Friday, 30 December 2011

The Lessons of 2011

Well, that's it, folks. 2011 is all but over. As an obsessive author, I suppose it's only right that I sketch out for you all the things that have stuck with me most this year.

  • Yes, you CAN have too many commas.
  • On a related note, the semi-colon is woefully underused these days.
  • The number of authors who don't bother to read chills me to the bone.
  • My best ideas come to me when I'm either in the bath with a glass of wine or curled up at 4am.
  • The second paragraph is even more important as a hook than the first.
  • Don't scrimp on either the cover of your book or the editing, even if you're doing it yourself. Edit once, twice, three times - then take a break for a week and come back to it with fresh eyes. Edit again.
  • Twitter is the most fantastic community of supportive authors I've ever had the good fortune to come across.
  • Rejections are inevitable - but if you learn from each one, your writing can only improve.
  • Editors who provide constructive feedback with a rejection are absolute diamonds and I'd love to kiss them all.
  • That my writing has a painful tendency to become too passive when I'm in the zone - and how to recognise and fix it.
  • Those overly florid passages of description filled to the brim with metaphors that my English teacher had me write are absolutely not necessary. Miss Buxton, your red pen no longer fills me with fear.
And most importantly, I've learned to trust my instincts. If something doesn't feel right in a story, then out it must come, no matter how attached I am to the words I've crafted so lovingly.

It's a lesson that can be and has been applied to life outside my head as well. Even if a decision seems impossibly hard, if your instincts tell you it is the right one then take a deep breath and dive right in. Doing so has seen me finishing this year with more love, positive influence and success around me than I would have dreamed possible 365 days ago.

A Happy New Year to you all and may 2012 bring you all that you dream of - be that Ferraris, Moet et Chandon, a home in the Bahamas or even the simple pleasure of a hot cup of coffee in the morning ;p

Kate x

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The launch of Sirens Call Publications

It's been hard work keeping this under wraps, but I'm delighted to announce my new position as editor with Sirens Call Publications, an indie publishing company with a passion for great literature in whatever forms it takes.

We're currently open for submissions, both in general and for two horror anthologies to be released in the spring. Take a look and spread the word - I'd love to hear from you.

Kate.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

NaNoWriMo - so good I did it twice...

So, confession time!

Triumvirate was rocking along nicely and I hit 50k on the 12th November. Awesome, NaNoWriMo winner status secured. A few more chapters to write before the first draft would be tied up, of course, but it was shaping up nicely.

However...

On the night of the 13th, a dream of a glowering captain and a soaring airship relentlessly assaulted my mind, pushing aside all thoughts of Triumvirate. The Falcon's Chase was born and there was nothing to do but throw myself into its creation; and, after all, it was still November, wasn't it?

A wicked little voice in the back of my mind urged me to set aside all else and go for it - and here we have it. December 1st today, and I woke up to TWO 50k first drafts sat resplendent upon my desktop.




Whoops.

Looks like I have a pile of editing ahead even greater than the mountain of ironing that's stacked up over the last month...

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Get a grip.

Get a grip.


Get over it.


For God's sake, just smile!


Cheer up, love, it might never happen.

Heard those words before? Or, God forbid, have you been one of the people who have casually tossed out such careless remarks to someone in the grip of such consuming and black depression that even dragging themselves out of bed in the morning to get up and face a person like you seems almost an insurmountable task?

I've been there. The thought of ever returning to that place again terrifies me, for I know how much disdain is attached to the stigma of mental health problems in our society; the society that today lost a great man in Gary Speed. As a lifelong Newcastle United fan, his smiling example has long been one I've looked up to - he took the time to write a personal response and autograph to an excitable teenage fan when she wrote to him, and I've never forgotten that small kindness.

By all reports, he was a good man in every sense of the word, and to the outside world he seemed blessed with talent, a wonderful family and the perfect wife. Gary, though, was haunted by the darkness that can overwhelm even the strongest of people and it seems that it became too much.

Rest in the peace that you never found in life, Gary - and if any good can come of this tragedy, it'll be that maybe one person might bite back those cutting words before speaking them, or that someone who is suffering will be able to speak up and seek help without the fear of being dismissed.


RIP Gary.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

What kind of writer are you?

Leaving aside the infamous joke about binary that never fails to make me smile, my psychology teacher hammered into me that there are two types of people - reactive and proactive.

After a morning wrestling with a wickedly devious captain in one of my WIPs, it strikes me that the old adage rings true for writers as well. There are those who rigidly set out their plot and stick to it no matter or what - and those who, like me, find themselves utterly and completely at the mercy of the characters they've brought to life within the confines of their words.

Oh, don't get me wrong; I plot away furiously before I sketch out so much as the first chapter. However, as soon as I start writing my characters seem to develop ideas of their own, stubbornly refusing to co-operate with all the grand schemes I've concocted for them; and so it was today that my captain sauntered off to another country entirely with me tagging along, woefully calling after him to come back and return to London as he was supposed to do.

After a futile hour trying to wrestle him back into line, though, I gave in; and do you know what? The detour proved to be great fun and was one of the most fun parts of writing in the entire draft so far. I think perhaps that in future, instead of tearing my hair out in agitation when my little people refuse to behave, I'll just resignedly sit back and see where they run to as they bring as the intricacies of each carefully-constructed plot crashing down around them!

I guess that now makes me another one for Mr. Stanley's 'reactive' camp that he so sneeringly preached against for so long. Sorry, sir - but hey, the captain's much better looking than you. There's only going to be one winner, I'm afraid!

Kate x

PS. Does anyone else feel like a little child exacting mastery over a doll's house when they write, or is that just my twisted imagination? 

Thursday, 17 November 2011

An announcement

Hello, my lovelies!

Allow me to take a moment to emerge from the snug cocoon of steampunk writing that I've been immersed in of late to make a brief but important announcement.

As of today, I've made the decision that I will no longer be associated with Jake Bannerman or the Goat Franchise. It was an amicable parting of the ways and I wish Jake all the best with his future endeavours. Alys  and Chelsea have also left their respective posts in the Goat Franchise, so any queries about Jake or his work will now need to be made directly to him.

Exciting times are definitely ahead and I can't wait to fill you in on all the details, but that's all I'm sharing for now - you surely know by now that I like to tease!

Now, it's time for me to dive back in to Victoriana and airships, for I seem to have left my protagonists dangling on the edge of a literary precipice. Their rescue can be delayed no longer ;)

Kate x

Sunday, 6 November 2011

N-N-N-N-NaNoWriMo!

Oh, November, how I've yearned for you!

To writers the world wide, November can mean only one thing - National Novel Writing Month. The full name is a little misleading now, of course, for it's a concept that's caught fire and hooked the imaginations of aspiring novelists far outside of America. Nonetheless, I've been eagerly awaiting November 1st since the spark of this story first came to me in a hot summer night's dream.

