Emerging from her lair!

There has been a patch of quietness as things develop on the house front with a house move in store. Never good for a writer. Furthermore, Alcamia Payne has been going through a gestation period and is just crawling out of her lair and from under a huge pile of handwritten notepaper.

Writers develop and over the last two years I have had the privilege to meet and work with some wonderful creative personalities who have provided considerable inspiration. Alcamia Payne was always going to be about the side of my personality that was a rebel and liked to try new things. Broadminded there is nothing this writer will not tackle. I still love the short story genre and there is plenty of that still in store. As I mature as a novelist though, I realise I adore writing longer stories I can get my teeth into. Pressed for some more lesbian offerings, this year has seen me cogitating over a couple of ideas. I always like to bring something fresh and new to the page, so over the coming months I hope you enjoy the new offerings, news of which I shall be posting.

It was with some regret that I finished ‘The Perfect Slave Trilogy’ this spring. It was always going to be controversial and different and I hope those of you that purchased it, enjoyed it. Leaving it though is a bit like leaving an old friend as I move onto pasture’s new.

‘Devotion’ saw my hero Tristan being introduced into the whole new world of the domme. In book two ‘Possession’ he pursued a historical and sensual dream wrapped in legend, in book 3 ‘Obsession’ he is kidnapped and hidden and it is time for his master – who shunned love, since the death of his Russian slave and lover, Vedic, many years ago – to free him and to face up to the fact he has fallen for Tristan’s charms.

All three books are available from Xcitebooks, on Amazon and various platforms in ebook, Kindle and print.

Obsession

 

 

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Lost in Space

There has been a bit of a lull as the final part of ‘The Perfect Slave Trilogy is tied up and literally put to bed. My controversial M/M series certainly sparked some comment. I did not want it to be a carbon copy of anyone else’s work and I think if critics thought it would be one lurid scene fusing into the next they were always bound to be disappointed. As always I couldn’t help myself and I wanted to put a background story behind Tristan and Astor. So there was always going to be a bit of crime and a pinch of adventure thrown in. There were some curious twists and turns to the tale as Tristan was taken hostage, but always I intended for the series to end on a high note which I think it did. Of course you will have to read ‘Obsession’ to find out more 🙂

 Obsession will be available later this year. Watch this space for further news.

Many thanks to my stoic legion of followers who have also put up with me as I beaver away on another novel. It has been a hard few months as I fulfilled a commitment to an F/F theme I had been asked to expand on but had been tearing my hair out over. More news on this too soon. 

   In the meantime enjoy an excerpt from ‘Possession,’ and of course whatever you are currently reading. Happy reading!

 

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‘Possession’

Excerpt

 

 

 

The entire thing had had overtures of The Story of O, Tristan had later reflected. He’d often wondered if the famous book was for real. Many said it was a flight of fancy, but who would believe him if he’d told them what went on in his own world? Today Romanov would brand him, then afterwards he would slip on a ring, the same occult ring Astor wore and which marked him out as a slave belonging to the jeu.

Later, after Astor had left him, Romanov led Tristan through the echoing house. It had not changed since medieval times. Through the large back door, Tristan could see down to the small chapel where he’d had his first initiation. It was a simple stone building surrounded by creeping vines. They strolled into a vast room, which must have been a lounge. The floors were covered in thick Russian carpet and the furniture and tapestries on the wall were good quality. Romanov brought a bottle and two glasses and sat down beside Tristan in an armchair. His gaze was cold and emotionless. ‘This room once paid court to kings and princes who would consult my family on all manner of subjects, many of them to do with the jeu. You see, my family understood the code of the jeu better than anyone.’ He steepled his fingers, a slow smile spreading across his face. ‘You have carved out quite a reputation for yourself. It appears you have taken the master’s attention. How does it feel to be a star in the firmament?’

Tristan raised an eyebrow.

‘It is an odd world, Tristan. Each day you must wake up and ask yourself what strange world do I exist in, where men have slaves and are ruled by spirituality and black magic? But there are even stranger things in this world if one knows where to find them. Behind closed doors, many things happen one would not believe. Just because we do not witness them does not mean they are not there. However, enough chatter, since today is so serious.’

Tristan felt a flash of fear. Romanov was good at cranking up the atmosphere. He was studying Tristan like he was a fly trapped in a jam jar.

