Monday, 16 January 2017

Special Guest - L M Somerton

Please welcome the lovely L M Somerton to our blog today chatting about Tales from the Edge.




New beginnings

There’s a line in a song by rock band The Editors, “Some things should be simple; even an end has a start”, which has resonated with me recently as I come to the end of a book series. Tales from The Edge consists of eight books and four free short stories and began almost four years ago with Reaching The Edge. The main characters, Olly and Joe, have inhabited my head ever since and letting go has proved anything but simple. I wish they were real – they’d make really good friends and I think a night out with them might be an adventure!

I didn’t want to write a never-ending series where readers forget what the whole premise was about and characters become formulaic caricatures. That’s boring for the reader and the writer. But, I never imagined how involved readers would become with the fictional lives of a group of kinky, loving men who overcome their problems with the help of friendship, perseverance and a healthy dose of snark. Writing the last book took far longer than it should have done because part of me didn’t want to write ‘the end’. It seems even writers have a comfort zone – this series has become mine. Finishing it is a psychological kick in the rear. The chance to try new and different things – to sort through all the ideas and plots scribbled in notebooks and on scraps of paper and finally do something about them. I have a rough plan for this year and have taken the scary decision to have some time off from my day job, so maybe those plans might actually come to fruition.

I’ve written before about the pros and cons of series versus standalone stories. As a reader I enjoy both (providing there aren’t too many cliff-hangers involved) but as a writer, a series has more appeal with more time to develop reoccurring characters and the intertwined threads of their lives. So that’s what I’ll be doing this year – completing The Wyverns series, continuing The Warlocks series with book 2 and starting something new. There may just be a standalone thrown in there too. Whilst writing Tales from The Edge, I frequently found myself accidentally creating characters with the potential for stories of their own, so I may have to indulge in a few more short freebies when the urge takes me! In the meantime, the final book in the series sows the seed for a new set of stories I’ll also be starting this year. So the end really is a start.

Blurb

Never let go of the one you love.

After recent traumatic events, Olly is finding it hard to get his head around what happened. While he tries to deal with a maelstrom of emotions, renovations at The Edge are in full flow, alongside preparations for tenth anniversary celebrations. Joe, his Dom, recognizes Olly’s delicate state of mind and does his best to reassure him. A trip to the New Forest with their friends, Aiden and Heath, helps the healing process.

Returning home, Olly and Aiden focus on preparations for the party. When Aiden is called away, Olly takes a walk to clear his head, keeping his eye on a brewing storm. To his horror, he discovers Mark Vickery, an old enemy, has landed on the island by boat and is out for revenge.

With Olly missing and the storm raging, Joe, Heath and Aiden set out on a rescue mission that unfolds in a way none of them expected. Can the storm wash away the past or will Olly and Joe’s future be destroyed by a twist of fate?




Bio

LM lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She's fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

LM is winner of the National Leather Association’s Pauline Reage Award for best novel and the 2016 Golden Flogger Award for best BDSM novel in the LGBT category. She has received multiple Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards and won the Action and Adventure category of Divine Magazine’s Book Awards in 2015. You can track her down online here:





Monday, 2 January 2017

Special Guest: Kathleen Grieve

Thank you to the Brit Babes for having me here today.  Happy New Year's to everyone! Let's hope that 2017 is a lot better year than 2016 was!

I kind of tossed around what to talk to you all about and the above picture always cracks me up when I see it, so I thought I'd talk to you about my job as a nurse. 

I've been a nurse for 23 years! Wow! That number just staggers the hell out of me. When I first began college, I was a journalism major. The job market at the time was pretty tough to get into and I wondered if I would be able to get a job. I was actually talked into becoming a nurse as the job market for nurses was wide open.

My first year of nursing school I was as green as that photo above. During my first clinical experience, we were assigned to do bed baths for the very first time. If we hadn't been assigned a partner, I doubt I would have even made it through!! When my instructor was assigning patients, she went through a list of names and everyone picked someone. Well, everyone except me. 




She asked, "Kathleen? Who do you want to bathe today?" 

I was paralyzed with fear. Was I actually going to bathe someone? A real live person? Not a plastic dummy! My mind was boggled. Finally, I replied, "Umm, I'll take Margaret."

Apparently, my mind wasn't cooperating with me because she said, "I don't have a Margaret. You must mean Marvin!" And promptly scribbles my name down next to his. 

WTF??? Was I just assigned a dude to bathe? Needless to say, My 19 year old self was freaking out!! 

My partner was Brenda. I remember her clearly. She was in her 40's and had a southern accent. We bathed her patient first and that went very smoothly. Then we went to my dude's room. He was a 60 something guy with a closed head injury and a tracheostomy ( an airway placed in the neck to allow someone to breathe). But he didn't look like this guy... Oh, no...



