Thursday, 23 March 2017

Staving off Physical Inactivity by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985)

Writing is a very sedentary occupation (unless you're incredibly hardcore and do something like use a dictation programme or app while you're out jogging - in which case, I salute you). Unfortunately, there's no getting around it. For me, the only way to get words down is to sit on my bum in front of the laptop and start typing. I don't do well with distractions, so that occasionally also includes wearing earplugs. And once I'm in "the zone" I generally don't move at all (barring my arms and hands, obviously) for quite some time - maybe even a couple of hours. It depends how long my bladder/the dog's bladder can hang on.

This, although it gets the job done, isn't particularly healthy. But then, nor are many office-type jobs, so I'm not going to beat myself up over it. However, I am making the effort to counteract the periods of inactivity by balancing them out with periods of activity. And I don't just mean going to the loo, or going downstairs to let the dog out.

No - I'm talking about full-on exercise. I'm no fitness fanatic, but I make the effort. The aforementioned dog helps. My very cute, but also very bossy dog, makes sure I take him for a walk every day (except for Mondays - that's my day off as he's always tired from Sundays!). If I'm not coming down the stairs at the usual time, he often comes to collect me. Not exactly a marathon, I know, but it's a start! It still gets my heart rate up (especially if I go up the nearby steep hill) and adds rather a lot of steps to my fitness tracker (a recent purchase, which is making me more aware of said inactivity!), giving me a good boost towards my daily target.

I also go to Zumba once a week. I've noticed my cardio fitness has improved considerably since I started going. This is seriously high-impact stuff, and although, I confess, I really found it a chore when I first started going, now I actually enjoy it. I come home, very red-faced and sweaty (sexy, huh?), but pleased with myself - and often having crushed my steps target for the day. Zumba has the added bonus of giving me some social interaction - we often have a chat and a laugh along with the booty shaking! I'm also proud to say I don't miss many sessions - only if I'm not well or away on holiday.

I purchased a fitness DVD, too. I admit, I don't do it as much as I should do, but I'm getting better. The arrival of lighter nights helps in this regard - I have much more energy and drive as the spring approaches. When it's winter, it makes me feel very lazy, and all I want to do when it gets dark is close the curtains, curl up and watch TV or read a book. So, I expect as the days and weeks go on, it'll be much easier for me to stave off the inactivity and boogie around my living room for a bit!

The lighter nights and approach of spring also mean... gardening. I'm not overfond of gardening (I leave that to K D Grace), but I do like my garden to look nice and tidy, therefore I do it. Mowing the lawn and weeding still counts as activity, and my garden is on a slight slope, so cutting the grass definitely burns some calories - especially when the weather is hot!

Weekends are much easier. I don't work at weekends, so I'm generally pottering about, doing jobs around the house and heading out for much longer walks, often in my beloved Peak District, with my other half and the dog. Hence our lazy Mondays ;) Weekends definitely make up for some of my more sluggish weekdays.

A snap from a recent 5.5 mile Peak District walk

As for holidays... well, myself and my other half aren't exactly beach holiday types. We are explorer types. So when we head off to cities, we walk. And walk. And walk. Which is probably why I don't put any weight on on holiday!

So, on the whole I guess I'm mildly active (because, let's be honest, I spend more hours a week working than anything other than sleeping), but I'm giving myself a push to increase my activity. I'm walking the dog that bit further (except when it's throwing it down with rain!), I'm sticking the fitness DVD in the player and cranking up the music, and I'm keeping the grass short and the plants tidy and weed-free. I'm even walking up and down the garden path as I wait for the kettle to boil, instead of just standing there. And every little bit helps.

So, what about you? If you're generally quite sedentary, what do you do to counteract it?

Happy Reading,
Lucy x

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller) and The Persecution of the Wolves. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 150 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. You can also subscribe to her monthly newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Random Celebrations

What Do You Celebrate?

Did you know that March 14th is Steak and Blow-Job Day? I’m serious. Who knew? Men’s Health
mag affectionately refer to it as Valentine’s Day for Men. I’m thinking there are a fair few of us women who would enjoy that just as much as chocolate and flowers. The 14th is also Pi Day for those of you who love maths. However, I’m reminded by my good friend and lovely member of the Brit Babe’s Street Team, Alison Greig, that the correlation of the approximate value of Pi with the date -- 3.14 – only works in the US. In Europe, the day is actually 14.3. Living in the UK as I do, I would like to suggest that instead of celebrating Pi Day, we celebrate PIE Day and go for the coconut cream or the chocolate bannoffee. If you like a little ice cream with your pie, well you only have to wait till the third Sunday in July for Ice Cream Day.

Of course all of this celebrating and commemorating led me to check out what gets celebrated – other than me -- on my birthday, January 9th. Get ready for a triple whammy. The 9th is Word Nerd Day, Clean off Your Desk Day and … wait for it … Static Electricity Day. Doesn’t that make you want to don your party hat? April 25th is DNA Day. October 26th is Howl at the Moon Day … and night. September 30th is Blasphemy Day. Since we Brit Babes are all writers of sexy romance we absolutely have to celebrate July 6th, which is Kissing Day. As naughty as some of our stories are, we might also want to celebrate Work Naked Day on February 1st. That works perfectly for us, since writers work at home anyway.

