Friday, May 30, 2014

Phallic Friday - good in bed?

I read a news article and I got the link as soon as I read it this time, so you can read it here.

The article lists 7 ways you can tell if you're good in bed. And this is the checklist:
  1. you feel connected to your partner
  2. you're confident
  3. you're open to change in the bedroom
  4. you listen to your partner
  5. you don't rush things
  6. you welcome the opportunity to have sex
  7. you're playful in bed

What do you think of the list?

I'm always sceptical when I see these articles. I usually read them thinking I can write a post saying what crap they are - but this one I can understand. I think these are the things that have to happen for the 'chemistry' to be right. If these things aren't there, neither of you will be good in bed.

If you're connected, then there's already chemistry. If you're confident, then you're happy with yourself, and that's halfway to making a good relationship. If you're open to change, then you're willing to talk, try, test, and meet someone else's needs. If you listen to your partner, they're going to love that, especially if you listen and act! Rushing is one of the biggest killers for me. Even if you have a time limit, make it seem like you have forever - it's so much hotter. Sometimes sex is difficult to fit into the every day (especially with kids in the house) so welcoming the opportunity is important for success of a long term relationship. And playful makes sex fun, and that's a way to never let it become old or boring or staid.

So I'm happy with this list. Do you have anything to add to it?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Footy Players

I've worked something out tonight and just had to share. I worked out that I like a particular style of player - one who does little for themselves but is a workhorse for the team. Let me try to explain.

Yesterday I read an article about the Queensland halves pairing of Jonathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk. It was contrasting them - one creative, outgoing, mop of hair, big laugh, extrovert, the other a thinker, quiet, short back and sides, gets in and consistently does the hard work.

Then tonight I watched the State of Origin. And Cooper Cronk broke his arm early on and came off. Daly Cherry-Evans went on as his replacement. And Queensland didn't do so well. DCE is an excellent player and has a huge rap among his peers and the media. But he does nothing for me. And tonight I worked out what it is. I like Mr Consistency who gets in and steadies the show, who dictates the play among his team but the opposition never seem to work out what his next move is. That's how Cronk plays, that's how Sterlo played.

DCE, Andrew Johns, Steve Mortimer, Mitchell Pearce, they're all the media favourites because they have flair. They do things that are unexpected. But for me, they don't do the hard yards, the consistency. That's not a criticism, it's a style of play. I prefer the ones who work hard consistently rather than the flair.

Darren Lockyer is another player I've admired and he too was a consistency player, but he probably had a bit more flair than Coops or Sterlo.

So, I hated seeing Coops get hurt, but it allowed me to work something out that had been bugging me. I never understood why I never liked the same players most people admired. Now I know. Although, someone will probably tell me I'm wrong!

And just an aside... They had a dressing room shot of Coops putting on a jacket and oh my freaking god, that man's body! I tried to describe it for my Deep Diving hero...but when he turned side on, there were muscles all rippling there that I didn't even know existed. His back was even more that I imagined. Holy cow. If I ever find a snippet of that will be inspirational (and I might even share it).

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - Wallaby footprints

Wallaby prints - resting
Last week, I found wallaby footprints in the sand. There's something really special about seeing these in the sand. I expect to see 'roos and wallabies in the bush, not on the beach!

There's a lot of national park around me, and this is where the wallabies are. Sometimes we see them on the side of the road from town, usually grazing but sometimes they've been hit and killed.

One of my favourite books I collected while at uni is called Mammal Tracks and Signs by Barbara Triggs, which then became Tracks, Scats and Other Traces in a later edition (yes, I have both!). I've always been fascinated by footprints, tracks in the bush and identifying animals by them - I blame reading mysteries!!

Wallaby prints - moving
From resting to moving

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Story - words

Today I want to talk about words and word choices. You see, I'm doing edits, so words are on my mind.

I'm a repetitive bugger. 90% of my edits are for repetition of words or phrases. I get a word in my head and nothing will change it. I use it over and over and over again. Do I notice? Nope! But it would drive a reader demented!

So I sit with my thesaurus and use new words. Sometimes I don't even need a thesaurus because different ways of phrasing, or different word choices are there, as soon as it's pointed out - which is rather embarrassing!

But there are some words I just can't use. Mostly the 'sex' words.

