Thursday, 25 August 2016

Writing Imperfect People by Marissa Farrar

Not so long ago, romance novels were traditionally thought of as the typical bodice rippers we saw on the Mills & Boon shelves in our local bookshop. They’d depict rugged men and flawless heroines, in some state of undress, on the book covers.

A lot has changed since those days, and I think romance has become a far deeper genre than it ever used to be. Yes, it has the connection between two people at its centre, but it also deals with some very real topics, and, in turn, I think the characters are becoming more realistic, too.

If you’re looking for the Mills & Boon of today – the millionaire stories of beautiful people coming together – then you won’t want to read my books. I write about people who are not just imperfect, they are often disfigured or damaged in some other way (and I don’t just mean the ‘my parents left me and no one loves me’ damaged).

In my most recent novel, No Second Chances, my female main character is a veteran, and she’s returned to her home town not only suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but also missing a limb. In my dark romance novel, Defaced, which is the first of a trilogy, my main male character has a birthmark so disfiguring, his father does not allow him to leave his house, and calls him Monster. In my BBW novel, Cut Too Deep, my female main character, Jenna, is curvy and self-conscious of it, but she is also sporting a number of terrible scars from a car accident, and has internal injuries too.

Even in my current work in progress, Dirty Shots, I’ve discovered the main character has an illness I was pretty much unaware of throughout most of writing the story.

Writing imperfect characters is important to me because I believe we're mostly imperfect, too. Even the most beautiful people who appear to have perfect lives, are also carrying their own insecurities and unhappiness. For me, this just makes them more interesting.

Keep reading to see how I describe a couple of my characters from the books I mentioned earlier

Excerpt from Cut Too Deep



Jenna studied every inch of herself. She cupped her large, heavy breasts in her hands, lifting them up to imagine what they would look like if they were round and perky like the women in the magazines men seemed to love. She sucked in her stomach as best she could, then let it out again with a huff. She grabbed the folds of flesh around her middle, pinching the rolls as if she could cut them off with pretend scissor fingers. She twisted to look over her shoulder, at the further folds mid-way down her back, and the expanse of her backside, at the thickness of her thighs and the dimples that covered them.
Once her inspection of her fat was complete, her gaze moved to the huge, twisted scar that ran from the mid-point of one side of her back, right around her waist, to just above her groin. The doctors had done the best they could to stitch her back together, but the scar still appeared like a giant red and white welt, as if she’d literally been cut in two. That wasn’t far from the truth. The metal of the passenger door had folded upon the truck’s impact and sliced into her torso. She’d barely survived.

 Excerpt from Defaced



Her mind was in a jumble, trying to take in the two opposing things she saw.
Monster stood before her, regarding her with solemn, chocolate brown eyes.
His beauty struck her like a blow. He had a smooth, square jaw, a straight, sculpted nose, and wavy dark hair cut short and swept back from his face with some kind of product. His high cheekbones and full lips gave him the appearance of a model, a beauty that was almost unworldly. He was smartly dressed in a grey suit with a white shirt beneath, and black dress shoes which shone beneath the artificial light of her room.
But her eyes took in the part of him she couldn’t ignore. Running down the center of his forehead, down the left hand side of his nose, to skirt the corner of his sculpted mouth, was the darkest port wine birthmark she’d ever seen. Where most of those kinds of birthmarks were red or purple, his appeared to be almost black.
Years of training herself to not react to the birthmarks of her patients allowed her to hide her initial shock and dismay. 



If you'd like to read my latest book about another imperfect person, you can pick up No Second Chances from most online book store. The paperback and audiobook are also on their way!

Gabi...
When I was seventeen years old, I was told to stay away from Cole Devonport. Kids like him only ever meant trouble. I should have listened, but I didn’t, and surprise, surprise, I was the one who got hurt. But escaping Cole didn’t mean the end of my pain. Life has a way of screwing me over, and after joining the Army as a way of forgetting him, I suffered a loss I’ll never recover from.
So now here I am, back in the town I ran away from, with my alcoholic father apparently looking after me.
The last thing I need is Cole showing up on my doorstep because nothing has changed—with his prison tattoos and don’t-screw-with-me edge, Cole Devonport still means trouble...

Cole...
I let everyone down all those years ago. I made mistakes and I’m not proud of them, but I’ve done my time and now I just want to keep my head down and get on with my life. I thought I was doing exactly that until I heard Gabriella Weston was back in town.
Despite what she thought, I was always in love with her. She might hate me, but whether she knows it or not, she also needs me.
I want to make it up to her, but with my past still trying to pull me down, perhaps it would be best if I just stayed the hell away like she keeps telling me to. Problem is, I can’t seem to resist her, and I’m the type of guy who always gets what he wants...

