Thursday, 20 November 2014

Bodies and gay relationships in drama: Sex Positivity Blog

I did have a giggle at the thought of writing a sex positivity blog. Sex hasn't been on my personal radar for a very long while. But my attitude to sex and the enjoyment of sex hasn't changed, and that's what I want to celebrate. I spend a lot of time writing sex, and I want my characters to love sex, and not be ashamed of their bodies or the act.

I feel the same way about looking at nudity and I've never had hang-ups about watching nudity and sex in drama on the TV,  Although I did grin at myself the first time I wriggled in discomfort when my older kid starting watching those scenes with me. She was oblivious and after a few times, so was I. I derive a lot of my enjoyment not so much from what they're portraying but the light of skin, the looks on faces. I want to see their emotions. I feel like that about written sex. I want to know what they're thinking. You can go through the motions and still be planning what to have for dinner.

When I was *cough* fourteen *cough* I watched Brideshead Revisited on ITV. I was a total fangirl of this miniseries. We used to run into school and discuss it every Monday. In detail. Excruciating details. Like how Jeremy Irons had one buttock lower than the other.

This scene might be one of the reasons. Yes, yes, I like arses.


This was 1981, the year of the Royal wedding, years before the first gay kiss in East Enders. Brideshead was very subtle in its portrayal of a relationship between men. Was there a homosexual element? It was never fully established and to be honest, it really didn't matter. The fact is, as a fourteen year old, I enjoyed their relationship. It was the first time I paid much attention  outside the heteronormative portrayal of relationships.

{One day I'm going to focus my attention on UK soaps. The reason I haven't is that I don't watch any of them.}

Queer as Folk UK.

There was nothing aristocrat about this group of gay guys, based around Canal Street in Manchester. Subtle? No fucking way! But wasn't it exhilarating to watch?. This wasn't sex under the covers. It was dirty (in the best way) and lots of fun.




Sadly, in the UK we've gone from gay TV series and gay moves like My Beautiful Laundrette and Beautiful Thing to Celebrity Big Brother. Gay characters are creeping into shows but there isn't the drive for making shows with gay characters... or maybe there is. Russell T Davies is back with Cucumber and Banana.



 Seeing as he's largely responsible for all the kisses on this post and changing the attitudes to gay lives (not just sex) on Brit TV I am thrilled to see him back. This is from the Radio Times. I can't imagine them writing this in 1981.

From the few scenes we were shown Cucumber is squarely a relationship drama, but one which happens to involve gay people. This feels satisfying as it reflects the way gay life is now incorporated into the mainstream - we don't have to think of Lance and Henry as just a gay couple (or for that matter a multiracial gay couple as Nri is black) but really just as a couple. This seems to nicely bookend Queer as Folk, showing how far gay liberation has travelled – but perhaps also how far it still has to go.

If Brideshead was to coax and QaF was to shock, what was Captain Jack Harkness for? Make gay, sorry omnisexual, acceptable for family viewing? Doctor Who dropped huge hints that the good Captain wasn't fussy about what he screwed. In Torchwood Jack got to kiss the real Captain Jack, and develop a tender relationship with Ianto.




Although in 2011 the BBC cut the sex scene in Miracle Day. What the feck? Have we really not grown up enough to see two men in a 'lewd act' Daily Mail's words, not mine. *rolls eyes*.

My blog has really been an excuse to fangirl my favourite series, but also to show that culture is changing and I celebrate it. Sex is a part of life. We don't need to see tab B going into slot A all the time, but equally well, we don't need to always stop at the bedroom door.



Ed Winters despises his job and hates everyone he works with—especially out and proud, happily in love Frankie Mason. He spends his days wishing he could dance, rather than work. 

Late to go shopping one day, Ed ends up soaked in Marchant Belarus’s spilled Coke. Ed’s humiliation increases when Marchant, the owner of a BDSM club, realizes Ed is a sub, albeit a very closeted one. Marchant’s attempts to draw Ed out of his shell release years of pent-up anger and hurt over the abuse Ed’s mother and grandmother heaped on him. 

Marchant is patient, but nothing he does seems to help until he discovers Ed’s secret love of dancing—a forbidden passion that might be the key to unlocking the confident, secure man Ed could be.


The Sex Positive Blog Hop is the brain child of the magnificent Grace Duncan. Please check out all the other posts.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Chance to be King: reissue

I'm really happy about the reissue of Chance to be King. I was always grateful to Silver for publishing my first solo story. Now Dreamspinner have picked it up and here it is, all shiny and new.


I adore this cover. It's making a spectacular banner on my Twitter and Facebook. I had a hard time choosing the cover. No one could pick *the one*. They were all awesome with a different theme.

