Saturday, October 18, 2014

Courtesy of Flickr user Natala Menezes
So yesterday I started on something entirely new and different. I'm not announcing details until I know if it's a go ahead or not, but hopefully it's a project that I'll get thumbs up for by the people I need to discuss it with, and then I'll be head down bum up working on it. I'm not sure when/if I'd be able to announce it if it does go ahead, but just know that my silence means that I am working away between uni and writing, and I haven't just disappeared! Lots of interesting things in the works right now, that's all.

I will try to get back to a routine, though I feel bad for slipping only the second week back I had a complete brain-fog, and the only thing I didn't forget was my study. So bear with me while I shake off this fog and get back into routine!

To make it up to you, here's a nice song to bop along to. It certainly perks me up!
Meghan Trainor - All About That Bass

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Nicky_Destinata_FB2 About the book: Destinata is the first instalment of The Valguard Trilogy. A sci-fi/fantasy packed full of drama, action, beings that aren’t quite human, and of course a little romance. Imagine being eighteen. You've just become an adult, you can do what you like when you like. You should be attending friend’s parties or studying for school. Well that's what Charlie Dawson thought her life would be like when she turned eighteen anyway. Instead she ends up parentless, living with her best friends and working at a nearby café. That is until her curiosity about her new mysterious neighbor gets the better of her. Following Zane into the woods that surround her home town of Tole one night, Charlie gets a little more than she bargains for when he lets her in on Tole’s best kept secrets. The human’s that reside in town aren’t alone. Among them walk the Valguard - a super-human race created by man centuries ago - and though they have been content to lay low in Tole for almost two decades, things are set into motion when Charlie is alerted to their existence that cannot be altered. But perhaps the biggest secret of all is that Charlie herself is part Valguard and also the Destinata - or the chosen one -who is fated to stop the Earth from certain destruction when the humans of the planet discover the truth about the Valguard. In the start of a battle that would surely see the destruction of the Earth, Charlie will have to survive against the odds. In the first instalment of the Valguard trilogy readers will follow Charlie’s adventure along with four of her closest friends that sees her maturing too quickly, losing loved ones, finding new love and having to face down not one but two enemies, because sometimes being born of both races doesn’t ensure your safety among them.
10619970_10152751532541639_1601200589767291579_oAbout the Author: Sunshine, surf and family are the corner stone of Nicky’s world. Being born and raised on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland Australia gave her the opportunity to chase her dream of photography and later novel writing. She fell in love with fantasy and dystopian and crafted stories with strong men and powerful women. Her debut novel Destinata will be released on October 15, 2014 with several short stories following. Her second novel is set to release November 6 and is being published through Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly. When she is not busy being an author, you will find her walking along the water with her husband or chasing after her two children.
 hardbackstandingstraight_890x1110 kindlefire_600x1024
To find out more about Nicole L Daffurn you can head to one of her numerous social media sites, or contact Bitten Press for more information.
Facebook: Daffurn/240965966096004
Author Central:
Bitten Press:
And don't forget to check out the trailer here!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The difficulties of bad non-romantic relationships

Courtesy of Flickr user Ares Nguyen
We all have rough times in our lives. And it's in those times that we discover who our true friends are, correct? So when people constantly bug us, disappoint us or have us slapping our foreheads on a regular basis, let alone when we're having a tough time, when do we say "enough is enough?"
That's something I've been asking myself quite a lot lately. Those around me know that it's been a tough 14 months, sometimes made more difficult by some of the people in my life. I'm a very private person, in that I keep the deeper concerns and pains close to my chest, and very few people ever really know what's really going on. So I can't expect that people will be mind readers to know that now is not a good time, or that I want some peace, or anything else. However there are some things that are really never called for. And it's people who don't get that other people do have their own lives and problems, sometimes worse, yet they have to constantly bug other people with their own, often petty problems. Or those who know how much a friend wants something and can't currently have it for whatever reason (I'm talking not just material items, but things that are important to them for deeper reasons), and will rub it in that they do have it, or can have it if they felt like it. I mean, seriously. That's just not cool. Especially if the friend you're doing that do is having a really rough time.
Courtesy of Flickr user Giedrius
The easy response is to just cut them out of your life. But it isn't always that easy. Sometimes, those people were once genuine friends, or pretended to be genuine, so have come to know secrets, and over time have become unappreciative of a friendship. So in that case, what do you do? Do you tell them to get out of your life and risk them being vindictive and telling anyone and everyone your deep, dark secrets? Or do you
grin and bear it until you are sure of coming out unscathed? What about if it's family? Could you easily cut ties with a family member that is always making everyone's lives their business and turning every issue around to be about them? It's easy enough to say to someone in a bad relationship (not romantic, but familial or friendly) to get that person out of their lives. But when you're on the outside, you don't know the underlying issues that can prevent someone from removing a stressful person from their lives.
So what do you do when it's someone you care about in a bad non-romantic relationship? Well, having been in bad non-romantic relationships myself, as well as being friends with people who are/have been, I can tell you this; sometimes intervention is needed, to convince your friend that it is necessary to cut ties. Other
times, when there are deeper reasons, then you support them when they're frustrated and give them a shoulder to cry on, without judgement, until it is feasible for the bad relationship to end.
Courtesy of Flickr user Kim Manley Ort
Now, I know this sounds like I condone abusive relationships of any sort. Let's get it straight: I don't. If someone is in a physically abusive relationship, intervention is definitely needed. Psychologically destructive relationships can be harder. And in any case, you can only help those who want to be helped. However, I'm not talking about actual abusive relationships, just friendships with negative, selfish people who are poor friends. Nothing is black and white, straight cut. Especially relationships, romantic and
non-romantic alike. There are many nuances and levels that can make it difficult to cut someone out of your life. So if you have a friend who is in such a relationship, and there are good reasons for them to not have cut ties just yet, then please, don't walk away just yet. Be the good friend that they need so they have the support when the bad relationship does end.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Getting to know my fellow authors