‘No Second Chances’ is a stand-alone, second chance, contemporary romance. It is a full length novel with no cliff-hanger!

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/no-second-chances-9

Monday, 22 August 2016

Special Announcement from Lily Harlem






Thank you for reading this special announcement.



Recently, after parting company with a publisher, I've gained the rights back to a number of novels and novellas. As I've never owned the rights to the covers, I'm now in the process of republishing them with new artwork.

However, I feel it important to point out to my wonderful readers that the content of these books remains unchanged, so if you've read them before, it's the same sexy romance stories between the pages.

In the hope to avoid any confusion here are the books that have been given new covers and re-released. Click on the covers for more information and buy links. 










MATTRESS MUSIC is the first in my Rock Starz series, MIRROR MUSIC and MENAGE A MUSIC soon to follow.




I did once again manage to use the gorgeous model Francis Cura on the cover of COLD NIGHTS, HOT BODIES - he's a perfect Shane!






DANGEROUS TO KNOW is pure erotica - my only piece of work that has no romance whatsoever - so don't expect hearts and flowers, it's filthy!















HER DOMINANT BILLIONAIRE is slightly unusual as the new publisher 'did' insist on a new title as well as new cover.

Previously this BDSM novel was titled IN EXPERT HANDS, so please don't repurchase if you've already enjoyed Imogen and Kane's sexy story. Though if you haven't, do grab it, it's had a clean sweep of 5* reviews.






And...drum roll...my super sexy hockey-themed series, HOT ICE, is set to hit the shelves again on 1st October.


What's more, book #1, HIRED, will be FREE and there's a brand new novel RUSSIAN HEAT that comes with a free bonus story called ROOKIE RULES.

There'll be more details in my next newsletter but if you want a sneak preview of the gorgeous new covers, head on over to my website







Of course I have new material set to hit the shelves as well as these re-releases. Look out for my paranormal novella TAKE ME, my BDSM story KINK CLUB, a sci-fi called HER MASTER'S WORLD and also MOBSTER, all due to hit the shelve over the coming months. 







Thank you for your support, any questions, just drop me a line. And do sign up for my September newsletter that has not one but two contests for subscribers to enter.


Stay well and safe.

Lily x 

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Thursday, 11 August 2016

Words are sexy: using erotica communicate your desires.


Hello everyone, it's Kay here. Today I thought I'd write a little about just how important erotica can be in a relationship...
Words are sexy: using erotica communicate your desires.

Everyone likes to be told that they’re beautiful or handsome.

Who wouldn’t want to hear a lover say that they could get lost in your eyes, or that you have an amazing body?

Doesn’t it feel amazing when a partner’s expression alone tells you that they could stare at your chest all day, and that they dream of caressing your butt at the most inappropriate of moments?

These compliments, spoken or blatantly unspoken, can frequently be a front to hidden desires beneath.

When you tell your partner, ‘I’ve been thinking about your butt all day,’ did you actually want to say, ‘I can’t stop thinking about licking your arse’, or ‘I want to spank your butt until its bright red and you’re begging for me to fuck you’, or even, ‘I can’t stop fantasizing about having anal sex with you?’

Taking the leap from making a flattering or suggestive remark to communicating your deepest sexual desires and fantasies can be a daunting or embarrassing prospect. Many couples go through their entire lives without ever being brave enough to tell each other what they’d really like to happen within their sex lives.

So, how can this barrier of blushes be breached?
Read some erotica. There is a massive array of wonderfully sexy stories available, suiting all genres, tastes, and sexual orientations. Start by reading a sexy story on your own. See what story lines work for you, find your secret fantasises in written form, and maybe discover new ones. Try reading your favourite parts of a story out to yourself; this can help you to build up your confidence, and become more relaxed about telling your lover what you’d like.

Once you’ve found what sends you into masturbation mode, then it’s time to tell your partner about it. Start by saying that you’ve found a great story that you’d really like to share with them. If you feel brave enough, read it out loud to them. Reading to someone is a sexy experience in its own right, and saying sexual words aloud can be a huge turn on.
However, if you can’t bring yourself to speak the dirty words you want to share, don’t despair. Mark the start and end of the piece you want your loved one to see, and encourage them to read it to themselves. Stay close while they’re reading, caress their skin, do something familiar that you already know they’ll enjoy- who knows what might happen next...