People have asked me about the title. It doesn't seem to relate to the book. It's from the chorus of Ghosts by 80s pop group, Japan. I think it fits the theme of the book.

Just when I thought I could not be stopped
When my chance came to be king
The ghosts of my life
Blew wilder than the wind



After working nonstop for two years, actor Eric Pawlowski desperately needs a respite from his grueling schedule and the crippling migraines that come with it. Thinking that a few weeks in a secluded cottage is just the thing, his vacation gets off to a rough start when he almost mows down the only other guy who lives on the remote road. Fortunately Thomas is quick to forgive, and soon he, Eric, and Eric's two dogs are palling around like they've known each other for years. 

But when Eric witnesses Thomas coldly order a lost stranger off his property, he starts to question how well he knows him. Despite a mutual attraction that has Eric cursing every time a well-meaning member of the nearby small town interrupts their attempts to get intimate, Eric wonders if acting on his desire for Thomas will get him involved in a situation he shouldn't be in. When his rented cabin catches fire in the middle of the night and the firemen call it arson, it confirms Eric’s suspicions. 

To keep Eric with him, it's up to Thomas to come clean about who he is... and his involvement in a decade-old web of tragedy and revenge into which Eric has unwittingly walked. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Ed & Marchant

Ed & Marchant is out tomorrow.

Frankie & Al was written for laughs. I can't deny it. Frankie Mason is over the top, fun and drives his boss absolutely mad. Frankie is out and proud and everything that Ed Winters despises. Frankie describes his boss as a 1950s Tory poster boy. He dislikes women, black people, anyone from the Indian subcontinent, curry, the French, the Irish, dogs, and particularly hom-o-sex-uals. 

Ed's a total dick, Frankie's arch-nemesis. So why did I want to write about him? I felt sorry for Ed. There had to be a reason he's such an wanker. Of course there is. It just takes a special man to crack the ice surrounding Ed's heart. By man, I mean hard-assed Dom.

In this excerpt Ed has had Coke thrown over him, been forced into having a drink with Marchant and met his arch-nemesis just as he's having a melt-down. 

"Ed reached the end of his patience. “Thank you for the drink, but I have to do my shopping now.”
“We can go around together,” Marchant said cheerfully.
“I don’t want to go around with you,” Ed said, aware he sounded petty and childish. “I have a routine.”
Marchant raised his eyebrow. “A routine? Well, I can fit in with that.”
Ed gaped at him. “What the hell? What don’t you understand? I’ve let you ruin my morning. I’ve put up with you telling me to sit, stay, and come. Now I want to do my shopping and forget this day ever happened.”
To Ed’s chagrin, Marchant didn’t seem at all bothered by his outburst. Instead he leaned forward, and unconsciously Ed mimicked his action.
“I haven’t told you to come yet, but when I do, you’ll obey.”
The breath knocked out of Ed’s chest. He stumbled back. “Leave me alone. Don’t come near me again.”
Ed fled the supermarket as if the hounds of hell were after him, all the time waiting for Marchant to drag him back. He reached his car without intervention, fumbling as he tried to press the button on the keys to unlock the door. Inside the car he clutched the steering wheel, the blood pounding in his ears. He’d been seen for what he was.
Deviant! Abomination! Pervert!"


Ed & Marchant




Ed Winters despises his job and hates everyone he works with—especially out and proud, happily in love Frankie Mason. He spends his days wishing he could dance, rather than work. 

Late to go shopping one day, Ed ends up soaked in Marchant Belarus’s spilled Coke. Ed’s humiliation increases when Marchant, the owner of a BDSM club, realizes Ed is a sub, albeit a very closeted one. Marchant’s attempts to draw Ed out of his shell release years of pent-up anger and hurt over the abuse Ed’s mother and grandmother heaped on him. 

Marchant is patient, but nothing he does seems to help until he discovers Ed’s secret love of dancing—a forbidden passion that might be the key to unlocking the confident, secure man Ed could be.







Monday, 10 November 2014

Cover Art

Happy Monday, my lovelies. Hope you are well. I have a number of books coming out with Dreamspinner; a couple are re-issues, a couple translations (which I'll put in a separate link) and a couple new books. I feel it's easier just to put up the covers, blurbs and buylinks where I have them. Much love. 




Ed Winters despises his job and hates everyone he works with—especially out and proud, happily in love Frankie Mason. He spends his days wishing he could dance, rather than work. 

Late to go shopping one day, Ed ends up soaked in Marchant Belarus’s spilled Coke. Ed’s humiliation increases when Marchant, the owner of a BDSM club, realizes Ed is a sub, albeit a very closeted one. Marchant’s attempts to draw Ed out of his shell release years of pent-up anger and hurt over the abuse Ed’s mother and grandmother heaped on him. 