For me, 'pussy' is a cat. I really can't use that word for other purposes. And that leads to a problem - there aren't a lot of choices. I usually go with 'cunt' but I know a lot of readers find that crude and derogatory...I don't. Out of the two, I will always go with 'cunt'. I quite like 'quim' but that's so historical, I don't think it has a place in contemporary stories. I have used 'lady parts', 'mons', 'labia', and 'nether lips' because I've run out of other choice. Often I try to imply rather than be explicit, but sometimes you need a body part for clarity.

And then the male bits. 'Balls' is okay, I can use that. I'm not a fan of 'dick'. To me it's a boy's name, or a 'limp dick' and not something masculine and impaling. 'Cock' and 'penis' are my choices. I have used 'shaft' but to me that's not the entire organ.

I write erotica so I can describe the sexual action and body parts, so I try to keep away from the purple prose and flowery descriptions. But my background is science and I'm often drawn to the scientific descriptions, but then I worry that people might need an anatomical chart to decode the scene! I don't want that!

So...edits are fun but they're not easy. They really show up my laziness, and my pig-headedness in not using the words I don't like. But I do like seeing my story becoming all gleaming and polished. I love how smooth the reading becomes. I particularly love the little comments this editor has put in the text - times when she's shocked, or when she likes something, or when she sees a deeper meaning in a scene. It's special.

So, do you have any words you hate to read/use?

Are you fond of edits?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Phallic Friday - open marriages

Last week I read an article about a couple with an open marriage - and of course I can't find it anywhere now I need it!

But no matter, they had been together for 13 years and had had an open marriage for the last 8 years. They had children, one child together and an older child from the woman's previous relationship (s). The older child was 16 and knew of her parent's lifestyle.

Open marriages fascinate me. I'd love to understand how you get to a point where you can be so open with each other that you could ask to have sex with someone else, alone, without your partner. This is what this couple did.

One of the Naughty Ninja girls is a swinger and I asked her about this. She had a book she was writing to help people, like me, understand their lifestyle and decide if it was right for them.

The biggest thing I got from reading her book, was that jealousy was never an issue if you truly wanted an open marriage/swinger lifestyle. You weren't competing for attention, or for partners, you truly enjoyed seeing your partner with another person, or thinking about them with someone else, or listening to their story after they'd been with someone else.

And that fascinates me.

I think one day I'm going to write a story about an open marriage. I'd like to challenge myself to think more deeply about the situation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - Goose Barnacles

I found these on the beach. They seem to get washed up when the seas are rough. They're some kind of barnacle that live in a shell, attached to a rocky substrate. They are alive when washed up onto the beach and do a little movement where they come in and out of their shell.

I don;t know what they are - again :( But if I do them as a Wildlife Wednesday, I hunt around to try to find out. So let's see what I find!

Oh, so incredible. It's a Goose Barnacle. Here's the Australian Museum site with some info.

Goose Barnacles are closely related to crustaceans - crabs and lobsters - and the brown kind of feeler things you might be able to see coming out of the shell are 'legs' they use for feeding.

I love doing this column and actually finding out what these weird things I find are. It's all too easy to assume I know what it is and not really test myself to see.

Hee hee hee...just had to google sex and barnacles. OMG! Most barnacles are hermaphrodites. Male barnacles have the largest penis relative to body size in the animal kingdom. And they shoot sperm into the ocean, the female gathers it and fertilises her eggs. Here's the article - it's very clever :)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Story

Dreams Of Gods & Monsters Bk3 Daughter Of Smoke & BoneOh, no, it's Sunday and I forgot to post. Sorry!

I've just opened the last book of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. Have you read these books? They're fabulous. And I gave this one to Mr E as a gift and have been eagerly waiting for him to finish it so I can find out what happens to Karou. Then when I finish it goes to my Dad so he can find out too.

I love that we can share books like that. It's special, and I love sitting and discussing them with my Dad (Mr E doesn't discuss books).

But last night I picked up Dreams of Gods and Monsters (which is the title of book 3) when I got into bed and it was too heavy! It's a bit of a doorstop, maybe 600 pages, and I've become accustomed to reading on my mini iPad, so to heave this brick was difficult, and I was tired, so I put it down and read something else.