If you yearn to be tied and beaten, but you aren’t sure how your lover will respond to this request, start by finding erotic stories concerning light bondage and the occasional slap- then build up slowly to your true desires. Rather than be repulsed by learning what their partners secretly want, sharing erotica has been shown to help create a private environment of trust, lowered inhibitions, and a mutual sharing of ideas and desires.

Although taking the initial step towards telling your partner what you’d like in the bedroom (or anywhere for that matter) maybe daunting, research has shown that it can lead to a fuller, happier, and far more exciting sex life.
If you’re new to erotica and don’t know where to look for a good read, then right now, you are in the right place! Us Brit Babes are all different- we all write in different styles- and yet each of us has something for you- every fantasy can be found right here!
Happy reading,
Kay xxxx

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Mixing Memories with Imagination




Hey, Brit Babe followers, welcome to our blog. It's my turn to chat today and I've brought with me my naughty night nurse! Though be warned, she’s a bit of a handful as you can tell by that jaunty jut of her hip and the way her uniform is just a little bit too tight. Oh and those shoes, I couldn't do a shift in them!



I’ve always had a nurse story bubbling away at the back of my mind. I trained as a nurse when I was 18 and then worked in London for many years. The hours were long and hard, the work certainly stressful, but it was also incredibly rewarding. Helping patients was part of the job and I thrived on the adrenaline-inducing department I specialized in – Accident and Emergency (Trauma). This was my home, be it during the day or on the night shift. One of the things I adored most was the sense of teamwork between doctors, nurses, the porters, lab staff, radiographers and domestic workers (cleaners and kitchen staff). If everyone didn’t get on together, communicate, work hard, then the place just couldn’t run. It was very rare to find a lazy staff member; that type of personality just didn’t survive! It was a case of working hard, then a bit harder, then if you had time, go play too. Mmm, yep, we played pretty hard if I remember correctly!
The hospital social club was an ancient building, tin roof and drink so cheap I was sure it was subsidized by someone – I don’t know who. It was generally full, mostly people in a uniform of some description, or if not in uniform they still had tired faces and were most likely just out of scrubs after being in theatre all day. Mr Harlem and I had many a date at the ‘social’, in fact, I think we probably had our first date there!
During my nursing years I made many friends, most of them are memories now but a few have stood the test of time and without them still in my life there would be a great big hole. It does that to you, working in such an intense environment, you see people for who they are, beneath the layers. Those girlfriends have made up for me not having a sister and we’ve continued to rise and fall together on the crazy crests of life.  I adore them.
I’ve certainly called on hospital experiences and drawn on remembered characters during my last five years of full time writing, but none so much as Confessions of a Naughty Night Nurse.
Now don’t think this book is a memoir, it isn’t (OMG, if it was…!) but certainly the main character reminds me of someone I used to know, as do the two main doctors, Javier and Carl, though, of course, their personalities have been embellished considerably.  Some situations in the book are also reflections, and the descriptions of the hospital wards, corridors and Rose Cottage – that’s the fluffy name given to the morgue – are all exactly how I remember them.
I’ve just had a review for Confessions of a Naughty Night Nurse, and much to my delight it is written by a nurse…

It (Confessions of a Naughty Night Nurse) centers around Sharon, a night shift nurse in a hospital somewhere in England. If she lived in the U.S., she’d be called a float pool nurse because she can work almost anywhere in the hospital. You follow her sexscapades over the course of a few days/weeks and see how much trouble she gets into as well as how many people get between her legs. She’s naughty, remember?
This book had the potential for utter ridiculousness. As a nurse, I take my profession pretty seriously and I didn’t know if this book would make nurses look like trollops. It didn’t though. It felt real! The author’s grasp of medical lingo as well as the possible happenings in a hospital all felt right. I swear she mentioned Maslow and I guffawed. It appealed to the nurse and the instructor in me. The sex was good, but not overdone and I enjoyed the characters.
And my gosh, the book actually had a plot and a decent one at that. Plus, I was rooting for her to end up with the sexy doctor. Well done, Lily Harlem. You definitely won me over. 

I don’t mind saying that I was pretty nervous when the reviewer reached the point were she said the words ‘utter ridiculousness’ and then stated that she was a nurse, but phew, thank goodness she went on to say it ‘felt’ real. That is exactly what I was trying to achieve, an amalgamation of two big parts of my life, my erotic romance writing and my nursing days – this lovely reviewer made me happy dance. Oh, and if you’re wondering what Maslow is, it’s a psychology model used for assessing needs, starting from the very basic, moving up through the need to achieve, be encouraged etc and finally reaching self-actualisation.
I hope if you do read Confessions of a Naughty Night Nurse, you enjoy Sharon’s naughty escapades. Here is the blurb and a sneaky excerpt taken from the beginning of the book.

