Sometime last year, the CapriLuxe anthology disappeared from Wattpad. It looks like the organiser cleaned up her digital life, and I absolutely don’t blame her. There’s an airy feeling of freedom that comes with deleting accounts you no longer use. For one thing, you never have to worry about a “hey, we got hacked” email from a brand you forgot you once shared personal information with.
Anyway, the disappearance of Henry Aston shall be remedied. About Henry and About Her will be combined into a single novella edition and released through Amazon sometime in July.
If you’d like an ARC, make sure you’re subscribed to Dot Club. There’ll be more information about this in the June (#30) newsletter.
Love, Nostalgia & Lights in the Sky is a collection of tiny stories, featuring some of my micro fiction, #vss (very short stories), flash and short poetry previously published here, in my newsletter and on my social profiles.
This book contains some adult content of a romantic and sexual nature, and is intended for readers over the age of eighteen.
It’s available for free when you subscribe to Dot Club.
With Kyanite Publishing officially closing its doors at the end of 2020, It Starts With A Kiss will be pulled from bookstore shelves and online catalogues. If you’ve been thinking about getting a copy, now’s the best time to grab one, as I’m not sure when it’ll be available again after New Year’s.
Alternatively, if you fancy some snail mail from Australia (even though international postage is a bit poo), I’ve got a handful of paperbacks from back when I was planning on going to an event 📚 Just drop me an email and we can chat about it 💌
Thank you, everyone who bought, reviewed, talked about, and talked with me about this book 💜 I hope to share more stories with you soon.
Where the Sun Always Shines, an anthology of feel good stories, is out now!
Where the Sun Always Shines is a free anthology of feel good stories created through the donated time and effort of the authors, editors, and designers to make you smile, make you laugh, and give you hope.
Edited by Crystal L. Kirkham and Jodi Jensen 💖 I’m honoured to have my short story, Playing Trades, counted among the hope-inspiring works in this anthology. It’s now available for free in the Kyanite Shop.
Sure, she could play it cool when they talked about work, but anything else got her skittish inside and paranoid as hell, which he could tell by looking at her. Him and everyone else.
So she always made sure she was the first to look away when they made eye contact; the first to break stride when they fell in step; the first to change positions when she saw their arms folded the same way.
Thank you to everyone who preordered—you’ve made this day extra, extra exciting. Thank you to my lovely beta readers, who patiently and forgivingly answered all my fussy questions. Thank you to the friends who kept me going, kept me caffeinated, adequately sugared, and unquestioningly supported. Thank you to the readers, reviewers and everyone who’s ever replied to my mailouts for a chat.
Thank you to Kyanite Publishing for taking a chance on me, and for giving me my first legit paperback with a colourful cover and paper smell.
Thank you, most of all, to my partner N, who’s stood behind me and beside me from day one.
Oops, I’m a little late with this! If you’ve been following me on social media, you’ll have already seen this gorgeous Sophia LeRoux cover for my upcoming book, It Starts With A Kiss.
I love it. The colours, the vibe, the mesh heart, which—sorry for being a tech tragic—I’m picturing made of copper wires embedded in a pile of clunky space station hardware.
An excerpt from the yet-to-be-edited manuscript:
Sure enough, Tahnee turned to her with a devil’s grin. “Heard about you and wonderboy this morning.”
“Of course you did.” Celeste kept on working.
“Laks said he had his face right in your tits!”
“Of course she did.”
“Oh, come on, Celly! I’m so sodding bored. Next dispatch isn’t for another few hours. Give me something!”
If this had been about anyone else—Martin or, heaven forbid, that temp from a few months back, who stood too close and spat when he talked—Celeste would have gladly taken a ribbing from anyone. Especially Tahnee.
But it was different with Owen. Sure, she could play it cool when they talked about work, but anything else got her skittish inside and paranoid as hell he could tell by looking at her. He and everyone. So she always made sure she was the first to look away when they made eye contact; the first to break stride when they fell in step; the first to change positions when she saw their arms folded the same way. She had hiding it down to an art, and maybe it bordered on obsessive over-thinking, but what was the alternative? Getting caught and outed? Ruining a perfectly good working relationship? No way.