‘The jeu is a double-edged sword, Tristan. Its goal is Nirvana, but to attain that Nirvana means following a treacherous route. Why do you think its meaning was not written down in so many words but passed from mouth to mouth? It was not from choice but because its knowledge was so powerful that should it fall into the wrong hands, well …’ He paused as he poured liquor into two glasses. Astor had mentioned the potent brew. Romanov’s family had been making the distilled drink for centuries. It was an age-old recipe, made with herbs and stolen from the monks at the priory. As Tristan tossed it back it burnt the back of his throat and Romanov chuckled with glee. ‘I like it. You go away a boy and come back a man with the light of revelation. Something happened to you at the caves, didn’t it? I can see it in your eyes.’

Tristan turned his glass in his hands. ‘OK, old man, I had a vision.’ He wondered if Romanov would reckon he was mad; wondered whether he even trusted the mystic enough to tell him.

‘Tell me more. I can see you hesitate and you wonder whether you can trust me. You can. Like I said, my family have kept the counsel of the Kopalskis and their slaves for centuries.’

‘I –’ Tristan stammered. ‘I was in Konstantine’s body, I became him. Does that make sense?’

‘Yes. It was a spiritual lesson and lessons have to be experienced.’ Romanov paused as if considering what he should next say. ‘Astor has chased such signs all his life, yet for all his abilities he cannot see enough. He has always had a kinship with Konstantine. The two of them are so similar; both recluses and men driven by same desires and dreams. In many ways, he thinks he is the Russian’s reincarnation. He also knows that Konstantine’s journal contains only a fragment of the truth. The truth can only be found through experience and is often a catalyst for spiritual growth. Often another human being can be a vessel for that experience, like for instance …’

‘Vedic?’ Tristan said slowly, his tongue loosening as the liquor took effect.

‘Yes indeed, Vedic. That boy was tuned to a spiritual wavelength Astor could never attain. Often, I believe Astor’s mind is simply too full of logic and order to fully experience spiritual enlightenment to the degree he would like.’

Tristan’s mouth was dry. He had the feeling a great truth was about to be revealed which would rock his world. ‘Vedic was a true saint, wasn’t he?’

Romanov nodded. ‘Yes. The boy was many things. A perfect slave. A man willing to lay down his life for his master.’ He bent forward. ‘I will tell you something important. Did you know that the tenet of the jeu teaches that ultimate power can never be in the hands of one but can only be found with two men; two men who come together through magnetism and attraction? It’s a karmic and divine happening built upon chance and fate. Out of the billions of people on this planet two are lucky enough to encounter one another – crossing continents and oceans to be together. When they do, they create magic.’

‘Some say the jeu is a blasphemous mix of magic and love, speeding forth the catalyst of man’s love for man,’ Tristan added. ‘Some kind of gay panacea?’

‘I like the sentiment.’ Romanov’s gaze was boring into Tristan’s. ‘Do not make fun of it. You do not understand the power of spiritual love. The energies of love and lust are mismanaged by the human race, their meanings lost. The real thing is the most powerful we know.’

‘Tell me, Romanov. Am I a catalyst?’

‘Yes, I believe so.’

‘And what if I don’t think I’m ready to sacrifice my life or be that catalyst? After all, I’m only a simple city trader.’

‘Rules are made to be broken,’ Romanov asserted.

‘But I’m not ready. Astor told me himself that it would take many years of discipline to reach that level. I’m not ready.’

 Enjoyed reading ‘Possession?’  The entire ‘The Perfect Slave Trilogy’ is available on Kindle, epub and paperback from Xcitebooks.com, all Amazon platforms and good publishers of erotica.

 

When is enough, enough?

Welcome and blessings to all the newbies following my blog.

As shoots force there way through the earth and spring blooms early, I was forced to thinking of the writing process and how tortuous it can be for some of us who don’t know when to call it a day. I don’t think we ever get things perfect, what writer does? I still can’t figure out either, how it is that no matter how scrupulous I am and how many people read a manuscript, an error still lurks here and there. Is there a gremlin of mistakes? A little demon who sneaks out just when I have a paragraph perfect and snitches in an extra quote mark or takes it out. Is there an elf that twists a word back to front just to spoil all that hard work with polishing. I reckon there is.

Which also made me think. When is perfect, perfect and when does it go past perfect and if it does, can perfect be a negative and not a positive? This made me wonder which part of creating I like the most and I honestly don’t know.