Picture this... He was lying flat, eyes staring unseeing but wide open and his tracheostomy was bubbling over with secretions...So saturated they'd laid out a bath towel over his chest to gather the constant stream of snot. Ewwww!!!  My instructor was all "Let me suction his trach for you girls, then you can get started on his bath."

I stood several feet away from the bed, frozen in place. My instructor took a small plastic catheter and inserted it into the hole in the dude's neck and the guy sat straight up and turned purple while she sucked out all the mucous from his airway. It was purely a reflexive action on his part since he was a living vegetable because of his brain injury. But it scared the living shit out of me! I about ran from the room!!! If it hadn't been for Brenda, I surely would have.

When I got my care plan back ( a mini report on what we did during clinical) I read over my clinical instructor's comments that she'd penned in red. I'd written that I'd wished she would have explained to me the procedure before she'd done it so I could have been prepared for the patient's reaction. That it had scared me!! Her response, "I noticed!!"

She'd noticed? Then why hadn't she said anything? Needless to say I wasn't too happy. I'd gone home and told my boyfriend that I didn't think nursing was for me. I absolutely couldn't do this! I was in tears.  

But I didn't quit.  I stuck with it, learning all I could about nursing and I am so glad I did.  I have met so many wonderful people over the years. I've cried with, I've laughed with, and I've loved each one. I've eased pain and helped those dying. And I wouldn't change one minute of the last 23 years. Being a nurse has made me the person I am today.

When I decided back in 2005 to get back into writing, it was only natural that I merged my two loves--nursing and writing. This is why I write medical romances.  In my books, you'll get true to life medical drama and how we handle gun shot wounds, septic shock patients, post op open heart patients... And about 2 years ago I started flying as a flight nurse in helicopters! Talk about fun! I do have a flight nurse series I want to write someday... The picture below is me after we dropped off a patient and we were getting ready to head back to base. No makeup! With the 110 plus heat of the desert, it would just melt down my face in black smears! LOL





I thought I'd leave you with a scene from the second book of my Dating Series, Dating Impossible available now. Buy link at the end of the snippet.


JJ entered PGH’s bustling emergency room with a new-found confidence. Her morning meditation had done wonders to lift her sagging spirits. Expertly applied makeup and eye drops hid her night’s cry-filled obsession. When she returned home tonight, she’d submit her resume to the other hospitals she’d considered before choosing PGH. The plan helped to alleviate some of the torment she’d experienced since leaving Kazimier.

JJ scanned the bustling computer screens above the main nurses’ station that had all the patients who were already checked in listed by medical record number only. This protected patient confidentiality. Alice sat with her head bent over her keyboard, efficiently pounding out orders on the chart before her. Beside her stood Jake. JJ liked his sunny disposition. She was glad he was working today as he was sure to lift her spirits and distract her from her worrisome thoughts.

“Wow. We’re hopping already,” she said to Jake. She glanced around, saw several others scurrying from one room or the next in their haste to get tasks done for the patients. “Ah, who’s in charge today?”

“Rhonda,” he replied, handing her a fresh chart with a charming smile that lit up his dark brown eyes. “She said when I saw you to send you in to the trauma bay. They’re bringing in a GSW to the chest. I’ve set the room up and the trauma team has been called. Most are already gathered, waiting. ETA five minutes.” He chuckled. “Nothing like starting your twelve-hour shift off with a bang.”

JJ rolled her eyes. “That’s a really bad pun, Jake.” If Rhonda was in charge, that meant no Angie. Relief flooded her. It was usually one or the other. Luck was on her side. JJ’s spirits rose even higher. “How old is the victim?”

He lowered his head covered in short, rich dark brown curls and scrutinized a yellow sticky note. “Twenty-two.”

“Young, but at least it’s not a child,” she said. Working with injured children was emotionally exhausting, especially if they didn’t survive. She wasn’t sure if she could manage that kind of rollercoaster today. JJ set the clipboard on the counter and removed her white doctor’s coat, hanging it on the row of pegs that lined one wall of the nurses’ station. Clip board in hand once more, she turned to head toward the trauma bay then stopped abruptly.

“You coming?” she asked Jake.

“No. I’m handling triage today. Angie’s your nurse. She’s already in there,” he replied.

Angie? All of JJ’s earlier cheeriness burst like a black rain cloud, drenching her morale. Acid burned the back of her throat as her stomach roiled. She was stuck with that bat-shit jealous RN?