Triumvirate is the first book of a trilogy (books 2 and 3 have the working titles of 'Descent' and 'Redemption'). It's a darkly paranormal romance, winding its way through Eastern European mythology towards the fires of Hell itself, and it's been absolutely consuming me since I started writing it; providing a very welcome relief from all the dramas of real-life.

With my eternal companions of coffee, cigarettes, Tom Waits and Butch Walker, 26,000 words of the required 50,000 are already down on the page - of course, I anticipate Triumvirate will be something in the 75-80k region when it's a complete working draft, but it's gratifying nonetheless to be more than halfway towards the target already.

Indulge me in sharing with you a little teaser from Chapter One...


Fighting the urge to arch her back and revel in his sinfully pleasurable touch as his fingers soothed away the tension in her stiffly held neck, Alex nodded and forced her face to harden. “I still don’t know how you know my names. Clever words mean nothing to me - I want the damned truth.”
“The damned truth? So be it then, Alex. We know your names, as do all those who reside in Hell, because we witnessed your conception and birth. Your father named you at the moment of your birth and your mother’s death; and your name has been sung by the demons of Hell ever since.”
Ignoring the impossible for the moment, for Vazaroth’s talk of Hell could be nothing but that, Alex’s eyes narrowed in disbelief. “Brendan? He didn’t name me - he and Grandfather told me that my mother chose my names.”
“That is a lie that your grandfather propagated; and Alex, your father is not Brendan Byrne -”
“Don’t be ridiculous!”
“Ridiculous?!” A darkening storm of rage descended upon Vazaroth’s face, sending another shiver of ice shards through Alex’s veins. “Alex, I am many things, but I am not ridiculous; you will not speak to me so! As I was saying; your father is as we are, and his name is Deures -”
“Please, stop!” Alex pulled away from him as his fist tightened around her shirt, threatening to rip it open. Afraid of the forceful compulsion that had arisen in her to aid him in his obvious intentions, she choked back a loud sob. “I don’t understand! Who - what are you?!”
Her low, fearful moan seemed to give them pain, for their faces seemed to contort in unison before Rauzel drew a deep breath and spoke. “We are incubi, demons from the realm of Hell - and we have come to claim that which is ours.”

You can find me on the NaNoWriMo site - Kate Monroe - and I'd love to hear from you all either there or here to find out what you're writing and how easily (or not!) the words are flowing.

Kate x

PS. I was ill over Halloween (not an over-indulgence of red wine and chocolates, I swear!) so I shamefully neglected to make any mention of the fact that 'Kiss Of An Angel' is out now to buy on Amazon and Smashwords, nor to thank the awesome Amelia James for hosting me on her blog during the week of release. Go and check them both out! ;p

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Nine Ladies Dancing

So, it's Sunday, the sun is shining and I'm feeling good. Unfortunately, that now means that I have a consuming urge to burst into a rendition of Katrina and the Waves. This can't be allowed to continue, so in order that I might defy the sunshine and the cheesiness, let me share a short story with you all.


'Nine Ladies Dancing' is one of the story in an anthology that I'm planning to release on December 1st, tentatively entitled 'Have Yourself a Gruesome Little Christmas'. Twelve Days of Christmas become, in my world, Twelve Days of Terror. Number nine was great fun to research and write, and here's the first draft in its entirety.


Nine Ladies Dancing
2nd January

Christian unfastens the cap with a shaking hand, moistening his lips in anticipation as the green liquid swishing inside the bottle seems to glow in the light of the fire.

No matter what he does, nothing seems to have worked of late.

The images it his head that once would haunt him with a comforting regularity are no longer there, and there is nothing he can do to inspire them to return.

For an artist, it is the very worst of tortures.

Christian can bear it no longer. He has pored over piles upon piles of books to find out what artists like himself do when inspiration fails, and he finds one overriding theme.

Drugs.

Through the ages, it has been well-chronicled. Did Samuel Taylor Coleridge not write ‘Kubla Khan’ after an opium inspired dream? Even William Shakespeare is thought to have used cocaine and other hallucinogenic drugs of the age. It is no different in the world of artists. Christian’s two great heroes, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Vincent van Gogh relied heavily upon drugs to calm and soothe their artistic swings of temperament and inspire their works.

It is from Vincent himself that Christian has taken his influence for tonight’s drug of choice.

Absinthe.

Not only did Vincent van Gogh draw great inspiration from absinthe, but numerous other artistes are well-known for their fondness of it; Pablo Picasso, Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Paul Verlaine and Ernest Hemingway, to name but a few. It is the perfect choice.

The scents of the fennel and anise drift free of the now uncapped bottle, mingling with the subtle undertones of 
wormwood and teasing at his nose as he breathes in deeply, rolling his head from side to side.

For this first foray, Christian has elected for the traditional method. Though the Bohemian way of preparing the absinthe with fire appeals far more to him, it would burn off much of the alcohol, thus tempering its effect upon him; the opposite to that which he desires. It is the intoxication, after all, that will hopefully lift the depressing fugue that clouds the creative corner of his mind.

Crouching down in front of the fireplace, Christian inhales once more before pouring a generous measure of the absinthe into the glass. Mesmerised, he stares as the liquid swirls around the glass, the verdant hues dancing before his eyes.

Shaking his head to rid himself of the illusion – for a moment, he almost imagined that the liquid was alive, a foolish notion born of fatigue, no doubt! – Christian balances the silver spoon on top of the glass. The slotted, ornate spoon was purchased specifically for this occasion and sits perfectly, waiting to receive the lump of sugar that he places atop it.

Next, he lifts a glass of ice-cold water. The condensation on the glass makes it difficult to hold, and it almost slips through his trembling fingers. Christian stills his hand, though, and slowly pours the water in a steady stream over the sugar cube.

Setting the water to the side, he sits back to silently observe the change in the liquid. Alone, it almost seems enough to inspire a return to the heights of his creativity; the louche clouds the substance as gentle aromas began to rise up that had before been overpowered by the heady anise. Juniper, dittany and wormwood all writhe their way to the surface, and Christian sighs in satisfaction as he lifts the spoon and lays it down upon the wooden floorboards.

It is time.

Holding his breath, he raises the glass of cloudy liquid to his lips and gently pours it into his mouth, allowing the tastes to dance and grow upon his tongue before permitting it to slip down his throat.

It is like nothing he has ever tasted before, and it is wonderful! Cool and refreshing as a result of the iced water mixed into it, it is a tantalisingly mingling of separate tastes that combine into an effortless balance of herbs and floral notes.

Brief images of Alpine meadows and open skies dart through his mind, and Christian releases the breath he was still holding, giddy with relief. Already, it is working!

Greedy for more, he swallows the remainder of the drink without bothering to savour the distinct taste this time before hastily preparing another; and another, and another.

By the time that he drains the fourth glass, Christian has fallen prey to the strangest of sensations. He has been 
drunk before, many times, but never like this; though he feels disorientated, clumsy, there is a startling clarity and lucidity to his mind that thrills him.