I enjoy very much the first draft of a story because I am in the full flood of creation and I am not thinking about commas, full stops and each word and whether it entirely makes sense…I am simply fashioning and stitching a rough copy together. It is so exciting to do that. After that there is much fun in polishing the next copy. Sadly for me, I am not one of those people who gets it right first time and it is a major headache, refining, altering and perfecting.  As I write this I thought I’d be able to decide what part of the process I enjoyed the most and I half thought I’d be able to say to you there was a part I hated and a part I loved above all others. But actually, there isn’t. I now realise I even like the final draft, the one where my eyes get sore and I think I’m going crazy as I track down repeated words and thoughts and find with a stab of horror, my hero changed names twice and it took me until now to spot it. Now that would be really confusing for the reader.

Having said that, a colleague of mine accuses me of too much refining and I think she is right. When I often look back on first drafts I can see that too much refining strips out the spontaneity. Which leads me on to my last point. The wonderful enlightened editors, who I thank the gods for…the ones who say not worry about too much refinement, “we want to see you in full flow and uninhibited.” That is the work I know I want to send in. Now, I sit up and rub my head. But can I really resist that constant refinement and the attempt to send in the perfect manuscript?

I don’t think so.

Happy writing and I hope you are all busy editing and refining.

We love what we do!

The other day someone asked me about what its like to be a writer. It was a strange question but since I started coming out of the closet – a long story – I’m asked loads of different things. One thing is for sure. The life of a writer is not the one most people think. It is now a fast-paced life with many demands.

It is true that many years ago the life of a writer was a simple and romantic one, not to say that it isn’t still romantic because it often is and especially for a purveyor of romance books. A writer probably lived a somewhat eccentric life surrounded by a certain mystique, they may also have seemed quite a peculiar and eccentric creature who generally shunned human company. Of course, there are and always have been many different kinds of writers but some stick out from the rest, the ones like Austen for example, surrounded in that gentle mist, scribbling away at her bureau in a quiet cottage in the old-fashioned way. Then the compiling of a novel must have seemed like a long journey indeed, as each page was carefully handwritten. Little else must invaded the life of the writer and publicity was in those days an alien creature and if it was there it was handled by someone else.

It is still that way to a certain degree and I don’t think the computer has killed the romance of the written word. My handwriting is deplorable anyway and I would hate to be the poor person that might have to read it. I even find it hard to read it myself at times. No, I love my computer and am thankful for an invention that allows my words to keep up with my mind. Writing is certainly in many ways harder. We do not have the peace and quiet of the olden days when the only interruption might have been children and pets. Now, we have to field a constant barrage of other people’s TV’s, music and activities. If you value your thinking space it can be very hard unless you are supremely lucky and live in a hut in an acre of land or have angelic neighbours who you can bend to your will. Do I sound cynical? I don’t mean to, but these problems are ones that most of us poor creative things have to contend with and never speak about.

Then there are the other things us modern scribblers have to contend with; PR and marketing and sometimes even editing, since often some of us have to edit like crazy. So, what does that make us and where does it place us in today’s society? I think we are a new breed of businessperson. Writer’s have to be savvy and not just imaginative, although imagination spills into every facet of our lives. Yes, we are a new breed and we are hard working, industrious, eager to learn and of course we love what we do.

I caused a lifted eyebrow when I mentioned all of this. Rather than spending an hour or two peacefully closeted away and writing when you feel like it, I pointed out the new breed – if what they do is their main job…strive even more than 9 to 5, often for peanuts, wading through a deluge of distractions to get there.

We must seem mad to most folk, I know we’re not. We do this because writing is in our blood, we love it and have to express ourselves. Most of all we love bringing escapism, pleasure and maybe a pinch of knowledge into other people’s lives.

Hidden

So, we’re into a new year and I hope it’s a good one for everyone. I am busily at work on my next novel and will keep you posted. Today though I thought you might enjoy a free snippet from my new M/M novel ‘Hidden.’ It follows below.  I am now into the next project. 

My new novel has called for lot’s of research. I am a stickler for research. Even for a short story I will do loads of digging around making sure I get the costumes and transport of the correct era.  This was especially brought home to me when I read a scathing review posted on a top author. Let this be a lesson for all of us climbing the tree.  The author in question was taken to pieces by one learned reader who had identified costume and transport errors. You and I won’t become like this when we inhabit that lofty sphere will we? It would be nice to think as people who appreciate books and the written word that we will give our literture it’s due and treat it with respect; giving our all to each small piece we do. Research can be a pain, but it is well worth it. I think then we can truly be called authors.  Now enjoy Hidden, published by Xcitebooks and available as ebook and print from most platforms.  Welcome to my new followers, it is you who make this all worthwhile.

