2024 covers

Welcome to the Dark Side!

We are writers mainly from Australia and New Zealand who write speculative fiction with romantic elements. Be it fantasy, paranormal, dark urban fantasy, futuristic and everything in between.

Saturday 28 June 2014

Darklight On... Alexis Fleming

Today's Darklight on is... Alexis Fleming.
Welcome, Alexis!

How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?

I had a very active imagination as a child and loved anything different, anything that contained things that go bump in the night, aliens, ghosts, vampires… You name it, I loved it. I lived in a little country town. We didn’t have a library. So I started to make up stories to tell my sisters and brothers. Of course, we won’t mention how often I got into trouble for scaring the bejesus out of my younger siblings. Lol

As I got older, I expanded my reading, but still retained the love of the unusual and that has translated into my writing.

Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?

I probably sit somewhere in between. I usually have the beginning and the ending of a story, and a few turning points along the way. Then I sit down and start writing and let the characters tell me where to go.

Do have a favourite of your characters?

That changes all the time. Whichever story I’m working on, those are the characters who are my favourites right at that moment. However, I will say I adored the mother, a secondary character, from Stud Finders Incorporated, my first full length story. She was quirky, irreverent and a whole lot of fun to write.

What are you currently working on?

I’m half way through a contemporary story for one of my publishers, but I’ve also been working on an erotic paranormal romance. Totally Bound has just offered a contract for Dating for Demons, and has expressed an interest in the two other stories in the series. So now it’s time to start book 2 in my demon series.

What is your favourite part of the process of writing?

Writing The End? Lol No, seriously, I think the part I enjoy most is just before I start writing, when the character are cluttering up my mind and telling me their story. That’s the exciting part.

What can we expect from Alexis Fleming in the future?

Given I had a long break from writing after my husband died, my plan right now is to get as much as I can out there and get my name know again. With that in mind, I’ve scheduled a series of novellas for the rest of this year. Then I’ll take the time to re-evaluate again and start thinking about my longer length stories.

Who are your favourite authors?

I read across such a large range of genres and sub-genres, it’s hard to settle on just a few, although I do have a few auto buys: Anne Bishop, JD Robb, Patricia Briggs for instance.

What are you currently reading?

A Fury of Fire by Coreen Callahan. Dragons, baby! And sexy as hell. Oh yeah!

Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?

 Haven and The Vampire Diaries.

Do you have advice for emerging writers?

Don’t give up! Put in the time learning your craft, but continue to write. And the biggest piece of advice? Read…read…read!

Thanks, Alexis!

Blurb to Framed and Hung:

Job satisfaction has never been this good... If there's one thing Zoe Chandler, Historical Restorations expert, knows, it's that naked bankers aren't supposed to look like Greek Gods. Honestly, it's enough to make any woman pause. Luckily, Zoe is more of a take charge, rush in where angels fear to tread kind of girl, and she definitely has fantasies of rushing towards Jake. But Jake is a man who is all about control, and there's no way he's going to let Zoe run this show.

Nude paintings, blackmail, and mind-numbing sexual frustration…will either of them survive this project?

Buy Links:
Amazon   |   Escape Publishing

About the Author:
Website   |   Blog   |   Twitter   |   Facebook

Thursday 26 June 2014

Magic Thursday with PORTALS a Fantasy Anthology & Giveaways!

Please welcome Havva Murat to the Dark Side this week as we help celebrate the release of the multi-author fantasy anthology, Portals. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter contest below to be in with the chance of winning the fabulous giveaway!

Genre: Fantasy Anthology (mixed sub genres)
Publisher:  Roane Publishing
Release Date: June 5, 2014

Description: No matter what world you call home, or what your station in life, there are just some paths that weren't meant to be tread.

Maronda’s Quest by 
Christy Thomas

Mexmur, the Huntress by 
Anna Simpson

Entrance of Lost Souls by 
Echo Shea

Where Once were Hearts by Havva Murat

Ordinary World by 
Laurie Treacy

The Lunatic Queen by 
Michael Siciliano

Goodreads Link:  

Group Giveaway:  $10 Amazon Gift Card & paperback copy of Portals

Where Once Were Hearts - Havva Murat

Bartholomew noticed an elbow sticking out from the chair closest to him, but could not see who sat within. “Cousin Horatio? It is I, Bartholomew Battlesby, son of your cousin, Martha.” He moved toward the chair. Reaching out with tentative fingers, he grasped the elbow, shocked at the chill emanating from the arm he’d latched onto. His stomach churned as he peered around the side of the seat. 

