 24/7 or Total Power Exchange (TPE) relationships do not have a time or action limit. Contracts are common and each relationship is vastly different, but when practiced, common consent signals are often irrelevant to the situation. When observed from the outside and without context, these relationships can appear to be abuse. When participants do not trust and respect each other, the relationship can easily become abuse.
‘It’s complicated’ doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Aftercare in these sorts of relationships and scenes is vastly important and can cover a wide range of responses. From hugging and backrubs through relief crying all the way up to medical care for hard canings and knife play, aftercare is a way for both parties to reconnect and calm down. This extends to protecting a submissive or slave from themselves if necessary. When a submissive has had a powerful experience it can echo for days psychologically. Like someone heavily drugged, they may be unable to say no and the need to determine consent, physical ability, and mental health falls upon the more dominant partner. Everyone is different and it takes time for submissives and dominants to process a scene and return to a sense of equilibrium.
BDSM In Fiction
Fiction stories offer a safe place for writers and readers to explore and experience shades of consent. It’s often the first place some people realize they might want to play with lighter BDSM elements like fuzzy handcuffs or a blindfold and feathers. It’s a place to dip a toe into heavier aspects like blood play, dubious consent, and breath play (erotic asphyxiation) that are not for the feint of heart.
Like any subject, there are writers who understand the topic and writers who don’t. Those who don’t may be writing abusive relationships into their fiction. Flat characters with no goals or motivation are no better, all a reader sees is someone begging to be hurt; an abusive situation by any definition.
Below are a list of books and short stories I’ve read and enjoyed in the BDSM genre that I believe are written with a solid understanding of the subject and as such, a respect for it. These stories are not all rainbows and bunnies. Indeed, BDSM fiction is often willing to tackle heavy subjects like rape, torture, abuse, and the after-effects thereof. Content and trigger warnings are common in this genre, I’ve included them. Stories are listed in order from lighthearted (top) to darker (bottom). All links are SFW, they go to goodreads.com.
M/M, D/s, shifters, Ugly Duckling retelling. HEA
M/M, D/s elements, torture, HEA
Mind Fuck (series)
M/M, D/s, HFN
M/M, BDSM, thriller, HEA
M/M, B/D, D/s, Dubious Consent, HEA
Power Play (series)
M/M, BDSM, torture, consent triggers, HEA
This story is all about exploring the nature of consent.
The Flesh Cartel (serial)
M/M, BDSM, rape, physical torture, psychological torture, stockholm syndrome, non-consensual incest, HEA
This is a brutal series that pulls no punches. Trigger warnings for everything.
It is powerful, heartbreaking, and the most compelling story I’ve ever read.
Note: this is an ongoing serial. The end has NOT been published yet.
Tami Veldura is a writer, reader, artist and dreamer. She resides in sunny California and aspires to quit her day job and write full-time. She recently published Fanged: An M/M Erotic Anthology, available in all major formats. (Use the coupon code ADVENT to get it for 50% off!) This anthology contains 5 erotic vampire short stories, some with BDSM themes.
Vampires enthrall us. From horror to lover, vampires take our lives, our bodies, and our blood. The M/M erotic stories in this collection run the gamut. From historical past, present, and far into the future; science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary: it’s all about the fangs.
So whether you like your vampire vicious or kind, dominant or submissive, hidden or out in the open, this collection has an erotic story for you. Short enough to read on the bus, hot enough to make you sweat, and every one a new surprise. Five M/M erotic stories are waiting.
Check out Tami’s:
Patreon (paid, exclusive goodies)
Newsletter (free, different exclusive goodies)