A thin trail of the cool liquid dribbles down from his mouth and onto his bare chest. Running his tongue around his lips to try to capture and milk every last drop of the precious absinthe, Christian stumbles to his feet. 
Shivering, for the heat of the crackling flames is no longer enough to warm his naked body, he staggers towards the doorway to retrieve his clothes.

Unsteady on his feet, though, his blurred vision and unwilling limbs conspire against him. Thinking that he is walking through the doorway, instead he walks directly into the wooden doorframe. His head cracks against it and as he rebounds, his mind begins to spin.

Groaning loudly, for he yearns to sketch out at least half a dozen of the images that are playing in his head, Christian tries to fight against the mist of darkness that is descending upon him, but it is no use.

The taste of anise upon his tongue the last thing that he remembers, he slumps to the floor and submits to the unconsciousness that claims him.

***
Christian grunts as he stretches out, momentarily surprised to find himself on the floor before the sharp pain in his head recalls to him the events that led to this point. The taste of the absinthe lingers upon his lips and tongue, and it is still dark outside; he cannot have been unconscious for very long.

Rubbing his head with his hands, he opens his eyes to find that the fire has burnt out. He pushes himself onto his hands and knees to crawl towards it, but a flicker of movement out of the corner of his eye wrenches his attention away completely.

Propping himself up to sit against the wall, he blinks rapidly to clear his vision and then opens his eyes again, expecting what he has seen to no longer be there. It is no trick or mirage, though, for there they are again, dancing an elated quickstep in the air around him.

Damn, they were all but impossible to count when they darted around so! Squinting, he finally succeeded. Ten – no, nine. Nine fairies.

Fairies?

The word leaps unbidden to his mind, but instinctively he knows that it is the right one.

Eyes wide with astonishment, Christian reached out his hands, palms up, and mutely urges them towards him. Obediently, one of them lands lightly upon his skin, a flirtatious smile illuminating her face as he slowly brings his hand up towards his face to study her closer.

Oh, but she is glorious! Barely six inches tall, but perfection nonetheless. Christian could never have dreamed of such beauty. Her skin is the amber hue of the autumn leaves, and an iridescent hue of green snakes its way down the side of her face and across the top of her tiny, curvaceous breasts. Delicate, translucent wings erupt from each of her shoulders, her lips are the crimson of the reddest of roses, and her hair – such wonder in her hair!

Christian cannot resist the compulsion to stretch out one finger to tenderly stroke her hair as he marvels upon it. Wild and untamed, it shimmers in the moonlight that floods in through the open window. One moment it is the colour of moss, and in the next he could swear that it is a rich, luscious chestnut. Then she turns her head to the side, and it is the distinctive shade of chlorophyll that colours the absinthe.

Miniscule blossoms and blooms wind their way through the tousled mass of curls, and Christian plucks one free to hold it up between his fingers before delivering a reverential kiss to its satin petals. Returning it to the fairy’s hair, he brings her closer and gazes into her eyes, eyes that are the precise shade of the bark that covers the trees.

“So beautiful!” His sigh speaks of awe and of wonder, and it clearly delights the little fairy. Clapping her hands together, she sinks down into the curve of his palm, tucking her legs underneath her and smoothing down the silken folds of her flowing gown.

“Do you like the absinthe, Christian?” Her sisters flutter around him, twirling and prancing through the air as his head moves from side to side in an entranced attempt to follow their movements.

“Oh, yes!”

“And has it worked for you, Christian?” The fairy wraps her arms around his thumb, pressing herself lovingly up against it and batting her barely distinguishable eyelashes. “Can you draw inspiration from the delightful sensations it has awoken in you – can you draw inspiration from us?”

A phrase he read in his painstaking research resurfaces, bringing with it a flash of comprehension. “La Fée Verte!”

“Oui!” The fairies all beam delightedly at him, the soft glow that wraps around their bodies burning more brightly than ever. La Fée Verte – the green fairy – is the myth that will be forever associated with absinthe. Christian read of her many a time, but never did he think that she was anything more than a fanciful tale whispered of by the romantic Bohemians, perpetuated by nothing more than intoxication and wistfulness.
Now, though, the evidence of her existence sits in the palm of his hand as she and her spellbinding sisters sigh and smile up at him.

Shaking his head in stunned disbelief, Christian relaxes back against the wall and brings the green fairy to his lips, planting the gentlest of kisses on top of her head before lifting her up to look directly into her eyes. “You will bring me the inspiration that I crave?”

“Christian, we have already brought it to you; the very moment that the first drop of our glorious vessel passed your lips! Did you not feel it, my love, burning in your very soul as you sipped of the absinthe?”

“Yes!” he agrees breathlessly, remembering the vivid images of meadows and skies that flashed through his mind. “That was you, ma Fée Verte?”

“And my sisters, oui. The absinthe you drank was so potent, my love, and you drank so much of it that we were all able to come to you! Do you think that you could unleash your talent once more now, Christian?”

Of that, there could be no doubt, and Christian knows exactly what it is that she wishes to paint now above all else. The fairies that have brought the dam in his mind crashing down deserve the honour of being captured on paper; and he is certain, now, that he can do so perfectly.

How to best do them justice, though? His brow furrows in thought as the fairies giggle and cavort in front of him.

“Greens!” he mumbles out loud. These glorious fairies must have a backdrop of greens in their portrait, it is only right – but it is the depth of winter! Where can he find anything green to gaze upon and paint?

“The stream,” comes a gentle whisper. Another of the fairies has settled upon his shoulder, stroking his face lovingly and nestling against his skin. “The stream, Christian, and the pine trees.”

“To the stream?” he echoes, running his hands through his hair as his heart races, a burst of adrenalin pounding through his veins as he rises unsteadily to his feet.

“Yes!”

“To the stream!”

“Go, Christian, now!”

“You might forget it – hurry, Christian, hurry!”

Their sweet voices echo in his mind, their urge for haste driving him out of the door in ignorance to the biting cold and his state of undress. Pausing only to snatch up his sketch book and pencils, Christian dashes out of the door and down through the garden in search of the bubbling stream that winds its way along the rear of his cottage garden.

The fairies fly alongside him, tumbling in the air, buffeted by the bitter wind. They do not seem to mind, though; instead, they throw their arms out and prance on the currents, throwing their heads back and allowing their hair to flow out behind them.

Christian is utterly enchanted, caught up in their spell and the startling lucidity of his intoxication. Leaping up off the frozen ground, he punches the air in glee before throwing himself down at the edge of the stream and flicking frantically through his sketchbook to find a blank page.

The fairies swarm around his face, kissing the skin that is covered in stubble before retreating to rest amongst the branches of the evergreen trees that line the bank of the stream. Desperate to capture their image before this brilliant flush of creativity he feels burning inside him fades away, Christian begins to sketch out the wondrous scene in front of him.

An outline will do for now; it is enough to secure the image in his mind. Colours will come later. For now, Christian simply devotes himself to capturing as much of the intricate details of the fairies’ beauty as he can; the way that the iridescent green tint to their faces shimmers in the moonlight, and the exact tilt of their lips as they smile at him.