A squawk burst from him as he met the frozen, and very dead gaze, of his estranged cousin. 

“Good lord…” he wheezed, as his eyes fell upon the gaping, but very precise hole in the old man’s chest where once his heart had been. Bartholomew could not move as he drank in the features of the dead face. 

The nose was the same as his mother’s and accordingly the same as his very own. He ran his fingers over his own, to make sure it was still the same. The eyebrows, slanted and forming a right angle at the end, were unmistakably Grimsby eyebrows. But, the body was in some strange state of suspension – neither rotting, nor giving off any smell. 

Bartholomew sensed he’d stumbled on no simple country manor. 

“What foul business is this?” He felt the bile rising in his throat, and as he raised his handkerchief to cover his mouth, he was suddenly hit across the back of the head. He slumped across the knees of his dead cousin and the world went dark. 

About Havva Murat

Havva Murat is a writer and escape artist with a passion for stories of the fantastical and romantic, who often hides herself away, competently blocking out the repeated calling of her name just so she can read a few more precious pages of the book on her night stand, or finish writing that troublesome scene.

Her other passions include meditation, photography, researching mythology, ancient history and the Victorian era, and creating stained glass pieces to fill her cottage which is about to sink into the earth. You can follow her author page on Facebook or find her tweeting @MsHavvaMurat.




Goodreads Author Page: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday 25 June 2014

A Bite Of... Mending the Shroud

This is week it is my pleasure to warmly welcome J. M. Bray, with A Bite of... Mending the Shroud.

The second in the fresh, exciting romantic fantasy Shroud trilogy takes up where Tearing the Shroud leaves off – with the lives, the loves, and the mythical world beyond our own.

Can you, in less than five words describe your book Mending the Shroud?

Romantic, Tense, Sweet, Exciting

Who is your favourite character in this book?
Oh that’s tough, like choosing one child over another. Jule, the heroine, is central to everything. She faces challenges and life-threatening situations head on and does so with grace, humour, courage and skill. Though Vincent is the main character, he wouldn’t make it without her…literally. Plus, she races Porsches, how can you not love her?

What inspired you to write it?
Since I’m a pantser writer, I’m not really sure how things are going to go. When I was part way through Tearing the Shroud, book one in the Shroud Trilogy, I realized that the novel was coming to a close, but the story wanted to take another step. Neither the characters nor I were ready to part ways. They told me so.

And here’s the excerpt…

Jule set the suitcase down and checked her mailbox in the lobby of the dorm one last time. When she bent to pick it up, her hand only found air. She frowned and snapped around. Vincent stood on the other side of the room holding the case. ‘Looking for this?’

Should she chew him out or eat him alive? That man was positively yummy. ‘I’m glad to see you haven’t lost your ability to move quietly.’ Jule tilted her head and walked to him. She knew what the look did…eating him alive would be so much more fun.

‘Nah, I had that before Coleman showed up.’

‘Since you seem to want that so badly, you can carry it to the car for me.’

‘I suppose I could, for a price,’ he said with a playful smile.

‘Hmm, I don’t know, I’m short on cash. I might not be able to afford it.’

‘No money? I guess we can take it out in trade then.’ He kissed her softly as she wrapped her arms around his neck.

Yes, sooo much more fun. ‘Mmm I like that kind of payment. I’ll do business with you anytime,’ she said.

‘My pleasure.’

‘Mine too.’

‘Is this all you have?’ he asked.

‘Yep. My parents are bringing my cold weather clothes down from Monterey.’

‘Cool, let’s be off.’ They walked to the door, and she opened it for him.

‘Thank you, ma’am.’

‘You’re very welcome, sir,’ she said as he passed her. She watched him walk toward the car waiting at the curb, with Flea and Knife in the back seat. Vincent’s dark hair caught the sunlight, and his worn 501 jeans formed to his muscular body in all the right places. The way he moved made her tingle…also in all the right places. It had worried her slightly when he hadn’t pursued her sexually after the dust settled from the craziness they’d endured. Then he’d told her quietly one night as they walked to her dorm, ‘I’ve…well you know…I want to be with you…but…’

A knot had started to form in her stomach because it sounded like a breakup. When he revealed that he was a virgin, she had almost giggled with relief. Thankfully, she’d stopped herself. Giggling after a statement like that would not have been the best option.

The moment had been right. Though her nerves tried to derail things, and she’d thought she might have an aneurism, Jule told him about her past. The guys she’d dated and how many she’d slept with, everything that caused previous boyfriends to back out of a relationship. When she’d finished, he didn’t speak. They’d strolled for a while before he huffed and shook his head. Turning to him as they stopped, she saw his gentle smile as he’d said, ‘At least one of us will know what they’re doing.’