And isn't that the ultimate in laziness!?! But sometimes I can't read it as an e-book when I want to share it. And what a dilemma that brings to me. To share or to hold heavy books?

But it's a bit of a surreal cover, so it is worth holding it, I think (as I write this in the day!).

Friday, May 16, 2014

Phallic Friday - alcohol, footy players, social media, women

This week, in Sydney, another big news story was about a footy player in trouble for the harassment of a girl. It's a really touchy subject and I'm not entirely sure where I stand with these issues. You never hear the full story in the news, so I can't comment on what happened, but I'll air some general views about these kinds of incidents.

Usually these incidents occur with more than a dash of alcohol thrown into the situation. Alcohol and sex are a wicked combination and I've been around enough pubs and men to know that it's pretty easy picking up (and picking a fight) when it's late and people are pissed.

Footy players are elite athletes. The elite athletes I know play hard - at everything. So when they're drinking, they go hard. When they're picking up, they go hard. When they're picking a fight, they go hard. It seems the nature of their competitiveness.

When I was a teenager, my Mum had a friend whose husband coached an NRL team. I was a huge NRL fan (not of his team though) and she knew I was. She made me promise not to get involved with footy players. She told me that they had women throwing themselves at them all the time. They could pick a different woman every night - or more than one a night - so they didn't know the word 'no' and its association with women. And this is in the 80s, not now. Before camera phones, and the social media saturation of news. And rape then was something no one talked about, and very few would lay charges.

She never told me stories, she never said what happened, she just warned me off them. I listened because she was so intense and serious. She did let me meet her hubby and some of the players when their team played mine - got a few autographs that day. But she made sure I caught the train home too!!

So footy players, sex, alcohol and women can be a bad combination, and always has been. Add in social media, and it's rife for problems.

But there are some decent footy players around. You just have to know which ones to pick - and the pub may not house the best ones! I wrote one in Deep Diving, out in September, but he's imaginary - damn it!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - echidna

I've always been fascinated by Echidnas. I can't decide if it's the spikes, the squat body or the beaky nose that intrigues me the most.

Anyway, a while back, on a walk down to the beach, this echidna was poking around right next to the track, and then hid beside this tree when I heard him rustling and stopped to look. You can't tell in the photo but his feet are slowly shifting sand beneath him so he can burrow in and be protected - nifty huh?

Then a few days later, just down the road and round the corner from my house, I saw one in the trees around the school. He was strolling along minding his own business - but of course I didn't have a camera with me. Who expects to find an echidna across the street!?

The Australian museum website gives this information about it's life cycle.

Like the Platypus, the Short-beaked Echidna is an egg-laying mammal or monotreme and lays one egg at a time. The eggs hatch after about 10 days and the young, emerge blind and hairless. Clinging to hairs inside the mother's pouch, the young echidna suckles for two or three months. Once it develops spines and becomes too prickly, the mother removes it from her pouch and builds a burrow for it. It continues to suckle for the next six months.

Cats, dogs, foxes and goannas can eat the young. Cars are also added to the list for killing echidnas.

I've seen an echidna in every farm house I've lived in. They seemed to either roam through the yard or camp out for a few days. My dogs were never fond of their visits, but I always thought they were magical.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday Story - Happy Mother's Day!

I found the best Mother's Day present for readers. It's here on Amazon -

It's the Mother's Day Romance Bundle, available for only a couple of weeks at 99c (ends soon I think).

Titles include
Tempt Me, Cowboy by Megan Crane
Promise Me, Cowboy by C.J. Carmichael
The Sweetest Thing by Lilian Darcy
Christmas at Copper Mountain by Jane Porter
Home for Christmas by Melissa McClone
A Cowboy for Christmas by Katherine Garbera
What a Bride Wants by Kelly Hunter
Second Chance Bride by Trish Morey
Bet the House by Erika Marks
Sweet Home Carolina by Kim Boykin
A Mother's Day by Kaira Rouda
Sight Seeing by Jane Porter

I've read 8 of these titles already and they were great. These are all stories set in the town of Marietta, USA. The publisher is the Tule Publishing Group, which belongs to some of the authors.