Hours pass, but he neither notices nor cares, for all that matters is the fairies and how he must create the perfect representation of them on the page. From an artistic point of view, Christian has always adored the feminine form. It is a thing of beauty, with its intricate dips and curves, and such softness!

Each one is a miracle, of that he is convinced, and the fairies’ beauty is not diminished in any way by their lack of size; indeed, to him, the precise opposite is true. In Christian’s eyes, their minute stature only enhances their beauty.

Finally, he is satisfied with the picture that stares back at him from the page, convinced that it truthfully reflects the wonder of the image before him. Seeing him lay down his pencils, the fairies rise from the branches of the tree and fly towards him once more, their arms outstretched lovingly as they attach themselves to him.

“Christian, it is wonderful!” they coo in unison, their eyes sparkling with delight.

Their adoration thrills him, and he gathers them close to his bare chest. “Stay with me?” he begs, desperate to never lose these models of such exquisite beauty and wonderful inspiration.

“Until the end, Christian, until the very end,” la Fée Verte assures him, her eyes glinting strangely in the moonlight. “And now, my love, dance with us?”

“Dance?”

“Dance, Christian, please!” she repeats.

“Oh, please, Christian!”

“Dance with us!”

“Christian, you must!”

How can he refuse so many pleading beauties, tiny as they are? Nodding eagerly, Christian follows them blindly as they break free of his hold and dart towards the stream hovering over the water as he jumps into it.
Oblivious to the cold and the rocks underneath his feet, he throws himself into the dance with the greatest of enthusiasm, laughing out loud as the fairies twirl around him, their delicate touch brushing against his bare skin as they stretch out towards him before dashing back and forth, up and down.

It must seem so strange to an onlooker; the naked man spinning and leaping through the air before splashing back down into the near-freezing water of the stream, entirely alone in the darkness. Exalted as images whirl through his mind, filling him with inspired bursts of creativity that he can barely contain, Christian leaps ever higher, ignorant to the dangers that stalk ever closer.

The water rushes around his feet, and his inebriation finally proves too taxing for his body to defy any longer. As he lands from his latest jump, his feet slip on one of the rocks and he crashes backwards, smashing his 
head on the rock.

Christian’s green fairies slip through his grasp as he flails uselessly, finding nothing to cling onto as he sinks down beneath the water, again unable to fight against the unconsciousness that is so determined to claim him.
He knows the consequences; he knows that if he loses the fight his life is forfeit, but what can he do? La Fée Verte darts into his field of vision one more time as his head momentarily breaks through the frothing surface, but now her face is grim and impassive.

Shaking her beautiful head, she clicks her fingers. She and her sisters turn their back on him and fly away.
Their desertion is the last straw. With a low, pained howl, his eyes roll back in his head and Christian allows the water to consume him.

The sight of the green fairies swooping upon his most brilliant work, lifting it into the air and soaring away is the very last image that Christian’s eyes ever behold.

Kate x

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Satan's Toybox: Demonic Dolls is out now

The eBook version of Satan's Toybox: Demonic Dolls was released over the weekend. It has been an utter joy from start to finish working with Angelic Knight Press, and I am more than honoured to be held up amongst such fine company - the other authors who have contributed to the anthology include Tim Marquitz, Jason McKinney, Yvonne Bishop and many other spectacularly talented horror writers. And, quite frankly, Blaze McRob's poem to start the anthology is worth the purchase price alone.

My story is 'Lullaby' - a twisted tale of a family heirloom that holds many dark secrets. Have you ever wondered what lies behind the blank, glassy stare of those porcelain dolls so beloved by elderly women? I dared to dive into just that idea, and 'Lullaby' was what emerged from the recesses of my mind.


“It’s a secret, Mummy,” Grace hugged the doll possessively as she pulled her mother out of the bedroom. “Don’t worry; Matilda Dolly and me are going to make everything right. Come on, Mummy, let’s go.”

Grace had eyes for nothing but the doll as her mother mutely drove the short distance to her grandmother’s house. Drawing courage from the weight of the doll in her arms, she unbuckled her seatbelt and leapt out of the car before her mother had even turned off the engine.

Skipping up the rambling path, she stretched up to lift the heavy brass knocker. The twisted and contorted face of the gargoyle had always filled her with fear before, but now it did not disturb her in the slightest as it fell back with a loud thud against the wood of the door.

“Hello, Nanny!” Grace said as the door swung open and her grandmother’s gnarled and ancient body loomed into view.

The old woman scowled down at the small child, her piggy little eyes narrowing greedily as her gaze swept across the porcelain doll that Grace was clinging to. “Your mother gave you the doll, then?” she snapped by way of greeting.

“Of course I did, Mother!” Grace’s mother came to stand behind her daughter, laying one hand on Grace’s shoulder and choking back a sob. “What choice did I have?”

“I like the doll, Nanny!” Grace piped up.

“Oh, you do, girl, do you?” the old woman barked approvingly. “Not as much of a fool as your pathetic mother, then!”

“Matilda Dolly and me are going to be best friends, Nanny,” Grace smiled up at her grandmother without a trace of fear for the first time ever.


The old woman’s eyes narrowed yet further, but she jerked her head as she tore Grace from her mother’s grasp, pulling her into the house and along the dark hallway... 


You can get yourself a copy through Amazon, Amazon UK and Smashwords, and the print version is due for imminent release. Any book reviewers who would be interested in reading and reviewing, please contact me on here or via Twitter for details of how to get a free copy.

Kate x

Monday, 10 October 2011

Tuesday Tales - The Belfry




This path has not been walked for many hundreds of years, and for good reason.

She knows what awaits her in the belfry, but unlike those who were entrusted to guard it before her, Camilla can resist the call no longer.

Compelled, her hand closes around the frost encrusted brass handle. The door swings open at her command, and Camilla recoils from the putrid smell of damp and decay that instantly assaults her. She cannot turn back, even though she gags on a rising tide of bile as she resolutely sets foot on the uneven cobbles at the base of the winding steps.

Simply placing one foot in front of another has never been so difficult before.  Shadows dance around her, drawing her further into the loving embrace of the darkness with every step that she takes. Crimson streaks of blood from centuries past adorn the cobwebbed walls; barely visible through the deepening gloom, but the metallic, cloying scent that hangs heavy in the air is unmistakable.

Her blood sings with the thrill of anticipation as she climbs higher, working her way up the spiralling steps until she can do so no longer.

Her path is barred by a trapdoor overhead. Camilla knows what is now just moments away, and her hands shake as she stretches them up to lift the rotting wood that stands between her and her destiny.

Weak sunshine breaks through the planks of wood as they crumble beneath her touch, illuminating what is above her. Digging her fingers into the floorboards over her head, Camilla prays grimly that they will not give way as she vaults through the gap that she has exposed and lands in a feline manner safely upon the floor of the enclosed belfry.

It is there.