After a long and heated embrace, she’d made it plain that she would accept whatever he was comfortable with, letting him find a time that was best for him. Her first sexual encounter had been a situation and time of her choosing. Jule wanted the man she loved to have the same choice.

The changes she noticed in him since sharing his body with Coleman were subtle and beneficial. He had gone from being an overly introverted guy, more like a twenty-one-year-old teenager, into a man. And what a man he was. She smiled. He’d shared his struggles with feeling somehow less and being all thumbs since Coleman left. She assured him the stumbling, so unlike his normal self, would pass…but the emptiness. Would she fill that void, or would it always be there? She would wait and see, like she waited for his intimate touch.

She watched him lean over and put the suitcase in the trunk. He sure made waiting tough on a girl. She gave his backside a caress, and he jumped.

‘Oh,’ he exclaimed as he turned.

She batted her eyes at him. He loved their almond shape. ‘Did I do that?’

He smiled, and his voice went buttery smooth. ‘I hope so. Do it again, anytime you want.’

‘Oh don’t you worry about that, I will.’ She kissed him long and hard then eased away. It wouldn’t be a good idea to tackle him in the parking lot. Later, Jule.

‘Oh…my,’ he said with a sigh.

‘So are you guys going to make out back there all day?’ Knife asked.

‘Yeah, cause if so, I’m gonna sell tickets and make some cash,’ Flea added.

Jule ignored them. ‘Do you have a new cologne?’

‘No, I’ve been wearing Sex Appeal since high school, but I didn’t put any on today. Why?’

‘Sex Appeal,’ Flea’s resonant announcer voice echoed.

Jule snuffed a chuckle. They were in for an interesting weekend, to say the least. She looked around. ‘I smell mint.’

‘I’ve smelled it too,’ Vincent said. ‘Maybe maintenance is clearing some out. It grows like a weed here.’

‘I’m sure that’s it.’ Jule nodded as she set her backpack in the little white car.

‘You brought your knives, right?’

‘Yep, they’re all hidden in the backpack,’ she said as she closed the hatch.

‘That’s reassuring,’ Knife commented, bringing a snicker from Flea.

‘Ok, let’s hit it.’ He opened her door. ‘We need to stop at the bottom of the mountain for a couple of items.’

‘Let’s do it, or hit it…or something,’ she said with a wink then slid into the old Celica with laughter rolling from the backseat. Vincent got in and drove slowly through campus as she flipped on the radio. A catchy riff by Modern English rolled from the speakers. The song spoke of putting everything in the world aside for the person you love. Jule slipped her hand onto Vincent’s leg and his blue eyes met hers, warming depths of her soul she didn’t know existed. They didn’t speak, and didn’t need to. I’ll Melt With You was their song and uncannily reflected what they’d faced…and hoped for.

If you like the sound of J.M.'s book and want to find out more about him, check out the links below.

J.M. Bray lives in Southern California with his college sweetheart and their two dogs. After a lifetime together, they are happier than the moment they met. When not writing or working his "day job", he loves to cook, play the guitar, and travel with his wife. Every chance he gets, he races an old Porsche named "Tuffy" at tracks in the southwest.


Tuesday 24 June 2014

Good News Day

Welcome to this week's good news....
coming to you this week by Danielle Belwater

Congratulations to Kylie Griffin who is a paranormal romance finalist in the Greater Detroit RWA Booksellers award for  
Allegiance Sworn this is a back to back nomination as she was a finalist last year with Vengeance Born.

Finalists and their editors will be honoured at a banquet held at the Mariott Rivercenter/Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio, Texas during the RWA National Conference on Wednesday July 23rd at 8pm.



Congratulations to Jess Anastasi on two new contracts with Entangled. The first for her space opera series. The first book will be titled Atrophy.


The second is for her military science fiction romance series of novellas. The first book will be titled
 Escape Velocity will be followed by Damage Control.


A copy of JM Bray's ebook, Tearing the Shroud, is up for grabs at Cheryse Durrant's website, http://cherysedurrant.com Bray and fellow DSDU Danielle Belwater have volunteered for guest Q&As for Durrant's new regular feature, Inside the Author's Mind. 

Check out JM Bray's giveaway http://cherysedurrant.com/inside-the-mind-of-jm-bray/ and Dani's Q&A (http://cherysedurrant.com/inside-the-mind-of-danielle-belwater/), and please contact Durrant if you wish to be featured on her website.