A while back I remember seeing on Facebook these girls touring around Montana for a package of stories they were going to write together. They had some fun photos of their road trip and I was just a tiny bit jealous about a road trip with author gal pals :)

Anyway, not only did they create a series of books, but they started a publishing company, created a whole town, and have a BUNCH of stories all about Marietta... and I think I got addicted.

There's a cowboy series, a bride series, a rodeo series and I think more to come.

But these guys are special people who love, not only their writer friends, but also their readers, so they have these sweet 99c deals often. Keep a lookout - great books for a buck. I love it! And then to do a big bundle like this for the same price is amazing.

So Happy Mothers Day. I hope you snag yourself a Marietta bargain - and have some time to read!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Phallic Friday - prostitution

I could not let this news article slip by without bringing it to your attention. It's a gem.

Here's the link

The world's oldest prostitutes are twins, aged 71, living in Amsterdam, who retired last year. They say they've slept with more than 335 000 men over half a century of work.

Do you reckon that's 335 000 individuals? Or it's an estimate of the number of jobs they've had? Because that's a heck of a lot of individuals! And assuming some visit more than once, a lot of work!

They entered into prostitution in their 20s to escape from violent relationships.

Quite a few prostitutes seem to start in the business after that sort of a relationship (well, from the articles I've read anyway). I guess it gives control, and protection, during sex.

I've always had a fascination with prostitution. A couple of times in my life when I've needed money, I've contemplated the work, but I'm not sure I'm tolerant enough. I'm not cut out for retail, people and their demands drive me bats, so I think prostitution and I are probably not the best fit. I have considered phone sex as an employment strategy...but there's a heck of a lot of hurdles to jump through to set up that sort of business!

Anyway, back to the story - the twins say the best way to keep a man happy is to know what they want.

And I think that's excellent advice. The men I've enjoyed being with the most are men who I've known what they want, I know what they like, and it's been a blast. The men who I just don't really hit it off with, are those who I've no idea what they like/want...and when I ask, they don't know either. It's not so easy to have good sex when they have no idea what good sex is.

I was hoping they'd share more secrets!

They have a book out, The Ladies of Amsterdam, so maybe the secrets are in the book. I might have to buy it and see what it says. Do you reckon it's a tax deduction? Research?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cover Reveal

Remember I said A Real Online Fantasy was being bundled and repackaged? (you can find it here) is the day for the glorious cover reveals! DRUM ROLL please!

I think singly they look fabulous, but together they're out of this world! Classy, sexy, and I love the chest on my book bundle (Bundle Three). Although, I might have a thing about covers and chests :)

What do you think?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Story -The Embattled Road

A while back I read a book pack called Sealed With A Kiss, a bunch of books about SEALs. One story, about dogs, really struck a chord. So I had a look for other books by the same author and came across The Embattled Road, which is a prequel to a series.

Oh, oh, oh. It was so good. It's the story of three soldiers, injured during war, and their recovery...which sounds boring...but it's not at all. These men want to do something useful despite their injuries...but what is available to vets with amputated limbs, the inability to walk, PTSD?

So, while reading this, I started to really like these three blokes. One a grumpy bastard who should be unlikeable but who I've ended up liking the best.

Looks like more books by JM Madden will be hitting my TBR pile :)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Phallic Friday - safe sex

OMG! I caught myself out with the safe sex stuff!

You know, the age old debate (well, not so age old, maybe only in recent years) - condom on, or off, or do we need it mentioned in fiction?

Well, I've been trying to be a good author and do the "on" thing after a discussion among the erotic authors.

I know Lily is in the "we don't need it mentioned in fiction" camp.

Well, I wrote myself into a hole (ah, yes, not that kind - the word kind!). Oral sex is low risk for HIV transfer. I knew that, so I had my character having condom-free oral sex. Then something nagged at the back of my mind and I thought I should check that it is was right. My character was so adamant that she was being safe.

Oh oh.

While you're generally safe against HIV transfer, not so with STDs. I was in a pickle - not so much as my character who'd been swallowing enough potentially germy seed to start some major illnesses.

So what do you do? How do you handle a character who needs to have condom-free head (this is part of the motivation for the character's sex life) but also needs to be safe? Should you worry?

So, that's been my week's dilemma. Thank goodness it's a writing one and not a real life issue where I'm waiting for my tests to come back!

How's your week been!?