Marchant is patient, but nothing he does seems to help until he discovers Ed’s secret love of dancing—a forbidden passion that might be the key to unlocking the confident, secure man Ed could be.


After working nonstop for two years, actor Eric Pawlowski desperately needs a respite from his grueling schedule and the crippling migraines that come with it. Thinking that a few weeks in a secluded cottage is just the thing, his vacation gets off to a rough start when he almost mows down the only other guy who lives on the remote road. Fortunately Thomas is quick to forgive, and soon he, Eric, and Eric's two dogs are palling around like they've known each other for years.

But when Eric witnesses Thomas coldly order a lost stranger off his property, he starts to question how well he knows him. Despite a mutual attraction that has Eric cursing every time a well-meaning member of the surrounding small town  interrupts their attempts to get intimate, Eric wonders if acting on his desire for Thomas will get him involved in a situation he shouldn't be in. When his rented cabin catches fire in the middle of the night and the firemen call it arson, it confirms Eric’s suspicions.

To keep Eric with him, it's up to Thomas to come clean about who he is... and his involvement in a decade-old web of tragedy and revenge into which Eric has unwittingly walked.



After cheating on and losing the man he loved, Morgan Conway decided get his life right. Now he owns a coffee shop and is engaged to Jase, an actor and rising star. All is perfect in his world until the man he thought was gone forever walks into his shop. His hidden feelings rush to the surface, unfortunately there for everyone to see, including his fiancé.

Shae Delamere was crushed when Morgan cheated on him five years ago. But he has a reason for seeking Morgan out. As Morgan and Shae get to know each other again, they discover the extent that friends meddled in their lives to keep them apart. Morgan cannot deny he is still in love with Shae, but he is engaged. With some hard decisions to make, Morgan struggles not to hurt the men he cares about—again. Shae has secrets he came to share with Morgan, but revealing them now could keep them apart for good.


Mark Grayson volunteers for an LGBT helpline, the same one that helped him through his teenage years. One day he takes a call from “Ricky,” a suicidal man being forced into a marriage he doesn't want. For weeks Mark talks to Ricky and provides support, but he’s frustrated by the lack of information Ricky provides and the decisions he’s making. In the meantime, Mark starts a relationship with another volunteer. Then tragedy strikes and Mark takes time away from the helpline, but when he comes back, Ricky is waiting. Mark realises Ricky is stronger than before and their relationship changes, but Mark isn’t sure what their future holds if their relationship is destined to be at the end of the phone. 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Remembrance Sunday

A fellow MM author, Sarah Madison, suggested I did a 'slice of life' blog and today is Remembrance Sunday in the UK.

Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compi√®gne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. (nicked straight from Wikipedia)




On the nearest Sunday to November 11th, Remembrance Sunday, wreaths are laid at the Cenotaph by the Queen (or senior Royal) and at war memorials all over the UK 









The poppy is a familiar symbol on our streets at this time of year. Initially used to help soldiers returning from the first world war, a century on the money raised from the Poppy Appeal is used to help the armed forces, veterans, and their families.





The poppy was inspired by World War I poem "In Flanders Fields" by Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.



This year is a hundred years since the end of the First World War and 888,246 ceramic poppies have been placed in the moat around the Tower of London, with each one representing a British or Commonwealth fatality between 1914 and 1918. All net proceeds plus 10% of every £25 poppy sold will be shared between six service charities, including Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion.


The sea of red is created by the poppies.





Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Highs and Lows


Today has been a day of highs and lows. The good news is I have a job which I'll tell you about when I start. I'll be working for people I know and love already. The low is about a beloved family member. So butterflies - yeah.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

A Matter of Perspective

This weekend has given me a powerful lesson on perspective. One of the loveliest guys in the genre, B.G. Thomas and I had a chat about a blog post, and we were looking at things from the opposite perspective. It was interesting and eye-opening. The same blog and yet we read it in a totally different way.


We look at things from what shapes our world view. I blinked recently to see someone's Twitter bio as pro-equality but anti-feminist. Who did he want equality for? He didn't have to be a feminist, but he was anti-feminist. So he believed in equality for who? Presumably women didn't focus in his equation.


You have to accept that a friend's views aren't yours. You can argue 'til you're blue in the face but they aren't going to agree with you. Politics, religion, sex. We're all different. 


We have the right to be pissed off. Just hear me curse when I read yet more bollocks from one of the professional homophobes. It doesn't make us over-sensitive when our buttons are pushed.


My suggestion after this weekend is turn upside down. Face the wind. Discuss something with a good friend. Get a fresh perspective.