Meanwhile, Durrant talks about her publishing journey at award-winning crime author Sandi Wallace's newly launched website,http://www.sandiwallace.com/cheryse-durrant-shares-her-story/

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Good News

Welcome to this week's good news....
coming to you this week by Imogene Nix


Congratulations to Imogene Nix on a brand spanking new contract with Totally Bound for 
The Chocolate Affair this is a re-release (Originally in Edible Delights Vol 2)
More details pending


another new contract with Totally Bound for 
Revenge On Cupid which is the final of her series including Blame The Wine and A Stranger's Embrace
More details pending


Maree Anderson is celebrating, with two of her wildly successful titles now moving into print! The Crystal Warrior and Ruby's Dream available through CreateSpace.

Emmeline Lock is celebrating the release of her story Liberating Clementine available now in Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly.

Mel Teshco is celebrating the release of her story Shadow Hunter available now Amazon.

Imogene Nix is celebrating the release of her story Executing Justice available now Beachwalk Press.

Until next time, keep reading!
Imogene Nix

Saturday 14 June 2014

Enchanted Orb with Marie Dry

On Enchanted Orb, we love to learn more about how a writer found their inspiration for either a story, the characters or even the inspiration behind the life of being a writer. Today we have Marie Dry joining us with a post about how she came up with her book, Alien Mine. (Release date 21st June 2014.)

Welcome, Marie.

My inspiration for Alien Mine came when I saw the Predator movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The alien had this skull in his hands that he stroked with an admiring finger. I thought what if there was an alien that wasn’t so ugly. That saw an earth women and admired her and decided to keep her. An alien that would still be ruthless, bent on conquering but has the capacity to learn to love the heroine in spite of their differences.

I saw this scene where the heroine hit him over the head with a club and the characters fell into place for me. I knew exactly what the setting would be. Dystopian worlds have always fascinated me. The one element that always fascinated me was at what point does a civilization realize they are collapsing. Many people still believed they were part of the Roman Empire long after it fell. With that question in my mind my setting fell into place as well.

I loved working on this book and hope anyone who read it have the same enjoyment.

BLURB: ALIEN MINE He wants to conquer…
In a bleak future where government systems are breaking down and lawless bands of men terrorize the country, Natalie, a botanist, lives alone in a cave in the Rocky Mountains for safety. When she is captured by raiders, a fierce striking alien appears and slays her attackers. Natalie is now held captive in her own cave by the alien, Zacar, who informs her, that she will be his breeder. Natalie soon realize these aliens worship strength. What will she do when he finds out she has severe asthma?

Excerpt Alien Mine © Marie Dry 2014

She had to get away from the aliens, but running down a mountain in the snow and freezing temperature probably wasn’t the best idea either…

Her muscles ached and her hands felt like frozen claws, even with her gloves, as she tried to grip the rocks and pull herself up the slope. In spite of her need to hurry, she stopped every now and then to scan the area behind her for aliens.

Tired and cold, fed up with constantly feeling afraid, she wanted to just lie down under a tree and forget about everything. Forget that aliens had landed on her mountain. Forget that Zacar was probably hunting her.

Maybe being a breeder wouldn’t be that bad.

A shiver snaked through her at the thought, spurring her on. She tried to pull herself up by holding onto a bush, but she couldn’t feel the branch. Her hand was too numb and weak and it kept slipping from her grasp.

Her feet were cold, and her mind had trouble commanding them to move, to climb. She knew she was risking developing frostbite, but she continued to move on, sluggish and cold. She had to get to town. She just had to.

She fought the nagging desire to lie down on the soft snow and go to sleep.

Just another half an hour and you can rest, Natalie.

Even her own thoughts were starting to sound strange, slurry. She lifted her tired arm in slow motion and gripped the rock above her.

Her glove made contact with something. Even with her numb fingers, it didn’t feel like a rock or a bush.

Confused, she lifted her head, and stared up into Zacar’s frighteningly emotionless face.

Buy Links: Black Opal Books | Amazon

About the Author: Marie Dry

Ever since she can remember Marie Dry have wanted to travel and had the privilege to live in Zambia, Morocco and Spain. She sees herself as a bit of a gypsy and every few years she gets antsy and has to be someplace new.

All her life she read romances and at a young age decided she would write the story that has all the elements she’s looking for in a romance. In 1997 she shared a pizza with a friend and promised her she would go all out with the writing and get published. With her friends cheering her on ever since, Marie said it’s a wonderful experience to see the characters in her head coming to life on the page. Being published by Black Opal Books is a dream come true for her.

There are several wonderful moments in her life she would never trade for anything else. One of them is meeting President Nelson Mandela and the second being published.