Blurb:

When scalpels are set down, the ward lights turned off and the patients asleep, there is always time for mischief …

I guess you could call me a jack-of-all-trades nurse. I find work satisfaction in whichever department the hospital needs me most, as long as it’s through the darkest hours. Needless to say I’ve seen it all over the years, been there and done that, what’s left to shock me isn’t worth knowing. But it’s so often the quieter nighttime where the real high jinx abound.

Yes, the nocturnal life is the one for me. With a weakness for sexy guys wearing white coats and dangling stethoscopes, my fantasies are often realised and I’m adept at finding relief from the hospital grind in shadowy corners and cozy linen cupboards.

Of course my dedication to patient comfort is paramount. What kind of nurse would I be if it wasn’t? But when one act of extreme, albeit highly inappropriate, kindness forced me to become the hospital director’s snitch, the length I went to in order to keep my job, satisfied my desires and found me the love that had always evaded me. A love that made me push even my not-so-professional boundaries to the extreme.

Excerpt:
I checked my iPhone again. Another message from Tom.
You coming?
I typed back quickly.
Yes, so will you soon!
The porter appeared. He was new, a young guy, wide and stocky with hair so short you could see his scalp through it. He had the word love tattooed over the knuckles on his right hand.
‘You got one for Rose Cottage,’ he grunted, tugging the closed, coffin-style trolley along behind him.
‘Yes, sideward six.’
Luckily Mr Parslow’s skinny body was light, and within a few minutes we were heading out of the ward with him safely ensconced in the metal trolley.
‘Hey, Sharon,’ Tinkard called. ‘You may as well go for your break after you’ve done that, it’s just gone midnight.’
‘Right you are.’
The ward door shut with a heavy click and I put some muscle into pushing the trolley along the deserted corridor. As the pace picked up I stared at the lumpy back of the porter’s head and wondered if he was the one who’d found Javier and Iceberg.
If only I could see into his mind.
I pondered on whether I should question him. Just come straight out and ask if he’d seen the hottest medical senior house officer since Pompeii’s hospital had got showered in ash, shagging the Wicked Witch of the West where the sun doesn’t shine.
I thought better of it. My asking alone could become gossip, and I was keen to avoid gossip that included myself. There were too many skeletons in my cupboard, and, for that matter, in clinical rooms, sluices, linen rooms, and in that handy, unused office at the back of the pharmacy. No, I would keep quiet and do my own investigating.
Stepping out into the night, I was whipped in the face by my hair, the band holding it in a low ponytail no match for the ferocity of the gale. I hunched my shoulders and stooped, trying to shelter my face from the needle-points of rain blasting my cheeks. The sound of the torrent of drips hitting the metal trolley was almost as loud as the wind creaking at the row of oaks leading to Rose Cottage. Their boughs strained and moaned, their leaves hissing in great waves of noise.
The porter sped up behind the back of the canteen and put considerable energy into pulling. By the time we went past the incinerator and turned the final corner, I found myself jogging along the uneven path.
Luckily Tom was waiting with the door to Rose Cottage held open. We rushed in, the trolley banging over the door-bar and a scurry of leaves whirling around our feet.
‘Fucking hell,’ the porter said. ‘It’s cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey out there.’
Tom shut the door, winked at me, then took hold of my end of the trolley and wheeled it into the bay of body drawers. I trailed along behind, tucking my wind-wild hair back into its ponytail.
‘Yeah, good job the VIPs in here don’t care about shitty weather,’ Tom said, stopping at twenty-six C and then opening the trolley’s lid to reveal Mr Parslow’s covered body.
‘Bloody hate this part of the job, me,’ the porter said, staring at the shroud-covered lump and shuddering. ‘Don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.’
‘You go if you want,’ I said, ‘I’ll help here.’
He widened his eyes and took a step backwards. ‘Really?’
‘Sure, I’ve done it a million times. Doesn’t bother me.’
‘Bloody hell, thanks . . .’ He nibbled on his bottom lip and scanned my coat, as though searching for my name badge.
‘Sharon,’ I said. ‘Go, we’ve got this covered and I bet you’ve lots to do.’
‘Yeah, I have actually.’ He yanked his sleeves over his hands and strode back to the door.
Tom followed and I heard him lock it shut, as was standard procedure at Rose Cottage. The NHS couldn’t risk body snatching, that’s why Tom was employed as night security here.