Fuck me… 

The distant sirens of the ambulance roused JJ from her gloominess. She could do this. She was a fucking professional after all. Straightening her shoulders and standing to her full height, she strode with purpose to the trauma bay. Angie was just going to have to fucking get over her bitchy self.

Upon entering the room, JJ found the team was indeed assembled. Employees from each department stood by all dressed in yellow isolation gowns, latex-free gloves, and facemasks with clear visor shields to protect from blood splatter. X-ray techs, phlebots, and nurses stood by expectantly waiting for JJ’s orders. As the only doctor in the room, she would lead.

She spotted Angie off to the side, clipboard in hand. Hatred spewed from the woman’s blue eyes. JJ ignored her and gowned, gloved, and masked. The paramedics slammed through the trauma doors with the victim on the gurney. JJ’s adrenaline coursed through her veins. Angie forgotten, she concentrated on what the EMS team’s field report.

“Twenty-two-year-old male shot in the chest. No breath sounds left upper lobe. BP 86/42. Heart rate 146. Resps 35 per minute…”

On the count of three, the patient was moved from stretcher to hospital gurney. The motion was swift and expertly done, but the patient moaned and shouted cuss words as the jostling caused more pain. “Take it easy! That fucking hurts, man.”

JJ smoothly stepped to the head of the gurney. “Sorry about that, my friend. But there’s no help for it. Everything we do is going to hurt right now. We will give you pain meds as we can, but you’ve lost a lot of blood and your blood pressure is dangerously low. Can you tell me what happened?”

“Nothing, man.” His voice was muffled and a bit tinny through the oxygen face mask he wore. “I was just walking down the street minding my own business,” he said. His tone was defensive mixed with just a bit of smugness that was typical.

JJ rolled her eyes. Pretty much the standard answer she’d expected. The truth was he’d been shot by a store clerk while trying to steal the money from the cash register. “What’s your name?” As she spoke, she listened to his chest, observed the unequal fall with each short rapid breath he struggled to inhale. His pale skin was slick with sweat, and the blood-stained gauze dressing just under his left nipple was peeled up along the corners. She removed it, examined the wound, and fired off rapid orders to the team. “Stat chest, full trauma panel including type and cross for four units packed cells and keep two units ahead. Set up for chest tube insertion and call the cardio-thoracic surgeon on call.”

Everyone scrambled to do her bidding. All except Angie, who stood leaning against the wall with the X-ray viewers, clipboard clasped to her chest. As the head nurse, Angie was supposed to be recording and coordinating JJ’s orders.

“What the fuck, Angie? Get your ass moving. I need that chest tube tray now, not in the next millennium,” JJ said.

At the bite in JJ’s voice, all motion ceased for a fraction of a second. Glances were shared, and the only sound came from the patient himself as he writhed, moaned, and shouted expletives of his own. Angie’s gaze threw fire-sheathed daggers at JJ, but she grudgingly pushed off the wall and did as instructed. The monitor above the gurney screamed and flashed the current vital signs. His blood pressure dropped to 60/29. Heart rate up to 180s. Oxygen saturation now read 85 percent. All activity resumed with renewed vigor.

“Slam in two units of uncrossed matched O negative packed cells,” JJ said reviewing the X-ray film Grant handed her. Hemo/pneumo thorax. Just as she’d suspected. “Okay, people. Let’s drain the blood out of his chest and get him prepped for surgery.”

“Well, Marty,” JJ said, addressing the patient using the name he’d given her moments before. “Here’s the deal. I’ve got some good news and some bad news.” She spoke in a soothing voice, trying to calm his anxiety. “Which do you want first?”

He grimaced. “Just fucking say it, Doc.”

“The bad news first then,” JJ said brightly, giving Ambra the go-ahead nod. “The bullet in your chest has lodged near a major artery. You’re going to need to surgery to remove it and repair the damage. But first I need to place a drain in your chest to evacuate the blood that has pooled in there and that has collapsed your lung. Do you understand?”

“I’m fucked, right? I don’t want to die,” he said, his dark brown eyes were wide with fear.

“Not necessarily,” JJ answered as she changed into a sterile gown and prepared to place the chest tube. “We have a couple of great surgeons that are experts at putting chests damaged like yours back together. Don’t you want to know the good news?” she asked, her voice cheery as she picked up the scalpel from the sterile field of instruments to her side.

Gaze glued to the sharp instrument in her gloved hand, he gulped. “W-w-what?”

“The good news”—JJ pointed to Ambra—“is that my best friend here is an expert respiratory therapist. And Matt there” —she motioned to Matt standing opposite side of the gurney— “Matt is going to sedate your lying, stealing ass, knocking you out while Ambra places a tube into your mouth where the tip goes into your windpipe. So, essentially, we will be breathing for you.”