‘Hidden’  By Alcamia Payne

 

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‘Do you think this has been easy for me? Well, do you?’ Darren exploded. ‘You’ve turned my whole life upside down and messed with my heart.’ All the pent-up anger and confusion of the last few weeks was ripping through his carefully constructed defences and it was scary but good. ‘It’s like I’m making most of the emotional sacrifices when all you do is run away and try and hide from whatever it is that’s bugging you. I should know, because I’m an old hand at it. It’s what I used to do.’ He was beginning to falter. ‘When you came along, for the first time in my life I decided to stick it out, no matter how difficult it was; stick it out because I knew I was beginning to love you. I decided I’d be brave, and there were times when, hell, I didn’t feel brave, Jake. There were times when I really thought it would be best to let you go before I got hurt. But I toughed it out, hoping one day you’d explain to me about the secrets; the phone calls and all that shit.’ Darren was numb. It was as if Jake had clammed up, and that infuriated him.

   ‘Have you finished, Darren, are you ready to listen to me?’

   Darren spread his fingers over his face. He didn’t want to listen but this was why he’d come all this way. There were tears in his eyes when eventually Jake prised his hands away. He didn’t fight him, that would be too immature, but he felt like punching him.

   ‘Here’s what I want to say. I can’t believe you’re here. Why did you turn up here? Why did you have to come and make things so fucking difficult?’

   ‘Because I don’t think it’s over, Jake, and I need you to make a choice between me and this other guy. The least you could do is think about taking a gamble on me, like I’m doing with you. Whoever he is, he doesn’t seem to be making you happy.’ Darren’s wildly thumping heart seemed to have slowed down and he felt more rational. He supposed he’d had enough time to get used to the feeling of losing Jake. He made a claw of his fist and dug it into the warm sand.

   ‘Who told you I was here?’ Jake continued. ‘No, don’t tell me.’ He forced a weak smile. ‘It was Colleen, wasn’t it?’

   ‘Yes. She said this is where you always come, back to … to see …’ Darren paused. ‘Adam.’ He was staring icy hard at Jake. ‘Adam, your lover. It’s kind of an appropriately biblical name for a snake in the grass, isn’t it?’

   The breeze was warm and gentle on his cheek, like a lover’s kiss, the sun a warming hand on the back of his neck. For some reason, he felt so much calmer and braver now that this was all out in the open. That was another thing he’d give Jake. Jake had made him more than himself. Jake had slain the dark monsters which had been stalking him for so long: the shyness, the low self-esteem, the lack of confidence. ‘You don’t have to give me the details, I simply need to know.’ He shook his head. ‘I was so stupid because all the signs were there since day one. The things that you wanted to say and almost told me so many times before you clammed up. The fact you wouldn’t let me pick up your phone. It’s classic lovers’ games. Well, I just want you to understand the fault’s mine and not yours. I walked into this with open eyes, Jake. I just need the truth.’

   Jake was sitting so close his bare thigh beneath the hem of his denim shorts was touching Darren’s. Despite everything, Darren was turned on by it and his desire eclipsed his hate. If he’d been another kind of guy, maybe he could have been magnanimous enough to share Jake. But Darren was monogamous; he couldn’t do that. He only wanted one lover and he wanted the other guy to feel the same way.

   ‘I’m sorry,’ Jake said, the wind ruffling his hair as he stroked particles of sand off his arms. ‘But despite what you think, I’m not as together as you are. You’re right, Darren. I handled this all wrong and I realise I should have come clean ages ago. I know what you’re going to say, but what you see of Jake Fromberg is a mask. I’ve got good at coping with things over the years, good at running away. The fact is I shouldn’t have got involved with you. It was the wrong time; indeed I doubt it would ever have been the right time. That night when we hooked up, I’d reached breaking point. The sad thing is you got me, Darren. You hooked me. You turned out to be something special.’

   ‘Yeah, me, the mug. The soft touch.’

   ‘No, never that. Believe me, you’re a wonderful guy with a wonderful imagination. A guy with an incredible heart and soul and bleeding with all that raw emotion.’

   ‘You thought that about me?’ Darren mumbled.

   ‘Yes, and before I knew it, I made a huge mistake and I couldn’t prevent it happening, it was so good. I did love you, Darren.’

   Did love you . The words he’d wanted to hear, but quoted now in the past. Boy, did that hurt. So, he was right; it was over. Jake had flown to California to see this guy and now it was finished. All the time, he’d clearly been seeing this Adam. Perhaps he’d even been married for years. Well, that would be the icing on the cake, wouldn’t it? But it happened, happened all the time. Darren felt stupid and gullible.