Where to connect with Marie: Website | Facebook

Thursday 12 June 2014

Magic Thursday - Mythical Creatures, 7 'sexy' ManBeasts

Hello everyone, it's been a while.

I was asked to do a mythical creatures post and sat for sometime pondering what wonderful and weird creature I could talk to you about today, when I came across this image in my 'Mythical Creatures Bible' by Brenda Rosen.
It is of course Theseus killing the minotaur. As I looked at the image, I though 'hmm, that minotaur is ripped, just a shame about the head.'
Then I remembered whilst researching for another blog post last year, I discovered that there seems to be quite a range of fetishes relating to what are sometimes termed 'ManBeasts' out there on the web.
So for today's post I'm doing a pin up of seven of the worlds (allegedly) most sexy ManBeasts.

ManBeast Number one is...
 The Centaur.
He brings truth to the saying 'hung like a horse'.

Origin: Greek Mythology (a similar human equine hybrid can be found in Indian Mythology, known as the Kinnara.)
Biology: human horse hybrid
Character traits: Lusty, uncivilised, quick to anger and fight, fond of alcohol. (the exception to this was Chiron who was none of those things and considered an exemplar of his species).

Fun Fact: Due to having both the torso of a horse and a man, the centaur has two hearts, two sets of lungs and two stomachs. This means this guy has a lot  of stamina and can just keep going.

Hombre Gato
 He's soft and slinky, but dangerously prickly.

Origin: South American mythology (but cat shifters are found in most mythologies.)
Biology: human cat/jaguar hybrid
Character Traits: nocturnal, shy, dangerous when spooked.

Fun Fact: Cats have penile spines (that's right little barbs on their doodles), so here's to hoping the Hombre Gato is more human than cat in the place that it counts.

Hyena Man 
Whatever you do, don't tell him to 'go fetch'.

Origin: African mythology (notably Sudan & North Africa known he is known as a bouda.  However there is also a Persian version known as the kaftar).
Biology: human hyena hybrid
Traits: Often a blacksmith or welder, these guys don't have much of a conscience and are reknown for robbing graves and killing children or lovers. They're also super fast and super tricksy.
Additionally some legends speak of the hyena man having two faces (one of the hyena the other other of handsome man) - a little like an African version of the Roman God Janus.

Fun Fact: Allegedly even in human form the Hyena Man still smells like a hyena - an unpleasantly strong sour stench - which is exuded in a creamy secretion from below the anus... nice!).

The Minotaur
Not the kind of guy you'd take into a china shop.

Origins: Greek mythology (though once again, you're likely to find similar creatures in a variety of other mythologies.)
Biology: human and bovine hybrid.
Character traits: hyper aggressive when challenged, carnivorous, reclusive in a calm state.

Fun Fact: Here's some ancient beast-porn for you. The minotaur was born from the human wife of the King of Minos, Pasiphae. She fell in love with a white bull, and would mate with it in secret. Subsequently, the monstrous minotaur was born.

The Naga
One slippery customer.

Origin: Predominantly South East Asian, Hindu and Buddhist mythology
Biology: human and snake hybrid
Traits: Naga's can be benevolent or malicious depending on their mood. They are territorial, and known to protect places of natural or religious beauty. They can be poisonous.

Fun Fact: The Cambodian people were said to have sprung from the union of a Naga and an Indian Brahman (high caste human individual).

The Satyr
This guy is all for the good times.

Origin: Greek Mythology (although again there Satyr like creatures said to inhabit the Atlas Mountains in North Africa too.)
Biology: human goat hybrid
Traits: Lusty, passionate, gregarious, quick to anger, jealous, partial to alcohol and music.

Fun Fact: The medical term 'priapism' is used to describe a situation when an erect penis does not return to its flaccid state, and remains swollen and becomes painful. The term priapism is derived from the name Priapus, a Satyr from mythology who had an utterly enormous, and very easily excited penis.

The Troll
I don't know what to say about this guy... except NEVER google Sexy Troll at work.

Origin: Norse and Eastern European mythology
Biology: humanoid, non hybrid.
Traits: Big, strong, not particularly intelligent, occasionally violent, dislike sunlight, can be surprisingly gentle with pretty things.

Fun Fact: There has been an astronomical rise of the Troll in literature in recent years, particularly erotica. This ancient badboy is getting a lot of action. Additionally with the rise cheap to make CGI movies, Troll porn is becoming vastly popular too. Which really makes the mind boggle.