Marty squirmed on the gurney in an attempt to escape. “You’re fucking crazy! That’s not good news!” His slurred speech and half-hearted effort told JJ the sedatives were beginning to work.

“Sure it is,” JJ replied. “That means, when I use this” —she wiggled the sharp scalpel in her hand— “you won’t feel a thing. Some ER doctors aren’t as generous as I.” She chuckled.

“Now, Marty, lay back and relax. This won’t hurt a bit…”


*****
Blurb:

Focused on her career, Dr. JJ Jones doesn't have time to date—and she certainly doesn't want to date the "player" of the ER, none other than her girlhood crush, Dr. Cruz Avery. JJ found out the hard way that romantic relationships in the work place don't mix forcing her to relocate back to Arizona and change jobs. She's determined to spend her free time enjoying her Harley, reading true-crime novels, and learning about the new community she lives in.

Dogged by the gorgeous Dr. Avery with his skillful hands, disarming smile, and hot lips, her resolve wavers. For now, she's having fun making his mission to date her down right impossible!




You can buy Dating Impossible on Amazon. The buy link is here: https://www.amazon.com/Dating-Impossible-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00BMHF3B6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
*****

Thank you so much for having me here today! This has been so much fun!
Kathleen 💋

******

About Kathleen Grieve:


BIO:

About Kathleen Grieve

Full time nurse, amateur cake baker, writer, and zombie obsessed, Kathleen draws a lot from the real-life medical drama she experiences as a RN for her novels. Writing romance is a creative outlet where she can effectively deal with the daily stress and sorrow, adding levity and humor to situations that provide a happily ever after when there isn't one. She has recently discovered the fantastic world of air ambulance after 20+ years of working critical care in the hospital and relishes her role as a flight nurse!


Books & Buy Links:

Dating 911 https://www.amazon.com/Dating-911-Kathleen-Grieve-ebook/dp/B005UQ3KYC/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8



Dating Impossible https://www.amazon.com/Dating-Impossible-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00BMHF3B6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8


The Doctor's Deception https://www.amazon.com/Doctors-Deception-Kathleen-Grieve-ebook/dp/B00AGG0U3U/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8


AfterDark Online Free Read Available Now~Decadent Medicine

http://afterdark-online.com/2012/11/11/decadent-medicine-by-kathleen-king-grieve/


Connect with Kathleen Grieve

on Twitter @KathleenGrieve

on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1806364.Kathleen_Grieve

on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/grievekathleen?ref=tn_tnmn#!/pages/Kathleen-GrieveAuthor/251669291518939

on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Kathleen-Grieve/e/B005UP4MP4/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0


Blog: www.kathleengrieve.blogspot.com


Website:www.kathleengrieve.com



Sunday, 25 December 2016

Happy Christmas!


The Brit Babes would like to wish all their friends and readers a very merry Christmas. And to ensure everyone gets a sexy something in their stocking, here's a list of our free/discounted books.








Sign up to Lily Harlem's Newsletter for a free eBook.
















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Monday, 19 December 2016

Special Guest - Jade A Waters

Hi there - it is my absolute pleaure to welcome Jade A Waters to the Brit Babes as our special guest. I adore her work - and I'm sure you will too. Here she is with a fascinating insight into the characters in her new Novel, The Assignment...



Loving Your Characters
by
Jade A. Waters

Holy cow, am I excited to be here! I’ve been a huge fan of the Brit Babes for a long time, and when the fabulous Tabitha Rayne invited me to stop by, talk about a compliment. So, a giant thank you to the Brit Babes for having me over!

I’ve got to tell you, I’m extra enthralled to be swinging by today. I’m right in the midst of the blog tour for my new release, The Assignment. The book is the first in the Lessons in Control trilogy, and while it came out just last week, I’m way deep in the series. As in, I am days away from turning the final book in to my editor. *Happy dance* That said, right now seems like an appropriate time to talk about loving your characters. Generally speaking, I think it’s safe to assume we authors love our characters (one hopes, anyway)—still, affection for our darlings can occasionally pose a challenge when you extend their life over a full novel or, more so, into many books.

Let me be clear: I really, really, really love the heroine of my series, Maya Clery, as well as her romantic interest, Dean Sova. Maya is strong, independent, clever, and sassy as ever. She has a great life, but she’s also got a troubled past she’s had to work hard through, which means she’s got some grit to her. Dean has my affection, too; while we learn a hell of a lot more about him as we move into the second book, The Discipline, he’s done some solid living, and his charm, intelligence, and sex appeal is right there from the start. Their relationship begins as a playful exploration of a budding D/s dynamic between them—both of them having some experience, but not enough to fully call themselves “Dom” or “sub” from launch—and through the course of the novel and in turn the full series, they definitely grow into these roles and deeper in their love.