Just as she had read, the vast, awe-inspiring bell hangs proudly from the ceiling beams. Dirt lays thick upon it, for it has not been rung in over six hundred years. The thin rays of sunlight that penetrate the grime smeared across the pane of glass above the bell reflect against the clouds of dust that rise up into the air, disturbed by Camilla’s intrusion into their sanctity.

Without even a moment of hesitation, she reaches for the woven, knotted rope attached to the mechanism of the bell. For half a dozen centuries it has waited, and time has taken its toll upon it. The rope disintegrates beneath her firm grasp.

Camilla unleashes a low howl of frustration, but she will not be defied; the calling is too strong. There is nothing for it – the ceiling beams now offer the only access to the bell that must be rang.

A shivering stab of yearning spreads through her veins as she climbs gracefully onto the bench that had been pushed up against the stone wall, tenses, then leaps as high as she can, catching hold of the ceiling beam above her.

Her grip is sure, and she swings from one beam to the next until, finally, her slender legs dangle in front of the bell. Gathering momentum, Camilla rocks back and forth, holding her breath as she makes contact with the cold, smooth metal.

Her unclad feet push it forwards, but it barely moves before settling back into its position without ringing as it must. Gathering all her strength, she swings again, and again, and again – and then, success!

With a loud, ominous clang, the clapper crashes against the body of the bell, reverberating through the stones of the belfry and the wooden beams.

Camilla cries out as the peal of the bell shakes the wood and tears it free of her grasp. She tumbles through the air, towards the open trapdoor beneath her – is this how it must end, before she even sees the living proof of her triumph?

No. A pair of hands snatch her out of the air, arresting her fall and dragging her into their owner’s body.

She twists her head up to gaze upon him in awe. Oh, but he is everything she dreamed he would be! The raging heat of his body sears her skin, but Camilla cares not – he is here.

“My lord!” Her whisper is hushed, reverent, and a satisfied smile curves back his scarlet lips.

“My most faithful servant. I am pleased.”

The demon’s curt words of praise inflame her just as surely as a lover’s embrace. Camilla presses herself up against him and gazes into his eyes; eyes that are as black as the depths of midnight, save for the flicker of amber flames smouldering in the very back of them. Entranced, she shivers with delight as he winds his hand through her hair.

“Camilla, will you do one more favour for me?” His voice is low, compelling and irresistible.

She nods eagerly. “Oh, anything!”

His smile widens. “I have seen and experienced the full spectrum of humanity’s sins, my Camilla, but there is one that I glory in and thrive upon above all else. It gives me sustenance, and that, Camilla, is what I now need above all else.”

Her breath quickens as she prepares to give herself to him entirely, sighing with pleasure as he pulls back her head back and stares at her parted lips. Camilla closes her eyes.

They will never open again.

In one fluid, rapid motion, the demon twists her neck and snaps it cleanly from the spine.

Inhaling deeply, he rises to his feet and drinks in the life force that flees from Camilla’s body as his high, triumphant laughter echoes around the cavernous belfry.

Brushing down the dust from his body, he lets Camilla’s broken body fall forgotten to the floor as he stalks down the stone steps, gaining strength with every step that he takes.

The power of the bell that once imprisoned him has been broken by its peals. He is unleashed once more; and now, none can ever stop him again. 

Friday, 7 October 2011

Ada Lovelace Day

Despite my obvious leaning towards the arts and my passion for literature, I've always felt a strong pull towards the sciences as well. I studied physics at A-level, and of all the subjects I took, it is that still intrigues me now above all else. Perhaps that's due to the spectacular and enthusiastic teachers that I was very fortunate to have, but for whatever reason, my interest in the topic is one that still persists now.

Because of that, I've decided to turn my literary blog over to the dark side today to mark Ada Lovelace Day. Ada is a woman who has always fascinated me; until last year I lived in the village in which her father, Lord Byron, is buried. George Gordon Byron is one of my greatest inspirations, and as such, I spent much of my free time whilst living in Nottinghamshire researching his life. When I first read about his daughter, Ada, my interest was immediately piqued.

Like the father she did not know, Ada fought against the conventions of her time. Born in the midst of the glorious and debauched Regency era in England, her mother raised her to be the very opposite of her father, fearful that she might inherit Lord Byron's infamous and volatile poetic temperament that led to him being described as 'mad, bad and dangerous to know'. Instilling in her daughter a love for science, logic and mathematics from a young age, Annabella Millbanke provided her child with the early tools to become renowned as 'the Enchantress of Numbers' and, perhaps, the very first computer programmer.

It was a tragedy that Ada's life was cut short by cancer at the age of thirty six, and painful to imagine how much more she could have achieved had she been able to live a longer life.

Still, though, what she managed was spectacular, throwing off the confines that had historically been applied to women and unknowingly becoming an inspiration for generations of women to come.

Working alongside the famous Charles Babbage, she translated Luigi Menabrea's notes on Babbage's Analytical Engine - the forerunner for the modern computer - and in doing so, created an article three times longer than the original that many recognise as containing the world's first computer program.

Ada was buried alongside her father at the very beautiful Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Hucknall, Nottingham. I spent many hours there paying silent homage to the both of them, and, with Newstead Abbey, it is one of the things I miss most since leaving Nottingham

Ada Lovelace Day is all about recognising the women who have been influential in the fields of science, mathematics, engineering and technology; areas which are, of course, traditionally dominated by men. The woman who has most inspired me is not someone that any of you will know, but she is the most important woman in my life - my aunt and my godmother, Audrey.

Through Audrey, I've learnt to revel in my love of learning and push myself further each day. Qualifying as a nurse in the 1970's, my aunt has constantly fought to keep learning and advance herself. Her knowledge of medicine is spectacular, and she has deservedly won herself many advancements and much recognition in her field. She makes me incredibly proud to be her niece, and now that I have a daughter myself, I only hope that my daughter will come to love her aunt as much as I do.

Perhaps, one day, my daughter will make the decision to work in the sciences. Without sounding like an overly proud mamma, she's one smart cookie, and if she has even half of the determination of her great-aunt, she'll go far and achieve whatever she sets her mind to - just like Ada Lovelace.

So, this one goes out to all the women out there, both today and through the ages, who have devoted themselves to scientific advancement and furthering our understanding of the world around us. This romantic and temperamental author salutes you.

Kate x

Monday, 3 October 2011

Teaser for 'Kiss Of An Angel'

Guys, girls and ghouls, it's finally October! You know what that means - Halloween is coming, and with it the launch of my new novella, 'Kiss Of An Angel'. True to both the season and my nature, it's a paranormal erotica, and this time I've ventured into the world of polyamory. I'm getting hot and steamy again just thinking about it!


There's a little teaser below, and I'll be guesting on Amelia James's (@TrashyWriter) blog at the end of the month with another excerpt to titillate you all. For now, though, enjoy!


***








Shannon hesitated for a moment, but she felt an irresistible pull towards the dark and forbidding house. Of their own accord, her feet were moving down the path, and as if in a dream, she lifted the heavy brass knocker and let it fall back against the door.