Steak and Blow Job Day got me thinking about the things we celebrate, the things we commemorate at random, and why those celebrations may be even more important than the biggies in the calendar year. We celebrate anniversaries and birthdays. We celebrate successes and milestones in our lives. We writers tend to have a mini celebration whenever we finish a story. We often have a party when those stories and novels launch out into the world. Some of my very best memories are of launch parties and of celebrations of our work.

There’s a yoga flow called Sun Salutation. Sadly, I do little more than dabble in yoga, but I do know Sun Salutation, and it reminds me that the crazy calendar, with all the strange and unusual holidays, has the right idea. There’s something to celebrate every day, and the rising of the sun is a good reminder of that fact. While you may not choose to celebrate Batman Day, that doesn’t mean you won’t want to celebrate Eat Your Vegetables Day, or Take your Dog for a Walk Day. If you’re really feeling celebratory, you could celebrate something all month long. May, for instance, is Masturbation Month. A month of celebration something so delicious is a great idea. It eliminates the need to remember all those little daily celebrations like Pythagorean Theorem Day and Bow Tie Day. Of course you could do both. That way you wouldn’t miss out on celebrating Frankenstein Day. And certainly if you’re an astronomy fan, you wouldn’t want to miss out on mourning Pluto Demoted Day.

Just because I’m rambling doesn’t mean I’m celebrating National Rambling Mind Day, though I certainly have plenty of opportunities. But let’s face it, the best reasons to celebrate are often impromptu, made-up occasions that happen just because we feel like it. Those are the kinds of celebrations that occur organically, unexpectedly and often with good friends, good food and lots of laughter. We Brit Babes would know a thing or two about those kinds of events. We make a point of celebrating whenever a few of us get together. And the best part of celebrations shared with good friends is that amazing things come from them – creative things, healing things, things that bond us and make us better for having taken part. I encourage readers of this blog to celebrate randomly, celebrate often and celebrate with great gusto. I hope that some of those celebrations might involve partying with us vicariously through the frequent enjoyment of good books. While Book Lovers’ Day is technically not until August 9th, I’m pretty sure we’re all happy to celebrate good books every day.




AAAND! Speaking of celebrations: If you’re in the London area on Friday March 24th, Kay Jaybee and I would love it if you could join us for a book reading and launch party at Sh! Women’s Store. We’re celebrating the release of Kay Jaybee’s Wednesday on Thursday and my Toys for Boys. Mostly we’re celebrating the great adventure of life as a writer and the fabulous friends and community writing stories has brought into our lives. That community includes you. It would be lovely to share some fizz, have a few laughs and celebrate together. I hope you can join us.

Here are the details.

Date: Friday 24th March
Time: 6.30-8pm
Price: FREE
Book your ticket here: Eventbrite



Monday, 13 March 2017

Special Guest - Janine Ashbless

Please welcome Janine Ashbless to the Brit Babes blog today with a fabulous new novel BONDS OF THE EARTH, a definite to add to your TBR list!



Would you defy God, for love?

“Broad at the shoulders and lean at the hips, six foot-and-then-something of ropey muscle, he looks like a Spartan god who got lost in a thrift store. He moves like ink through water. And his eyes, when you get a good look at them, are silver. Not gray. Silver. You might take their inhuman shine for fancy contact lenses. You’d be wrong.”

Janine Ashbless is back with the second in her paranormal erotic romance Book of the Watchers trilogy: In Bonds of the Earth.

Unafraid to tackle the more complex issues surrounding good and evil in mainstream religion, Janine has created a thought-provoking and immersive novel which sets a new standard for paranormal erotic romance. The first in the series, Cover Him With Darkness, was released in 2014 by Cleis Press and received outstanding reviews. 

In Bonds of the Earth is published by Sinful Press and is due for release on March 1st, 2017.

Blurb:

“I will free them all.”

When Milja Petak released the fallen angel Azazel from five thousand years of imprisonment, she did it out of love and pity. She found herself in a passionate sexual relationship beyond her imagining and control – the beloved plaything of a dark and furious demon who takes what he wants, when he wants, and submits to no restraint. But what she hasn’t bargained on is being drawn into his plan to free all his incarcerated brothers and wage a war against the Powers of Heaven. 

As Azazel drags Milja across the globe in search of his fellow rebel angels, Milja fights to hold her own in a situation where every decision has dire consequences. Pursued by the loyal Archangels, she is forced to make alliances with those she cannot trust: the mysterious Roshana Veisi, who has designs of her own upon Azazel; and Egan Kansky, special forces agent of the Vatican – the man who once saved then betrayed her, who loves her, and who will do anything he can to imprison Azazel for all eternity. 

Torn every way by love, by conflicting loyalties and by her own passions, Milja finds that she too is changing – and that she must do things she could not previously have dreamt of in order to save those who matter to her.

In Bonds of the Earth is the second in the Book of the Watchers trilogy and the sequel to Cover Him With Darkness.