So my wonderful publisher has been setting us challenges lately to try to boost our sense of teamwork, and boost our promotions as well. This week, we're interviewing other Naughty Nights Press authors with whom we don't normally interact with, and to ask questions that aren't usually asked in author interviews. So today, I would like to introduce Denysé Bridger. I hope you enjoy getting to know a little bit more about her, just as I have. 

1. When did you know writing was what you wanted to do?

I think I realized back in high school that I loved to write and create, but it never occurred to me as a career choice. A wonderful high school teacher told me I’d make a great writer and I thought she had to be kidding. Years later, she attended my first book launch, and it was wonderful.

I always wrote in one way or another, poetry, short essays. I wrote my first “real” story as an adult based on a TV series I loved, and that began a 20 year stint as a fan fiction writer, so it’s always been there in one way or another.

2. What do you draw inspiration from? Any from your everyday life?

Inspiration for me comes from everywhere and everyone. Songs, movies, overheard conversations, images I see. I collect images that speak to me, so you can well imagine the files I have in various folders. I think as writers we draw on everything that touches us in some way, good, bad, agonizing hurts, it all plays a part in the way we craft emotions into words and stories for readers.

3. What has been your favourite moment since becoming an author?

I don’t really know if there is a favourite moment. I know it was pretty awesome to see my name on a posted announced as the guest author at signings and stuff like that always makes you feel a bit in awe. Mostly though I think it’s about connecting with readers. I remember the very first review I read, it was a five star from Just Erotic Romance Reviews, and I was just beside myself I was so pleased. Special memories are attached to just about all work that is special to the author in some way.

4. Your least favourite moment? (not necessary if you don't have one, or feel it's too negative/personal)
Least favourite moment has to be the first time I realized my books were being pirated. That didn’t happen until last year, and it’s been an on-going battle ever since. Bad reviews are easy to toss off, theft of your work isn’t so easy to dismiss, at least initially. I’ve reached a point where I pretty much ignore it now. It would be a full-time job for a team of people to keep up with all of it. The other moment that will always be with me is the first time an author attacked me publicly and hunted me all over the internet to rip me apart because I wouldn’t respond to him. Oddly, other authors from that same publishing house took it upon themselves to do the same thing when I refused to “join” them on their crusade against the publishing house. I expect it could be the same again with another of my current publishers.
5. What is one book/series you could read over and over?
Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series, and Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. Both are exceptional, inventive, engaging stories, beautifully told. Lori Foster’s Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor is another set that I love.
6. Is there any genre outside of your "comfort zone" that you would like to try to write?
None that I can think of, except possibly hard core science fiction. I just don’t have the imagination for it, and I’m in awe of those who do. I can write fantasy worlds, I just feel very lacking in the knowledge to craft good science fiction.
7. What is your biggest goal for your writing?
These days the biggest goal is to actually write again. I’ve spent most of the past year learning and studying, so there have been few new works. I’ve got several wonderful new books all plotted and outlined and I’m just dying to get back to writing. I have at least two contracts to fulfill on the older stories, then I can look ahead and start over with fresh perspective.
8. What are some everyday challenges you have to contend with when writing?
For me the on-going and ever-present challenge is time. Just finding the time to write is a nightmare some days. I’m a caregiver for an aging parent who is entering early stages of dementia. I never know what’s going to happen next, and the demands are endless. There’s not really an hour of the day that I’m not jumping up to do something for her.
9. And of course where can we find you and your writing?
I’m all over the place, so here’s a list of the main links:

WebsiteMobile websiteFantasy Pages (general)Bound by Passion (adult content)NewsletterTwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInTumblrGoogle+Romance and Fantasy Google+ PageAmazon Author PageSmashwordsBarnes & NobleKobo BooksARe Romance BooksSensual Treats MagazineRandom Acts of Sex and RomanceInstagramMySpaceGoogle+

Thanks so much for the very interesting interview, Phoenix!