So there you have it 7 totally different ManBeasts. 
Which is your favourite?!
Enjoy your Thursday

Image links:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/594847161 - centaur
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/86764730293610984/ - satyr
http://funny-pictures.picphotos.net/percy-jackson-camp-half-blood-cabins/16/ - minotaur

Wednesday 11 June 2014

A Bite Of... The Private Affairs of Lady Jane Fielding

 Today I am introducing Viveka Portman with A Bite Of... The Private Affairs of Lady Jane Fielding.

Can you in less than five words describe your book?
Regency, Romance, hot, threesome, tension.

Who was your favourite character to write?
It would be between Jacob and Matthew, they are both such lovely gentlemen who find themselves in a very awkward situation (albeit of Jacob's making).

What inspired you to write it?
I've been writing the Regency Diaries for a while now, and I really wanted to explore the awkwardness and tensions surrounding a threesome  - specially if two of the trio are married. I wanted to look at reasons how these situations could occur within the era, and how they may eventually play out.

And here's the excerpt!

I feel that I have become somewhat wanton; all this talk of carnal activity with Matthew is making me lose my sensibilities. When I look upon the man, and see the angular lines of his jaw, I find myself wondering what it would be like to kiss them. His lips are fuller than Jacob’s, but the line of his mouth naturally more severe. I find myself dreaming about them when my husband brushes his lips across my body. I imagine how it would feel if Matthew were to do the same.

Is this wicked of me? I fear I am coveting a man other than my husband, a certain sin against God.

‘Jacob.’ Matthew interrupted my sensual but guilt-laden musing. I turned to face Matthew. He looked uncomfortable, his jacket must have been sweltering in the confines of the carriage and his hair curled at his ears with perspiration. ‘Jane,’ he added in a softer tone.

‘What is it, my good man? It is damnably hot here!’ Jacob asked, wrenching the window open little further so as to lessen the stifling atmosphere of the carriage.

‘I…’ Matthew hesitated and my body constricted, as if I knew the words he planned to speak. ‘I fear I cannot go along with this…this plan any longer.’

Jacob released an uneasy laugh. ‘My dear fellow, you have not yet done anything! Unless…’ he hesitated, ‘you have visited upon my wife without my knowing…’

The look of outrage on Matthew’s face may have bordered on comical had the situation not been so very perverse.

‘Good God! What devilishness do you speak of! I would never…I would never - ’

‘Fuck my wife without my prior knowledge?’ Jacob replied, clearly taking Matthew’s outrage for innocence.

Bile burned my throat. ‘Jacob. Do not speak so, you are offending me.’

Jacob laughed, dryly. ‘My apologies, I had to ask, everyone has been on such tenterhooks, I scarce know what is going on.’

‘This is exactly why it cannot continue,’ Matthew said. ‘I feel that every time I glance at Jane it may be misinterpreted. I do not wish her to cringe away from me like I’m an old letch, when in truth I am here at her husband’s behest.’

My face burned in shame.

Matthew turned and stared out the window, running a strong hand through his hair as he did. My heart tightened and I threw a concerned glance at Jacob who cast my glance away with a careless shrug. Clearly it was left to me to rectify and clarify the situation, if it was indeed rectifiable or capable of being clarified.

If you liked the sound of The Private Affairs of Lady Jane Fielding, you can buy the book at the link below, of check out what else Viveka is up to at her blog.

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Good News

Welcome to this week's good news....
coming to you this week by Khloe Wren


Congratulations to Imogene Nix on a brand spanking new contract with Beachwalk Press for 
Tangled Webs for the Sex Love and Aliens Anthology


Imogene's having a big month, not only a new contract but a new release with Beachwalk Press! Execution Justice due for release on 16th June 2014


RWA ROADSHOW in South Australia this month featuring our very own 

In other news I just returned from my first trip to America. I attended RT Convention in New Orleans with around 600 other authors and thousands of readers. I had a great time and will definitely return to the wonderful city of New Orleans!

Until next time, keep reading!
Khloe Wren

Friday 6 June 2014

Real Life Paranormal with Leisl Leighton

Haunted Theatre Restaurant?

I write paranormal stories because I love them, but also because I believe. I have had a number of things happen in my life that back up this belief, but the one my boys love hearing about the most is the ghost I used to work with.

I owned and ran a Theatre Restaurant for a number of years in the mid ‘90’s-early noughties, called Medieval Madness in West Melbourne. Setting up the restaurant required many long hours – as did running it – and as a result I was often there late at night. One night, during the set up stage, I remember walking along this corridor we were making up to look like something out of a castle, when the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and a shiver chased down my spine. Something brushed past me and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a dark shape – a tall man wearing a long black coat and old fashioned hat. As I turned to face the image in full, it turned and fled. I didn’t mention it to anyone until I overheard our carpenter telling my fiancé (now husband) that there was something in that tunnel he was building and he wouldn’t be working any more nights on it if we didn’t mind. My fiancé kind of scoffed (not being much of a believer), but he soon came to believe there was something there. 