She held her breath as she waited for it to be opened from within. After what seemed an interminable wait, it opened by the smallest of margins. “Trick or treat?” Shannon’s voice trembled, and a wave of heat flooded her body despite the wind that was whipping around her.

“Trick or treat?” The voice that echoed her words was low, deep, and undoubtedly masculine. It rippled through her like an intimate caress. “My lovely, surely a beautiful young woman like you is old enough to play a more adult game than trick or treat!”

“Oh, not me, the child –“ Shannon began, a burning flush inflaming her pale face with his words. She trailed off abruptly when she looked down and realised that Emily was no longer next to her.

The door finally opened to its full extent as she fell silent, revealing the speaker to her gaze as his eyes raked slowly over every dip and curve of Shannon’s body. A low tremor somewhere in her core caused her to moisten her lips nervously, for she found herself wholly unable to look away from him.

He was beautiful. To simply call him handsome would not do him justice; Max was handsome, but this man was something else entirely. His dark, lustrous hair fell forwards as he tilted his head towards her, and the dim light of the grand, sweeping hallway behind him seemed to form a halo of light around his muscular, barefooted body.

Most entrancing of all, though, were the soulful grey eyes that were fixed so intently upon her. Shannon had never before had occasion to regard a shade of grey as anything but dull and uninspiring, but those were the very last words she would use to describe the stranger’s eyes. They burned with what seemed to be the memories of a thousand lifetimes, an age of pain and passion smouldering in their depths.

Shannon’s lips parted in uncertainty as she stared up at him. Her heart was beating wildly out of time, and she had never felt more alive than she did in this moment when the passion in this frightening stranger’s eyes seemed to promise her so much.

Finally, just when she thought that she could bear the forbidding and pregnant silence no longer, he spoke again. “A child? Oh, I see no child – the most beautiful woman it has ever been my blessing to see stands before me, of that there is no doubt, but a child?” His sensuously full lips curved back into a predatory smile as he spoke, and he leaned casually against the doorframe.

“There – there was a child with me,” she said wildly, not knowing why it was that her legs were shaking so badly that she feared they would be unable to support her weight much longer. “She must have run back to the others; she didn’t want to come here, you see.”

“Well, a child’s instincts are very often correct,” he said gravely, a spark of amusement now dancing in his grey eyes. “And what do your instincts tell you, my lovely?”

A shiver ran down the full length of her spine as he reached out to take her hand, entwining his long fingers through his own and gently stroking the back of her hand. “My instincts are telling me to run, to run and never look back." 



***


Roll on October 31st! Whilst I've got your attention, do swing by the Goat Franchise's new website and subscribe to stay up to date with what I'm up to, along with all the latest news from Jake Bannerman. We're going to be opening up to submissions in the New Year, so keep your eyes peeled...


Kate x

Friday, 30 September 2011

Guest blogger - Colin Barnes

Colin F. Barnes is a writer from the UK who writes Science Fiction, Horror and Thriller fiction. He likes to take the gritty edginess from his surroundings and personal experiences and translate them into his stories. He is currently working on an anthology of horror stories in his 'City of Hell Chronicles' setting after recently debuting with a crime anthology titled 'Killing my Boss'.


Essence of Extremity

Dark fiction is a wide umbrella covering a gamut of flavours of sub genres. I tend to write and read what I call Horror. It's at the extreme end of Horror. Somehow, over the course of the last decade, 'Horror' has been devalued to cover paranormal romance and angsty YA urban fantasy. One only needs to look at the Amazon charts under Horror to see this diabolical hijacking of the label. What his means is that readers are slowly but surely loosing the true essence of extremity within the horror bounds.

I'm talking about Ketchum, Barker, early King, Laymon et al. I'm talking about I Spit On Your Grave, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original), Hellraiser etc.. You know, when Horror meant horrific experiences. When horror had scares that actually scared you.

I remember watching the original Friday the 13th as a kid and having nightmares for weeks after; that was pure horror (of its time). Not this weak romantic rubbish. I mean, come on, what the hell is 'horror' about a woman having a romantic triangle with an effeminate vampire and a pruning wolf? It makes me sick to see Horror be reduced to this.

One of the first dark fiction books I read as a youngster was King’s IT – so yeah, I now fucking hate clowns too. King has single handedly ruined children’s parties (for the adults). Excellent work Steve!

We need more of this subversive fiction. We need to twist common tropes into things that scare the living crap out of people. Without fear, humanity gets lazy. Life becomes predictable, stale, and safe. Who wants that? Not me. I want excitement. I want to double check that thing I thought I saw in the shadows, I want to feel the frisson of energy as I hear footsteps late at night in the attic. What I don’t want is this bland formula of ‘horror.’ And neither should you.

So, what can we, as creatives, do about it? Promote, write, share, push, and abuse networks. Get our work out there; force people to dwell in the shadows again, scare the crap out of them. It means we as authors and creators need to dig that little bit deeper; find what scares the jaded/cynical people of today and hold a mirror up to their fears and go beyond what it is considered acceptable. It's only when doing that can we actually reclaim the title of Horror.

This is where the essence of extremity comes in. I’m not advocating stories to be extreme for extreme’s sake. That’s too lazy, and it’ll show. Hell, it already shows in things such as SAW. Torture porn with no real intent behind it. We need to take the extreme areas of life and our imagination and tie them into everyday reason. That is how we can reconnect ‘Horror’ with the masses.

Most people are disgusted or even bored at extreme gore, so we need to be cleverer about it. We need to be more subtle, and insidious with out extreme stories.

Once you’ve roped in a reader and given them a false sense of security with a solid grounding of reality and rationale, then you bring your out the big guns. You give them terrifying situations with things that can barely be described with regular words. You show them something so horrendous that it’s impossible to fit it wholesale into your stories. You want to leave some of ‘it’ hanging outside of the story so that it sits inside your readers mind, clawing its way out for weeks on end.

If you’re going to have gore or extreme sex (which are both good things in proper Horror) you have to do it so it counts. Everyday people can see the most horrendous things as easily as searching on Google. They are desensitized to the images and videos and concepts. We need to make it personal. And there is only one way to do that -- no, not abduct them and taken them into your basement dungeon – but good, deep characterization.

Weak protagonists are just that. No one cares about some insipid teenager, or some moaning kid. You want fully realized three-dimensional characters that are made up of shades of grey. No one likes wholly good or wholly bad characters; they have to be a mix. They have to be like you and I (perhaps not like me, readers really wouldn’t be able to relate to me). They have to be the everyman/everywoman.

Take that character, get inside their head, and then bring on the horror. That is the essence of extremity – personal experiences shared by the author with the reader. Connect! When you think you’ve gone as far as you can, slug a shot of whiskey, pull your pants up and go beyond. You know you can do it. We have to do it for Horror’s sake.


##

A brilliantly argued guest post, I'm sure you'll agree!
You can find Colin online at Twitter, his personal website and Amazon.