Blessings to all,


"Live the Romance, Become the Fantasy..."
** Preditors & Editors Best Author 2012-2013 **

I don't know about you, but I found that very enlightening! Great to get to know you a bit better, Denysé!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A little something different and special...

Image Courtesy of Facebook Page
I Am A Mother To An Angel, and member
Katie Meadows for this image.
As most people know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A great cause. I've had 3 aunts fight cancer, and one of them was one of the lucky women who successfully beat Breast Cancer.
What many people don't know is that October is also Pregnancy and Infant/Child Loss Awareness Month. We didn't know about it ourselves until last year, and so now October has a double meaning for us.
So for this month, The Naughty Pages will be Pink and Blue, to raise awareness for both causes. Please spread the awareness of both causes this month. Too many families lose children each day, and too few people are aware of just how common it is. I was surprised to learn just how many people I knew who have lost a child, all of them during pregnancy. It is something that is still a taboo topic in society. We need to break that silence. So please, help me spread the word! And for people who have social media accounts, I challenge you to change your profile picture to something pink and blue to show your support!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Taboo or Not Taboo? That is the question.

This is quite a long post, I will say now. However it is something rather important that needs to be said.

Regardless of what people think of it, “Fifty Shades of Grey” (FSOG) has done a wonderful thing for bringing erotica, erotic romance and BDSM out into the open and the mainstream. The erotic “Twilight” fan-fiction exploded in popularity, and got everyone talking; not all of it good. Most of the controversy was about how it seemed to worship an abusive male partner, and the severe misrepresentation the BDSM lifestyle. I still see memes and articles from friends who actually know what BDSM entails, and they remain outraged. With the movie soon to be released, that outrage isn’t likely to fade.

However it has seen society begin to accept erotica and an openness about sex. Women brag about reading it; people openly buy it from large displays in shopping centres, and gift it to their loved ones; I’m fairly certain it has come up in numerous book clubs, and there is an endless stream of FSOG fan pages, forums, groups and fan fiction. It has made erotica an exciting new trend. According to an article from “The Guardian” in May last year, FSOG boosted book sales overall, and actually got people reading anything and everything, erotica included. It seems the books awoke an insatiable hunger previously left severely unattended, thanks to society’s view that, according to an article in The New York Times, women shouldn’t enjoy porn. FSOG allowed women to openly read and discuss sex.

I know of many authors who write erotica whose sales benefited greatly from the booming popularity that is “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Whether they like it or not, the book was a heaven send. But most of them have been writing erotica and erotic romance for years. Not me.

I never intended to write erotica or erotic romance. Although I’ve always loved being a reader, and I didn’t mind writing, the erotic genre wasn’t really one I’d ever considered. It wasn’t a topic anyone encouraged, and in fact was one that, as a teen, I was made to feel ashamed to be curious about. There was no way I was willing to broach the subject with my parents out of sheer embarrassment; and with school friends who were sexually active, I didn’t want to call attention to the fact that I wasn’t active yet. So, instead, I would avoid the genre altogether until I was eighteen. Yet even then, I kept the fact that I was reading it to myself, as though it was still something to be ashamed of.

Almost ten years later, I not only have a new circle of friends with whom I proudly discuss elements of erotic writing, but I’ve published two erotic titles with numerous others to follow, all ranging in focus on erotic elements. And yet it still feels stigmatized. I write under a pen name and I avoid talking with the other parents at my daughter’s school in case the topic of what I write comes up. Why? Why should I care if they know what I write?

Because writing about sex still has a stigma. It is still considered taboo, and those who write about it are still looked upon as perverted deviants. Fellow authors of erotica have met negative reactions, often to the extreme, from friends and family upon revealing what they write. From husbands and children reacting with disgusted shock, downright wondering what happened to the person they thought they knew, to in-laws attempting to turn other family members against the author, it is understandable when some authors keep their writing lives a complete secret, let alone the subject they
write about.