A number of other staff reported similar sightings – all of the same apparition. The apparition always hung around the foyer and the corridor where I first sighted it and I saw it many times over the years I ran the theatre restaurant. It never did anything horrible, just followed the staff around occasionally and sometimes things were moved – at least, they were not where staff reported leaving them. Some of the staff were a bit spooked, so I gave the apparition a friendly sounding, non-spooky name: George. And after that most people looked forward to a sighting – those who didn’t see George said they felt left out. He mostly appeared first thing in the morning when we arrived for work and late at night.

Years into running the venue, my now husband was in a taxi from the airport and asked to be taken to the address of the theatre restaurant. The taxi driver said he knew the venue from when it was a nightclub in the 70’s and he was there the night a guy was stabbed in the foyer and died: a guy wearing a black hat and long dark coat.

I was sad to hear that George was there because of a traumatic death. It has been 14 years since I closed down the theatre restaurant and said goodbye to George. I often wonder if he’s still there or has managed to find some release.

Leisl Leighton writes paranormal fantasies and romantic suspense. Her latest title, Dark Moon, is out now with Destiny Romance. 


Lately, Skye Collins has been unable to shake the feeling that she's being watched. After a lifetime spent hiding her true nature, she knows that any unusual attention is something to be wary of. And the only attention she's been receiving lately is from the intense and attractive Jason McVale. 

Jason claims to know things about Skye that can't be true, and it's obvious he's hiding secrets of his own. Yet despite herself, Skye can't resist the attraction between them, and her surrender will set in motion a chain of events that will have consequences for everyone she holds dear.

Gradually, Jason convinces Skye that she has to trust him if she is to solve the riddle of her past and learn the truth about her power. But believing Jason means that her entire life has been based on a lie.

As her enemies gather strength and the danger increases, Skye is forced to accept who she really is. Will she risk everything and fight for those she loves? Or save herself and let them be destroyed by the forces of darkness? 

You can buy Dark Moon here: 

Her romantic suspense, Killing Me Softly is out now: 

Leisl is a tall red head with an overly large imagination. As a child, she identified strongly with Anne of Green Gables. A voracious reader and a born performer, it came as no surprise to anyone when she did a double major in English Literature and Drama for her BA, then went on to a career as an actor, singer and dancer, as well as script writer, stage manager and musical director for cabaret and theatre restaurants (one of which she co-owned and ran for six years).

After starting a family Leisl stopped performing and instead, began writing the stories that had been plaguing her dreams. Leisl's stories have won and placed in many competitions in Australia and the US, including the STALI, Golden Opportunities, Heart of the West, Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Touch of Magic and many others.

Leisl lives in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne with her two beautiful boys, lovely hubby, overly spunky dog, Buffy, and likes to spend time with family and friends. She sometimes sings in a choir and works as a swim teacher in her day-to-day job.

Leisl writes paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense.

You can follow Leisl and find out more about her and her books at:

Thursday 5 June 2014

Magic Thursday ~ Inspiration with Alexis Fleming

Today on Magic Thursday we have the lovely Alexis Fleming talking about Inspiration....

with Alexis Fleming

What is it? Where does it come from? And why does it sometimes desert me?

Looking back now, I realise I was very blessed when I first started writing. Ideas for stories flood my mind and my greatest problem was finding the time to write them all down. Back then, I really didn’t have to struggle for inspiration.

I remember walking into a friend’s house and seeing a little black box, still in its cellophane wrapper, sitting on her bench. It was a stud finder, one of those little gadgets used for finding the studs behind the wallboards if you wanted to hang a painting or drill a hole. Standing in that kitchen, I played the why and what if game. “What if someone thought Stud Finders was some quirky type of dating agency?” The entire plot of a story jumped into my head and Stud Finders Incorporated was born, my first full length novel.

After my husband died, I took a long break from writing. Now that I’m back to it, I find that I have to hunt more for the inspirational vibes. I’ve learned to keep my eyes open and my ears tuned. It’s amazing what will spark a story idea — a snippet of conversation, a picture, a character trait you observe — but only if I open myself to the world around me.