One of the things we as authors get to do is craft people, and in doing so, we get to give them a plethora of traits we either love or hate, or both. I’d venture to guess that evil/nasty/mean as they are, even antagonists get love from their author-makers. Those pesky instigators are serving a purpose, after all, throwing shade or creepy vibes that rattle our readers almost as hard as our protagonists. Between them and our good guys, we get to develop these people through back story and full character traits, and then mess with them in our godlike creative way, which is no doubt why we feel attached/akin/affection for them in some if not many aspects. It’s unconditional, this love—we adore them despite their capacity to ruffle our feathers. Which can be particularly interesting, considering we made them.

Take my male romantic lead, Dean, for example. When I started the series, I repeated over and over again that “I would so date this guy if I met him!” I crafted him with a good chunk of the traits I find sexy in a real life man (physically and mentally), and gave him a sprinkle of some deeper flaws (like you do)…but over the course of writing the series, I changed. My dating style changed. My taste changed. My maturity and experience in relationships changed. My kinks shifted. Dean was still hot as ever by the time I got to drafting book two—almost two full years after I drafted book one—but somewhere in that time frame, he was no longer my kind of guy. Oh, man. Did that make things interesting! We authors are always writing from some kernel of truth, sometimes a bigger kernel than others, but now the flaws I gave Dean actually got me ruffled enough here and there that I kind of wanted to smack him. We were in no way relationship material—which is pretty reasonable, considering he’s fictional and I made him and all that—but my affection for him morphed on occasions into the type I have for that hot guy at the gym. I admire his musculature. I want to talk to him because I’m fascinated by him. Sometimes, when I’m working out so hard that I’m hyperventilating and my brain is wandering into la-la land, I can envision dating him. I maybe even drool over him. But, I know we would never ever work…and now I’m playing puppet master with him and my heroine, Maya Clery. I can’t speak to how other writers do it, but I’m a bit of a method writer and get all up in my protagonist’s head for the run of the story…and I tell you, when we learned more about Dean during the series and those flaws started rising up, making the tension grow and grow like it tends to in a story, and then my Maya was getting frustrated with Dean?
Yeah, I was equal parts “But I love this guy” and “I am going to slap you, Dean. I’ll slap you [for Maya].”

Speaking of, I can’t skip over Maya. You know when you’re watching your best friend do something that has the potential to get her totally hurt in the long run, but you’re happy for her because she’s living an experience and learning things, and you know she’s got to make her own mistakes? That’s what I think it’s like to watch your prime character grow through a series. You’re rooting her on, but damn if you don’t flinch when she starts facing some hefty challenges and risking some big consequences. Unlike you do with your best friend, in a story, you have the luxury of purposely controlling her fate—but I won’t lie. I lost some sleep over Maya Clery. I fretted over her future, her past, her present. I remember talking to my mom about Maya’s deep personal struggles, for goodness sake. (And we wonder why writers are weird?) I think you get the picture…of course I love her, just as I love Dean, but over three books, there are bound to be moments of agony. Strife. Stress. What have I done making you beautiful crazy people and running you through all this brutal tension over the course of three books?

Fortunately, it works out in the end! Maya and Dean struggle and develop, as planned, and in the long haul, hell, just in book one, they become even stronger, better people. Bonus: I did, too. Didn’t matter if one of these characters or their sidekicks/antagonists/history/life drama/overall fate was wearing me down (through another round of insomnia or redrafting a scene for the tenth time because I just couldn’t get it right), I still adored them. I sat down ready to work on them and with them day after day, never mind the fact that I ripped off a couple fingernails and/or took on a weird habit of braiding my hair like a wood nymph almost every time I was rereading or thinking too hard. I did this because I love these characters of mine—romantic drama, differing interests, flaws, and all.

And you know what? I’d do it all over again.

I think that’s what we call true love. :)



Jade A. Waters is an erotica author and poetess in sunny California. A lover of candy, coffee, dancing, and endless karaoke, she is happiest when surrounded by words—be they on the page or shared in good conversation. Her short fiction and poetry is featured in over a dozen anthologies from Cleis Press and Stupid Fish Productions, and currently, Jade is hard at work finalizing the last book in the Lessons in Control series from Carina Press. Visit her at http://jadeawaters.com, or follow her at http://twitter.com/jadeawaters.

Pick up your copy of The Assignment at:

Amazon US     Amazon UK      Barnes & Noble      Google Play      iBooks      Kobo