My own mother supports my writing, but will skip over those scenes altogether. My sisters and aunts are completely supportive, even encouraging, as they know that, despite the stigma, erotic reading is currently very popular, and although I found that an awkward conversation to start off with, I love the support I have from my middle-aged aunts. I’m unsure about what the rest of my family, however. It’s still not a topic I’ll broach with my father, and my grandmother was telling people I write children stories. Ummmm, Nanna? No, please don’t tell people that! That had my cousin just about wetting himself with laughter, at least.
So while I’m lucky, for the most part, in having a supportive, or blissfully oblivious family, I still have to fight back a cringe when I talk to people about what I write. I know that there are people who will judge. Those with whom I’ve discussed my “writing for adults”, as I so diplomatically refer to it, have reacted with interest; sometimes forced out of politeness, sometimes genuine intrigue. Yet I wait for the other shoe to drop; surely not everyone I mention it to will be so positive, right? It sounds silly, but I am waiting for the day my confession is met with outright disgust. It’s bound to happen.

That thought fills me with a mix of fear and nonchalance. The dominant feeling changes
from moment to moment, and depends on how confident I’m feeling at the time. I know I’m a writer, though, and my characters tell me how much detail they want splashed on the pages. It isn’t my fault that sometimes they’re bold and comfortable with their sexuality; that’s not a quality I possess. I personally think that sexual relations belong between a couple, but I also believe that the story isn’t mine to tell, it isn’t mine to censor. So I’ll happily write the words, whether they’re words of horror, terror, erotic or humorous. I’m certainly not going to judge what my characters want to tell me. But I’m left wondering, why is it that, even with the obsession that is FSOG, authors who write about sex are still often reluctant to admit what they write? Those who write horror or about torture, rape, or serial murder in graphic details are bold. Stephen King has made his living off the macabre. The Saw movie franchise, with its grotesque torture
techniques that showed, on-screen, a man cutting his own foot off, were met by an almost audibly salivating audience. Zombies are all the rage at the moment as well. Society is obsessed with macabre gore, blood and guts, people being ripped to pieces in front of them on screen and in print. We have no concern whatsoever about characters dying often slow, painful deaths. But two people being intimate? Forget it, the kids can’t see that, people can’t talk about it. No no no. Unless it’s FSOG, that’s ok. That’s not sex, that’s art.

It makes me wonder if it is maybe the relationship between the characters; Anastasia isn’t the strong, willful character myself and other erotica authors write about. Could that be why FSOG is so popular, while the rest of us authors are made to feel ashamed of what we write? Could it really be as simple as society still not being ready for strong, intelligent women to boldly lay claim to their own lives and their sexuality? Will this ever change? I know that there are many of us who are trying, and we’ll keep trying until that day comes. Until then, do we remain quiet about what we write? No, I say we shout it to the world, and break this taboo surrounding erotica.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back!

 I'm wondering how many of you read the title to the tune of the Welcome Back Kotter theme song? I know I did, and I haven't even seen the show. I just know the tune. 

So I'm finally reopening The Naughty Pages after a hiatus of a year. Almost to the day, actually. Almost. It's taken me this long to get even close to back to normal after a family tragedy last year that is still taking its toll. It's just one of those ones that I won't ever totally "get over". So I do ask for patience because sometimes, posts may be sporadic. I will try my best, though, to keep posting regularly. 

This time around, I'll be doing things differently. I'll be doing 2-3 posts a week, sometimes promo for others, sometimes guest posts, maybe the occasional review, or snippets from WIP's, or discussions of interesting topics. I want to keep the content fairly relaxed. So I will be open for suggestions on what readers want to see. I will be trying to keep the days the same, however. That may take a couple weeks or so to sort out and settle into. 

To kick the blog back off, I'd love to talk about The Return of Their Master. My second title, it was released in April of this year. A first peek at a different world of vampires, it's a chance to dip your toe into new waters. The Return of Their Master is stand alone at the moment, and follows Angie, her three sisters and the man she wishes she didn't love, Jake. Angie doesn't want to put Jake in danger, yet her choice is taken when her Creator, Vitalis, tracks her and her sisters down. She is forced to tell him her secret, and it's not as simple as "I'm a vampire."
When Mary, the oldest sister, is taken, Angie and her two remaining sisters are forced to team up with Jake, who is also a weapon enthusiast, to take on their Creator and get their sister back. Things aren't as simple as defeating their dark father, however, and Angie gets more than she bargained for. Can she forgo her future with Jake, or will she throw caution to the wind and risk dooming vampires and mankind alike?

Phoenix Johnson is an Australian author who has always had the passion for the written word. She had her nose in at least one book ever since she could read and would even scrutinize the back of the cereal box every morning at breakfast. It was only natural she take up writing.
After reviewing a few delicious titles for Naughty Nights Press as she wrote her first title, The Wolf in the Neighborhood, Phoenix was of one mind to submit it to NNP, and she hasn't looked back. The Return of Their Master now joins her first title for sale, and both books are receiving great reviews. Phoenix feels that being invited to write for the NNP blog is a great honour, and loves being part of the team!
You can get in touch with Phoenix on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr or view her website here, or buy her books direct from Naughty Nights Press, or other good ebook distributors.