Sneak Peek of INKapable

Despite what the subject line up there says, I want to begin this post with a quick writing update.

I’ve decided to shelf ‘The Manor’ again. It has some really wonderful bits but it’s also fatally flawed. Someday I will re-write it from scratch to preserve the beautiful parts and avoid the flaws, but that day is not now. Nor anytime soon because I have several other projects ahead of it. Projects like Prairie Magic.

I’m super excited to begin NaNoWriMo this year because I’m going to be writing book three of Prairie Magic. While the first two stories in this series were relatively short, I think this one may actually be a full-length novel. We’ll have to wait and find out, I guess, but I’m pretty stoked about it. I will try to post regular updates as the month progresses 🙂

And now, about INKapable 🙂

I had the pleasure of editing the INKomplete series by Mara Malins, and further am honoured to be publishing it through Pen and Kink Publishing.

This series of four erotic romances all involve the various staff at the Inkomplete tattoo studio (some of whom are quite kinky).

The first book, INKarnate, deals with Matt and Emily and you can actually pick it up for free here –>

But today I don’t want to talk about INKarnate. You can pick it up and read it for yourself– and you should, it’s a great story–but instead I want to talk about book #2. INKapable.

After her husband walked out on her, leaving her to provide for their daughter alone, Joe has no intention of relying on a man for anything ever again. As a successful tattoo artist, she can take care of what’s hers. The only thing she needs is a little fun every now and again. And if a gorgeous man offers her exactly what she needs, if they both know what they’re getting into, it can’t get messy, can it?

I think we all know the answer to that question. Of course it can get messy. And of course it does get messy 🙂

Check out this short excerpt of an interaction between Joe and her sexy neighbour, Nathan:

“Oh.” She looked away from the heat of his gaze, uncertain. Unable to keep her eyes away from him for long, she slanted a look over to his face to see whether he was serious. He was; he met her eyes, unabashed.

“I was thinking about getting a tattoo,” he continued, still rubbing at his lip. “Maybe I’ll stop by tomorrow and see you.”

Several powerful emotions whirled through her; exhilaration, embarrassment, amusement, eagerness, but most of all a fear so deep that it tightened around her heart like a vice. She pushed them all away and forced herself to smile brightly, pretending he was any other client and not her handsome neighbour. “Yes, I’m at the studio all week. Feel free to call in. If I’m busy, one of the other artists can help you find what you’re looking for.”

“I know what I want, don’t worry about that.” His eyes wandered over her body, making it clear what it meant, then he dipped his head once more and walked away.

Despite the emotional turmoil burning through her, making her want to escape into her apartment, Joe couldn’t help but watch him leave. His powerful frame moved so gracefully, with so much self-assurance, that she felt drawn to him in a way that she hadn’t felt to another person in a long time.

Not since Christoph left.

The thought made her blood run cold.

Is that where the attraction came from? He reminded her of Christoph? It was true that they both had the same muscled build, the same irrepressible confidence. Was that why she was reacting so strongly to him? The knowledge made her uneasy. Christoph had walked out on her years ago, hurting her more deeply than she thought ever possible. She wasn’t going to be hurt again. Never again.

No, what she needed from a man was purely physical.

And she could get that from the club.

I’m absolutely biased, of course, but if you like steamy M/f romance with real heart you’re going to want to check out this book. It’s got hot sex, but it’s also got great writing and a story you can sink your teeth into.

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Quick Writing Update

I wanted to share a quick update here so that you won’t think I’ve forgotten about my blog. I haven’t. I just don’t have a lot of news to share right now 🙂

I’m making a conscious effort to put my writing first these days. It feels good. Really good.

Previously I’d been dedicating Friday afternoons to my writing, but I just wasn’t seeing enough progress there–not for one identity and certainly not for two. It was just too easy to put off writing in order to work on something else, or hang out with friends, or whatever.

I have a new strategy now!

I start each day by writing 500 words for whatever project my alter ego is focusing on. Once that’s done I dive into my email and all the other tasks on my to-do list, but not before. 500 words isn’t a lot but that’s actually kind of key to making this work. It needs to feel like a manageable goal — high enough that it will actually slowly add up to completed projects, but small enough that I can get it done and then get down to finishing all the other stuff on my to-do list.

Best of all? That leaves Friday afternoons free for me to focus just on Cori stuff.