Excerpt

We headed at random for a restaurant under a trellis draped with grape-vines, where Azazel carefully pulled out a plastic chair for me. He’d clearly been studying up on manners.
Well, that was what I thought until he parked himself in a chair facing me and, leaning forward, slid a hand up the inside of my thigh, all the way to my damp sex.
I stiffened, arching my spine. “Azazel!” I gasped as his touch sent thrills cascading through my nerve-endings all over again.
“Hm?” It had suddenly gone so quiet that I could hear even that quietest of speculative murmurs as he pushed probing fingertips into the wet split of my sex and sought entry to my body. Blessedly, thankfully quiet. No voices, no music, and even the omnipresent hum of traffic was silenced; the world had stopped. I glanced around us and saw that the figures in the square were frozen in mid-motion, their eyes glazed. A dead leaf, just fallen from the vine, hovered motionless over his shoulder. Across the flagstones an iridescent soap bubble hung just beyond the tip of its plastic wand, defying the elements of air and gravity and fate. I wondered distractedly if it would burst if I touched it, or whether it would feel hard like crystal.
“We shouldn’t do this!”
Azazel’s fingers plunged into me, slick with our mingled juices, stretching me, making me buck in my seat. Wicked delight boiled in his eyes. “But you enjoy it so much, my sweet.”
“Oh!” Blood rushed to my face. We might be the only actors in our secret play, but the audience were all around us, unblinking. I was being pumped in full public view, my skirt pushed up my thighs, my whimpers suddenly alarming in loudness.
“Do you deny it?”
I grabbed the arms of my chair. “No,” I admitted, stammering.
“You like the idea of being watched. That handsome waiter there. Those nice old gentlemen playing chess. It makes you wet when I touch you in public. You want everyone to see.”
“Please, no.”
“They should see.” He slid to his knees in front of my open thighs so that he could get a closer look at his hand working my wet sex. “You are so beautiful like this.”
“Unh.”
“Open your blouse,” he ordered. “Show me your breasts.”
I shook my head mutely, eyes widening.
He grinned, then pushed his fingers deeper, scissoring them, curling them to caress me within. I heaved, unable to control my own reaction. Heat roared from my sex to my flushed face and seemed to set a fire in my breasts. I could feel dampness springing out on my skin beneath my too-constricting clothes.
“Show. Me.” His thumb slithered over my clit, implacable.
I couldn’t bear the heat in my flesh any longer. I fumbled the buttons of my blouse, pulled down the camisole top and the bra cups beneath. My nipples prickled in the unnaturally still air, my breasts quivering.
Jeez. Now I really was at his mercy. If he released his grip on the frozen moment I would be exposed for everyone to see—tits out, thighs squirming open, hips jerking, his hand buried in the molten heat of my pussy. Everyone would see me being finger-fucked.
Everyone would see me coming, like this.
Right now.
I nearly kicked him in my spasms, nearly bit my mouth trying not to squeal out loud. Not too loud, anyway. I couldn’t actually keep silent.
Azazel watched hungrily, oh so hungrily, like he was gorging himself on the sight of my shame and lust. He ate me through his eyes and his hand, cupping the thud of my racing pulse in his palm, until I stopped twitching and managed to swallow and moisten my lips.
He withdrew gently; so gently that I wanted to beg him to put his hand back. Than he lounged back in his chair, the flimsy plastic bending alarmingly under his torso.
“Five,” he said, his eyes glittering.
Five what? I was still breathless and half-witted with the shock of my climax.
“Four.”
Oh crap! I scrabbled desperately for my buttons, trying to restore my disarranged clothes. And I managed to pull my skirt desperately down to my knees just as he reached “One,” and the days suddenly roared into surround-sound and motion again, like he’d pressed Play at last.

Photo credit - David Woolfall


Janine Ashbless is a writer of fantasy erotica and steamy romantic adventure. She likes to write about magic and myth and mystery, dangerous power dynamics, borderline terror, and the not-quite-human.

Janine has been seeing her books in print ever since 2000. She's also had numerous short stories published by Black Lace, Nexus, Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, Harlequin Spice, Storm Moon, Xcite, Mischief Books, and Ellora's Cave among others. She is co-editor of the nerd erotica anthology 'Geek Love'. 

Born in Wales, Janine now lives in the North of England with her husband and two rescued greyhounds. She has worked as a cleaner, library assistant, computer programmer, local government tree officer, and - for five years of muddy feet and shouting - as a full-time costumed Viking. Janine loves goatee beards, ancient ruins, minotaurs, trees, mummies, having her cake and eating it, and holidaying in countries with really bad public sewerage.

Her work has been described as: 

"Hardcore and literate" (Madeline Moore) and "Vivid and tempestuous and dangerous, and bursting with sacrifice, death and love." (Portia Da Costa

Links: 
Janine Ashbless website
Janine Ashbless blog:  
Janine Ashbless on Facebook
Sinful Press website


E-book:

Amazon ebook: http://hyperurl.co/cu1pe0 

Print:

Amazon paperback: http://hyperurl.co/fuqprg


In Bonds of the Earth will be available from all major online bookstores in both digital and print. Please contact Lisa Jenkins at admin@sinfulpress.co.uk for any further information.