My new release, Framed and Hung, published by Harlequin Escape, was inspired by a setting. In fact, the setting became an extra character in the story. We have friends that own and run a motel in country New South Wales. After hubby and I sold our motel, we went to visit them, staying in their very delightful establishment. That motel became the inn in Framed and Hung.

After speaking to our friends, I discovered the motel really was a staging post for the Cobb and Co coaches in early Australian history. The whole place has been restored to its former glory and ghost stories about certain rooms in the motel abound. Oh, what a way to spark a writer’s imagination. With my friends’ permission, I photographed as much as I could of the motel and Framed and Hung was born, right down to the ghost. Okay, so I borrowed a bit of poetic licence and changed things to give my inn a fresh appeal, gave the ghost a few quirky habits he didn’t possess before my intervention, and crafted my story, but it was that country motel that inspired it all.

For other writers out there? Where do you find your inspiration? What grabs your imagination and sparks your ideas? 


Framed and Hung by Alexis Fleming

Release Date: June 2014

Genre : Erotic Romance

eISBN: 9780857991621


Job satisfaction has never been so good…

When Zoe Chandler, Historical Restorations expert, walks into the inn she’s about to restore, the last thing she expects to stumble across is naked banker Jake Lord. It’s enough to give any woman a buzz, particularly if the man in question happens to be the object of all her high-school fantasies. Zoe’s not in the least bit disappointed, but Jake is all about control. Zoe’s not about to let this man have things all his way so she sets out to take him down a peg or two.

Nude paintings, blackmail and mind-numbing sexual frustration…

Can Jake take the heat or will they both explode?

Buy links

Amazon | iBookstore | Nook | eBooks.com  | Kobo | 

Multi-published author Alexis Fleming’s first book was a bedtime story for her children called Sammy the Snail, written and illustrated totally in crayon. She hooked her children in and created a new career for herself, a career that gives her immense satisfaction and a lot of fun. She now writes her own bedtime stories, but be warned — - these are strictly adults only! Alexis’s first love has always been romance, whether on this world or the next. Hot, sizzling relationships with a dash of comedy and a few trials and tribulations thrown in to test her characters. Alexis writes sassy, fun erotic contemporaries, as well as paranormals and fantasies where you’ll find yourself coming face to face with anything from sexy shifters to beings from other planets. When she isn’t tied to her computer, Alexis walks the beautiful beaches of Hervey Bay, or watches the farmer across from her house bring his cattle out to graze. The best of both worlds. What more could any writer ask for?

Connect with Alexis

| Website | Facebook | Twitter |  

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Good News Day

Welcome to this week's good news....
coming to you this week by Cheryse Durrant


Congratulations to Shona Husk on today's release of her latest novel, The Changeling Soldier.

Here's the blurb:

Her time in the mortal world is running out…
After fleeing Annwyn three centuries ago, Ella built a life in the mortal world making gowns for European royalty and playing in mortal intrigues. Now those Courts are long gone, and she dresses Hollywood starlets. Mortals come and go, but Ella always ends up alone. She longs for the home she left behind.

He’s been dreaming of the coming battle all his life… Isaac Norton is a returned soldier. Now home, he’s restless and his recurring dream is becoming more frequent: he’s fighting on a snow-covered field stained with blue blood. When he sees Ella, he knows she isn’t human. And she knows what he is, a changeling.

Ella can give Isaac the answers he needs, but there will be a price to pay: his soul.

Buy links:
Smashwords   |   iTunes   |   Kobo   |   AllRomanceBooks


Young Adult author Stacey Nash is delighted to have found a new home for The Collective Me after the previous publisher folded.

Forget Me Not
will be published by HarperCollins’ new Impulse imprint on August 1 and Remember Me will release on October 1.

Both books are already available for pre-order on Amazon and iBooks.

Buy links:   Forget Me Not   |   Remember Me


A miniature copy of Darksider Cheryse Durrant's The Blood She Betrayed was on display as part of a State of Origin diorama at the Bundaberg Show last week. Avid reader and The Blood She Betrayed fan Rieckie Muchow, who created the display, said Barbie had been seated with the boys at the table but they were going "on and on" about the game so she made her escape with a good book.

This is not the first time that Rieckie has used her doll collection to create a diorama featuring The Blood She Betrayed. Last year, she created a series of fun shots, including some with the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. Barbie was even a guest of honour at Durrant's Bundaberg book launch, donning pyjamas and a fluffy pink dressing gown for the occasion. Go, Barbie!

Buy links:
Amazon | Booktopia | Kobo | iTunes | Lulu | Clan Destine Press | Booktrailer

check out all our books on our dsdu-books shelf:
DarkSide DownUnder's book lists (dsdu-books shelf)