   Jake was staring at him, an expression on his face Darren didn’t understand. Confusion, love. He didn’t want to read too much into it. ‘I don’t want to hurt you. You know, more than anything I’d like to be able to explain things to you, but that would take ages and I don’t have too much time. I have something I have to do and it’s very important, more important than we are. I never wanted for us to be over, but I couldn’t see any other way out of the fuck-up I’d created.’ He raised his hands, pressing them to his temples. ‘It’s such a fucking mess. I think we both have to face the fact that it was the wrong time for both of us. Maybe in another time and place …’

   ‘No way. I won’t let you get out of it that easily with no bloody explanation,’ Darren exploded as he leapt to his feet. ‘I can’t believe you, Jake. Don’t you think you owe me that?’

   ‘Yes, and in time I’ll tell you everything, but it’s gonna have to wait because something’s happening and it may be the most important thing in my life.’

   ‘Fuck this most important thing. It has to do with Adam, doesn’t it?’

   ‘Too right it’s to do with Adam, and I don’t need this shit.’ Jake stood up and began walking back towards the path leading to the road.

   ‘I hate you. How could you do this to me?’ Darren caught hold of his arm, spinning him around. ‘Don’t walk away, don’t you ever walk away from me. You owe it to me.’

THE END

New Beginnings

Well hello to all of you out there at the beginning of this new year. I hope it’s going to be a great one for all you aspiring writers. I always find it an exciting time when it comes around to the 1st of January. Unlike most people I don’t make any new year resolutions, I rather like to think we all have our plans in place and are working on our goals anyway. I do have a list of achievements, projects and goals for the months ahead though. The new year is a weird thing because it fills me with all sorts of thoughts and feelings. Last year was exceedingly tough as I fought severe illness and eventually won through. Life is strange and things hit you like a ‘bolt from the blue.’ A real health freak, this struck me down suddenly and I was left in a tailspin. I do think everything happens for a reason and having such a dreadful scare has helped put things in perspective and made me tougher and able to see where the true values in life lie. Life is indeed short so we need to get out there and not waste a second of it. I know I will now be taking advantage of every second.

I suppose being a writer I could say all of this darkness had it’s bright side. I was always empathetic to those around me, intensely reflective and compassionate, but I now feel a kinship with those who have gone through severe and terminal illnesses. It has given me many subjects to write about and I have come up with a lot of deep and introspective ideas which are bound to filter through into future novels. I do have one goal and that is to expand into social and family dramas as well as hot romances and historicals, and there are also plenty of fantasy and science fiction ideas in the pipeline.

One thing is for sure during 2013 my writing was once again a major therapy and there is none better. I am truly blessed as are all my fellow writers, at having this gift of putting things down on paper and entertaining. Long may it continue.

Now onto some news.  I am thrilled to have been chosen to write a book for the great publisher TotallyBound. It will appear in the ‘What’s her Secret range.’ Sweet Secrets is a bit of a departure. A contemporary chick-lit romance with undercurrents of erotica. What I most love about Anna the heroine is she is the woman we can all identify with. She has had it tough, being in a claustrophobic relationship with her father. The virtual imprisonment with her catering for his needs, makes her reclusive and prone to panic attacks. When he dies her world opens up and Anna uses the skills she has acquired whilst caring for him to turn her life around. A chance encounter with a younger man soon turns her world upside down as Anna faces not just her mental challenges but those of love. I’m really excited about it.

Also on the cards, is book three ‘Obsession,’ the last installment of ‘The Perfect Slave Trilogy.

Happy New Year everyone! I look forward to following your news.

It’s Christmas!

How did it creep up on me again? It seems I’m never prepared although I say every year I will be. Anyway I am just emerging from a pile of paper to witness the festivities. Have you noticed how the novel takes you over like an illness, so much so you don’t even notice what the date is? This is how it has been for me.  Writing requires so much mental discipline very often most things go out of the window, and this latest novel has been harder than most. I am delighted to be writing a new romance for a major publisher and am very excited about it. This foray sees a departure from my much loved erotica into the field of romance and chick-lit. I love moving between genres like this as I think it makes everything fresh and new. So, I look forward to telling you about it in due course.

I am delighted to have a short story published in December’s issue of premier women’s magazine Diva. LGBT mag of the year.  ‘Running,’ is an interesting lesbian short and it’s always a thrill when Diva picks me. I so love this magazine.

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Well, all that remains in this post is to wish you all a fabulous Christmas! Here’s hoping you have a good one.

Winter-Leaves

Art ‘Winter Leaves’ kindly provided by photographer Pete Salenieks