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Many thanks to Colin for agreeing to write such a great guest post about a topic that I myself feel very strongly about. Honestly, I could rant for hours about the Twamps and suchlike that are pervading the genre I so love, to its great detriment. We all owe it to ourselves and each other to reclaim the horror genre.

Kate x

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Who is Kate?

So, today I'm going to bare my soul a little for you all, share a little insight into what makes me tick. It may even surprise you, for I'm not all about red hair, red wine and sex...

My Literary Inspiration - Louisa May Alcott


Little Women was the book that first inspired me, as a child, to pick up a pen and write down some of my ideas. Jo March, amongst all four of the sisters, was the one that I truly identified with. I was a tomboy as a child, forever climbing trees and skinning knees, and I wouldn't have been caught dead in a dress. Above all else, though, I shared Jo's - and Louisa May's - very deep passion for everything literary.

Louisa May never walked the ordinary path, and though much of herself was reflected in Jo March, she was a spectacular woman in her own right; one of the early feminists, she worked as a nurse in the civil war, took opium and wrote lurid pulp fiction in order to pay her family's bills - something that was severely frowned upon in those days, in much the same way that writing erotica can be sniffed at now.

Whenever one of those inevitable rejection slips arrives, I simply think of Louisa May and Jo, smile, and pick up my pen once more. In fact, my beautiful daughter has even been given the middle name Louisa in honour of her.

My Musical Inspiration - Ginger of the Wildhearts





No word of a lie - this man kept me going through the darkest times of my life, both with his inspirational lyrics and with the very kind words that he spared for a tearful and lost girl. Despite a very hectic and well-chronicled private life, he always makes time for his fans, and that in itself deserves praise regardless of the brilliance of the songs that he writes.

The quote that he shared with me is one from Winston Churchill, one that he told me he often turns to himself when things seem to be at their worst. "When you're going through hell, just keep going." And really, that's all you can do, isn't it?

And finally, the lyrics of Ginger's that I love the most. "Only those who know how to rock know when to roll."


My Muse


I confess - I'm a Potterhead. I held out until Goblet of Fire came out, staunchly protesting that I didn't want to read something simply because it was popular, but then I picked up my best friend's copy at a sleepover in the middle of the night. I didn't sleep a wink, for I couldn't put it down, and from then on I was hooked.

I've always loved a bad boy, and Lucius Malfoy is nothing if not that. Jason Isaacs's portrayal of him in the films is chilling and superb, and since first seeing him on screen, my - ahem - muse has taken his form in my dreams. In fact, my first serious forays into writing were in the fan fiction genre at the age of seventeen. The files are still on my hard drive, and although my writing has matured and improved greatly since then, I still love to look back through the tales that I created and draw inspiration from them.


On A Lighter Note


My weakness for red wine and Jack Daniels is known by most of you now, I guess! However, my other favourite drink is nowhere near as rock 'n' roll. Cream sherry.

I know.

It's the favourite tipple of old women up and down the country.


I love it, and I enjoy many a guilty glass or two. Red wine will always be my first love, but cream sherry is the secret lover that I turn to in the middle of the night.


I have an embarrassingly large stash of Yankee Candle tarts. No joke, I have a scent for every occasion.



And finally, this is the castle and estate that I have the very great fortune to live less than a mile away from. There are few sights as inspirational in my local area, and I love nothing more when I have a few hours to myself than to sneak off there with my notebook and pen, curl up under the trees and scribble away.

So, there we are. You know a lot more about me than you did ten minutes ago. I wonder how much of it surprised you?

Kate x

Sunday, 18 September 2011

'Playing With Fire' on sale now!

To celebrate the launch of the fantastic new cover for Playing With Fire, created by the fabulous Steena Holmes,  I've reduced the price down to just $0.99 at Smashwords!


Kate x

Friday, 16 September 2011

The red wine, the cocaine and the muse walked into a bar...

The red wine, the cocaine and the muse walked into a bar, and they ordered a shot of inspiration to be washed down by a long, slow dose of brilliance.

No, it isn't a joke.

It's the tale of how many of the greatest pieces of art - paintings, songs, literature - have, in fact, been the product of a mind that was flying high on drugs.

     Kubla Khan - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
     By woman wailing for her demon-lover! (lines 12-16)


Utterly beautiful, and the product of an opium-inspired dream.



Jim Morrison - his struggle with drugs is well-known, and of course led to his premature death. Yet his lyrics and poetry are haunting and incredible, and I cannot help but wonder if he would have been able to craft such words if it weren't for the drugs and alcohol that eventually consumed him.




On a more personal note, my two great musical heroes, Ginger of the Wildhearts and Tyla of the Dogs D'Amour have both had well-publicised and tormented struggles with drugs and alcohol. Tyla in particular I've had the pleasure of speaking to on many occasions and doing photography for, and he has been very open about the demons that he battles, both in his lyrics and in person.






Both musicians have never hidden the depression that they struggled with, and of course, the chemical imbalances that such intense depression creates can be just as powerful for feeding the muse as anything synthetic.


What better examples can there possibly be of that than the cases of another inspiration of mine, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, or of the notoriously tormented Vincent van Gogh? The Starry Night adorns the wall of my little writing corner, and whenever I am struggling for inspiration, the briefest of glances towards it is often enough to spark something off.


Vincent, of course, committed suicide at the age of 37.


Now, though I would never dream of including myself in such lofty and brilliant company as those mentioned above, my muse and I have a very uneasy relationship. Sometimes, for many months on end, we are the very best of companions, and I can write 5000 words a day without no care or concern for anything else, riding on the greatest of highs as the words pour forth.


Other times, though, the muse won't come out to play.


I doubt very much that there's a writer around who hasn't experienced The Curse at some point. It arrives without warning, sneaking up on you whilst you're merrily involved in your story. It brutally cuts short the flow of words and creativity, leaving you instead with a gaping chasm of self-doubt and fear.


The problem is, though, that I know a sure-fire way of bringing my muse back to me. All I have to do is drink myself into oblivion. More often than not, a bottle or two of red wine is all it needs to spark off the ideas once more, and I can categorically state that the majority of my favourite phrases I've written have been whilst I've been under the influence. And if it doesn't come back instantly, I can guarantee than the night's sleep will bring with it a vivid and wild dream that will inspire a new tale even if it's doesn't help with the current one.


It's a dangerous and slippery slope, and I know that. It's a constant battle and balancing act between behaving responsibly and giving myself over to the urge to let my craft and muse consume me; and sometimes,  I can't do that alone. If my writing can only be at its best with the aid of a glass or two of red wine before I start, is that so much to pay? 


I haven't yet found the answer. What I do know, though, is that I can understand all too well why it is that so many of the artists that I admire succumbed to their demons.





Sunday, 11 September 2011

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Leopard Print

A little story for you all to enjoy - originally posted in the Just Pleasure Me competition last month. Highly recommended for all you UK lovelies!

Leopard Print

She wore leopard print. He had always loved the sight of leopard print on a woman, and when she had deliberately leaned forwards, pulling her shirt back to reveal the leopard print bra stretched tightly across her full, glorious tits, he knew then that he was lost to her. Anything she asked of him he would have gladly done.