‘Poor sod,’ Tom said, wandering back in. ‘Looked white as a sheet, didn’t he?’
‘They all do to start with.’
Tom pulled open the drawer and together we slid Mr Parslow onto the metal; his body, although light, was a dense weight. Tom then pushed the drawer shut and closed the door with a resounding slam.
He wrote Mr Parslow’s name on a piece of card and slipped it into a slot beneath.
‘So how long have you got?’ he asked, a naughty smile tugging his lips and his smoky-blue eyes twinkling.
I raised my eyebrows. ‘No time at all. Change of plan, I have to get straight back, sorry.’
‘Ah, Sharon,’ he said, frowning. ‘Why do you go and tease me like that? You know how much I look forward to your visits. They’re the only thing that keeps me going in this lifeless place.’
‘Sorry.’ I glanced down his body. Through his uniform – dark-navy trousers and shirt – Tom’s well-defined muscles could be made out, as could a fantastically long wedge of flesh behind his fly.
My pussy clenched as I remembered last week when I’d paid him a visit. He’d bent me over the desk and rammed himself into me for nearly an hour. It had been so damn hard to walk back onto the orthopaedic ward I’d actually considered nicking a pair of crutches.
I hitched in a breath, knowing I wouldn’t be able to keep up my pretence for more than another few seconds. Tom’s big dick and his skilful use of it was too damn irresistible. ‘The ward is crazy busy.’
He reached for me but I stepped away. ‘Just a kiss and a quick grope then, to keep me going.’
Quickly I moved even further away, towards the autopsy room. ‘Ha, ha,’ I said gleefully. ‘Just kidding, I’m on my break now.’
He flattened his lips into a tight line, as if holding back a broad smile, though at the same time narrowing his eyes as though furious with me. ‘You little minx,’ he said. ‘You’ll pay for that.’
‘Only if you can catch me.’ I darted into the autopsy room, dark except for a couple of low lights over a set of huge scales. The air was cool and laced with disinfectant.
I glanced around. There was a big, steel surgical table in the centre, a row of cupboards, several filing cabinets and a desk holding an ancient computer monitor.
‘Sharon,’ Tom called, the door shutting behind him with a soft whoosh. ‘You can’t escape.’
‘No, please, no,’ I said with a giggle and ran towards the far side of the room.
He chased but I dodged at the last minute, went to run for the door. He cut me off and I swivelled, found myself barging into the bolted-down table in the middle.
I gasped as the air flew from my lungs, but recovered quickly and, with my hands flat on the cool surface, scooted to the end.
Tom was facing me now, his face strewn with shadows, but I could see the thrill of the chase had flushed his cheeks and caused him to pant.
‘Come here,’ he said, edging closer.
‘No.’ I moved away from him in a circle around the table.
But it was futile; he was tall, fast and strong. Suddenly I was grabbed and tugged to the end, my body pulled up against his.
He pressed his lips down hard on mine and instantly the game was over. Now it was all about carnal satisfaction. With Tom, I was always guaranteed a spectacular orgasm and I couldn’t wait to start riding towards it.
‘Ah, yeah, baby, I’ve got you,’ he said, shoving my coat off and flicking it out of the way. ‘You gonna take it good again? Like you did last week?’
‘Yes,’ I panted, tearing at the buttons on his shirt. ‘Yes, that was so hot, I could hardly bloody walk the next day.’
He chuckled, low, deep and sexy, then kissed me again, the stubble on his chin scraping my skin and his breaths blowing hot and hard on my cheek.
He had my uniform up around my waist now and was forcing me to lie back on the ice-cold table. He stepped between my legs and leaned over me, pressing his groin into the gusset of my knickers.
‘Really, on here?’ I said, slotting my fingers into his hair and drawing my knees up so they pressed either side of his hips. ‘Where they chop up dead people? Isn’t that a bit freaky?’
‘The French for orgasm is petite mort so it’s kind of fitting.’ He was fiddling with the elastic of my underwear, at the juncture of my thighs.
‘Yeah, I suppose, but, oh –’ My words were cut off and turned into a delighted moan. He’d plunged two fingers high up inside me and found my clit with his thumb.
‘Oh, you’re such a dirty nurse,’ he murmured, kissing and licking over my cheek.




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CONFESSIONS OF A NAUGHTY NIGHT NURSE isn't my only medical themed erotic romance. In SHARED and SHARED TOO one of the heroes is a pioneering neurosurgeon, in RULE BREAKER, the heroine is a prison nurse who falls for the wrong guy big time, and BREATHE YOU IN has a central medical theme. My M/M novel DARK WARRIOR, set in Kenya, also has a doctor as one of the heroes.












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