But Tahnee was waiting for an answer. Taking any more time to respond would give away plenty.
“All right, all right!” Celeste threw her hands up, a diversion while her mind raced for something to satisfy the expectant dispatch officer. “Um, he does have a very firm body. You can tell he sticks to HR’s fitness plan.”
“Uh huh.” Tahnee nodded. “Thought he might. As disgusted as I am about saying her name right now, it’s clear Eleanor has good taste.”
“Oh, come on.” Celeste glanced towards the break room. ”Owen’s just office hot.” The words tasted like fat, juicy lies on her tongue.
I’m a little annoyed with this year. Happy that I’m making progress with my work, but miffed that everything is so locked in. If I stacked my projects end to end, I’d be fully booked until I turn forty. And what a slog life is when there’s no room for new, exciting things.
We’ve still a way to go before 2019, but I’m already thinking about what I’d like to achieve next year. I don’t know exactly how this looks, but the wheels are turning. Here’s what’s been happening lately, though. Busy busy busy…
In the rearview
The Only Question That Matters came out in August
I’ve released the Danica story, The Beating of Our Hearts, on Wattpad. The first chapter, “Smoke and Aural Pleasures”, is live and ready to read. Second chapter starts in a couple of weeks. This is the third celestial dream story out in the wild, but certainly not the last Read it now.
I’ve signed a contract with Kyanite Publishing. New book, It Starts With A Kiss, comes out later this year. Stay tuned.
What I’m working on
Publishing prep for It Starts With A Kiss. Cover art, blurb, all of those things.
When we are naked, I stop to take him in. His shoulders, his chest, the contours of his stomach—they are sinewy and strong, sculpted, perfect. His arms and legs look forged by a life of adventure, not writing alone in his room. I wonder if he lives the stories he writes. I wonder, will he write about us one day?
Then I realise he is watching me too. I blush, I think. I’m not sure. The room is not yet warm, but I am hot all over from his touch, his gaze. My posture closes. I don’t want to be modest now, but I can’t help myself. He rolls us over.
“Don’t be shy,” he teases, looking down at me. “I like what I see as well.”
How arrogant! I laugh out loud. It’s a burst of ungraceful noise, but the music continues and I don’t feel shy anymore. The bedspread is cool under my back; he burns above me. His hubris gives me confidence—this is a game, the good kind, just for fun. I won’t be trapped between the bed and his body. Not yet.
I push him upward. He falls back to his knees. I rise to meet him and kiss his lips, his soft and bristly chin, his neck. When I reach his collarbone, he shudders. He is ticklish. Ah, to manipulate his body with just a touch. His hands are at my shoulders, but he barely touches me.
It was meant to be a short and shallow steamy read. That’s what perplexes me about The Only Question That Matters: how it ballooned into a novella. The intention was a 1,200-word wham-bam-thankyou-sir flashfic, but while writing Sofia’s initial exchange with Alexei, little hints at her backstory kept popping up. I had to explore what got her on the AMS Celestial Dream in the first place. Why was her dinner date so important?
I’m not totally old-fashioned. I’m content with the idea of a one-night stand being what it is. But everything means something to someone. Everything we do is part of a bigger story. And we do things because they matter to us for one reason or another. It may be a small reason, like you’re antsy and need a fix. You can have your one-nighter and let it go, no problem.
But then how you go about it is unique to you; the way you flirt, make your intentions known, how you eventually pop the question. Those little decisions are a culmination of who you are, how people have treated you in the past, what you think about the person you’re with, and how you choose to express yourself.
It means something.
I guess, then, there’s so much you could say about a one-night stand if you wanted to. At the time, I didn’t think I wanted to. But the more I wrote, the more words kept pouring out of me. Sofia isn’t me, but she shares elements of my stories, and of the stories I’d collected from people who at some point in their lives loved too much, loved for the wrong reasons, loved the wrong person, not loved themselves enough, or not let themselves be loved.
Writing the first draft took three months. I was so immersed and consumed by this project, I think it brought on a mild bout of depression in the later weeks. Some of the songs on my writing playlist still hit me quite hard in the feels.
I think The Only Question That Matters may be the heaviest story I’ve ever written. I hope you guys enjoy it.