Relaxing back into her leather chair with a self-satisfied smile curving back her full lips, she had reached down for her handbag, opening it just enough to reveal a tantalising glimpse of a pair of handcuffs.

The sight had been more than he could bear. Leaping to his feet, his cock already swollen and straining uncomfortably against his tight jeans, he seized hold of the woman’s wrist and yanked her roughly to her feet. 

Laughing delightedly, she had stretched up onto the points of her wickedly high heels to whisper into his ear. “Your place or mine?” she had asked breathily.

With a heavy groan, he had thrust his hand into his pockets for the keys to his motorbike. “Mine,” he hissed, pulling her out of the bustling coffee shop and back to the bike that he had parked up earlier. Tossing the spare helmet to the brunette as she tapped her heels impatiently against the concrete, he jumped up onto the bike and waited for her to mount it behind him, her slender thighs gripping him tightly and her arms wrapped possessively around his stomach, before he kicked down the clutch and the engine roared into life, speeding away from the shop and through the congested roads that led to his sleek and modern flat.

She had begun to unbutton her shirt before he had even parked the damned motorbike. By the time he leapt down and turned around to face her again, her tits were threatening to spill forth from the material that was barely containing them, three buttons of the shirt already open and the darkened edge of her nipples peeping tantalisingly over the edge of that leopard print bra.

His hands shaking, he had fumbled over the lock of the door, but finally they had burst into the flat, his lips working against hers with a furious passion as he spun around and kicked the door shut behind them.

She had ripped his shirt away, letting it fall forgotten into the plush cream carpets before kneeling down in front of him and tugging away both his jeans and the black boxer shorts that had been beneath them, freeing his cock to leap up as it throbbed impatiently, the sight of her tongue darting out across the red lipstick smeared across those full lips hardening it yet further.

She had paused only to shrug off her own shirt before eagerly opening her mouth and, without prompting, taking his cock into it, wrapping her tongue around the shaft and caressing it with a torturous delicacy that had made him feel as if he would explode with the effort of holding himself back from thrusting himself into her willing mouth until she gagged.

Finally, though, she had begun to expertly move her mouth back and forth over his cock, sucking greedily upon it and licking every last drop of moisture from its tip as one of her hands slipped into the cup of her bra, pinching sharply at the pert nipple that he could see hidden there and moaning loudly against his cock, increasing his pleasure yet further and driving him towards the brink of his climax before she pulled back, still smiling widely as she threw back her head, shaking out her dark, tousled curls as she undid her trousers and kicked off her heels.

Bending down to retrieve her handbag, displaying the lacy leopard print briefs that covered her ass as she did so, she had pulled out the handcuffs before straightening back up and dangling them invitingly in front of his face.

He had needed no further encouragement. Stepping out of his trousers and leaving them behind with his shoes, he had lifted her off her feet, wrapping her legs around his waist once more and trailing a line of hot and demanding kisses along the curve of her throat as he stumbled towards the bedroom, depositing her unceremoniously on top of the crisp white sheets before climbing on top of her, pinning her to his bed and reaching behind her for the clasp of her bra to free her tits.

She had shaken her head, pushing him away and rolling him onto his back before straddling his hips and holding the handcuffs up in the air with a sultry smile.

And now here he was, his hands bound behind his head, the cold metal impossible for him to free himself from. He cared nothing for that, though, not when she was now sat on top of him, one hand pulling her left tit out of her bra and teasing at the nipple, twisting and rolling it between her fingers as the other hand reached down into her briefs, her fingers visible through the lace as they sought out her clit and began working desperately against it.

Her moans of pleasure grew ever louder as she arched her back, staring intently into his eyes as the flush of her skin deepened and her breath began to come in short, panting gasps. Just as he began to think that he could stand it no longer, his hips rising off the bed to push his cock pleadingly against her thighs, she finally reached behind her and unhooked the bra, tossing it across the room as her tits bounced free.

Groaning desperately, he thrust his cock upwards again and she chuckled softly, the sound sending a thrill of pleasure shooting through his body as she gracefully slipped down from the bed to pull her briefs away. He could smell the musky scent of sex and arousal hanging in the air as she slowly climbed back up and straddled him again, but instead of finally lowering herself onto his waiting cock, she began to play with herself again, deliberately teasing him by pinching her nipples and writhing against his cock, so hard now that he was in physical pain.

“Please!” he begged hoarsely, and her dark eyes softened as her hands instantly dropped back to her side.

“You only had to ask!” she murmured, wrapping one hand around the base of his cock before swiftly driving herself down onto it, crying out in exhilaration as he thrust his hips upwards to meet her, burying his cock deeply into the tight heat of her muscles with a triumphant shout.

He had already been forced to hold himself back for far too long, and had no intention of doing so any longer. Adrenalin pounding through his veins, he thrust his hips upwards again and again in perfect time with the rhythm that she was setting as she rode his cock, writhing on top of him now with her ample tits still cupped in her hands.

Were his hands not bound behind his head, then he would have been groping hold of them and teasing the nipples as she evidently so enjoyed, but instead he could only watch as she did so and direct his frustration into slamming his cock into her body, the strength of his violent thrusts jerking her up into the air and almost unseating her. “I want to watch you come on top of me!” he demanded desperately as she shrieked and gripped his cock ever more tightly. “Touch your clit again, baby, make yourself come for me!” 

She instantly moved to obey him, still bouncing wildly on top of his cock as her fingers moved down to rub against her clit again, moaning loudly once more and rocking against him. “Come on, baby!” he urged her with a heavy groan, his body tensing up in anticipation of the orgasm that was tantalisingly near for them both. “I can’t hold it back much longer!”

Gasping loudly, she threw her head back and pushed down harder onto his cock before, with a loud cry that echoed around the bedroom, she pulled her hand away and gave herself over to her orgasm, collapsing on top of him as the climax ripped through her body, causing her to shake uncontrollably against his cock, waves of heat inflaming her that he could feel against his bare skin.

With one final thrust that was so powerful that it jerked her limp body up into the air, his own orgasm finally exploded, his tight balls releasing his cum into her as he shouted out her name, barely able to catch his breath with the force of his intense and thrilling release.

The woman was still slumped against him breathing heavily, her tits crushed against his chest as he turned his head sideways, his eyes alighting upon the photograph at the side of the bed; the photograph of him and his wife on their wedding day. The sun had been shining brightly, illuminating her waves of blonde hair, and they were both beaming into the camera.

“I really should get a new photo to put there,” he muttered, rolling onto his side as the woman wrapped her arms around his neck, burying her face in his shoulder with a satisfied sigh. “You look even better now that you’ve dyed your hair, baby.”

His wife smiled up at him, stretching out her bare body against his. “I’m glad you like it, honey,” she murmured. “So, what did you think? Did you enjoy my little game?”

He grinned back at her. “I think that much is pretty obvious, baby. And next week, it’s my turn to surprise you.”

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Kate x