I spent a few hours today revising “The Manor” which was my NaNo novel five years ago O_O

Like any NaNoWriMo project it has its challenges, and those are exacerbated by the fact I wrote this using Write or Die in Kamikaze mode with my backspace key disabled… The first page looked like this:

But I think this story has good bones, and there are a couple scenes that I haven’t been able to get out of my head since I wrote them five years ago. So I’m excited to see how it develops.

My goal is to have this revision done by October 15th. Once it’s finished I will send it out to beta readers and then start working on the next segment of the story that began with Running on Empty while I wait for their feedback.

It’s daunting but exciting, this stage of development I’m at with this story.

Mostly daunting LOL But the excitement will grow as I watch the progress bar move.

Unrelated, except that it has to do with writing and progress. I have decided to shelf ‘The Switch’ indefinitely. It needs too much work, it’s still missing something I can’t put my finger on yet and its storyline is really similar to one I’m exploring for the Prairie Magic universe. Sorry little story, maybe we’ll see you again someday when if I figure out the key to unlock you…


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Interview with Sara Dobie Bauer about Escaping Exile

I think by now we all know that I enjoy exploring the darker side of romance so it should come as no surprise that when I heard about Sara Dobie Bauer’s latest book (shipwrecks, vampires and cannibals, oh my!) I had to have a copy.

And then once I started reading it I had questions. So what better way to get them answered than to interview Sara here on my blog?

First, about the book…

Andrew is a vampire from New Orleans, exiled to a tropical island in the 1800s as punishment for his human bloodlust. During a storm, a ship crashes off shore. After rescuing a sailor from the cannibals native to the land, Andrew becomes fascinated with his brilliant, beautiful new companion, Edmund.

Edmund is a British naturalist who has sailed the world seeking new species. Intrigued by creatures that might kill him, immortal Andrew is this scientist’s dream-but so is making his way back home. Edmund will fight to survive, even while wrapped in the arms of a monster.

As light touches and laughter turn to something much more passionate, the cannibals creep ever closer to Edmund. Can the ancient vampire keep his human alive long enough to escape exile and explore their newfound love, or will Andrew’s bloodlust seal his own doom?

Dun dun dun!

And now, my questions for Sara 🙂

A romance with cannibals? It takes a special skillset to pull that off, but you totally did. Congratulations! What inspired you to want to add cannibals to your romance?

Well, my leading men are on a mostly abandoned tropical island in the early 1800s, so I just thought, “CANNIBALS, YES!” In my story, the cannibals are practically zombie-like because I love a good monster. That said, my “hero” Andrew is pretty monstrous himself, so I needed an adversary that could match his blood thirst and overall murderous demeanor. Cannibals just felt right, and I had some fun joking about how my shipwrecked sailor Edmund had come upon them before. (“It’s amazing these creatures survive. I once saw one take a bite out of the other during an argument. And they were friends! Suppose you don’t like your neighbour? Well, just show up and eat their children!”)

I also thought it was really clever that you put them on the same island as a vampire but let the two factions find an uneasy state of balance, which of course you messed with right away. How much fun was it to play with those dynamics?

Fun! And easy. Andrew, as a vampire, is pretty much a dead thing, and cannibals don’t wanna eat rotten flesh. The cannibals are shrouded in death, soulless and evil, so that’s not appetizing to Andrew, who prefers his blood innocent and pure. They share the island and stay the hell away from each other until Edmund shows up because he’s frankly a bunch of yum-yum for Andrew and the cannibals alike. I based Edmund on a buffed up Timothee Chalamet, so he’s a bunch of yum-yum for this lady right here, too. YUMMMM!

Speaking of vampires, what is it about them that you find attractive or (if it’s more accurate) fun to write about?

Vampires are usually sexy and charismatic. The proverbial bad boy or girl. I love that dark side. There’s also something sexy about biting and something incredibly intimate about blood play. And they’re young forever, so you never have to worry about their cute butts going all saggy. Oh, and let’s not forget androgyny. My fave vamps tend to be androgynous, and I love that. (Think Stuart Townsend’s Lestat, Antonio’s Armand, and Tilda Swinton’s Eve.) The conventionally portrayed bisexuality ain’t bad either. That means I have a chance with pretty much any female or male vampire I want. In a perfect world, of course.

Who is your favourite vampire from books or movies? How does Andrew resemble them? How is he different?

I love the good, bad, and ugly of Anne Rice’s Lestat. However, I freaking adore Gary Oldman as Dracula. He’s so bad—but so good. Andrew is similar because he has murdered a lot of people and felt not a bit of regret over it, but he also vows to keep Edmund safe, no matter his own thirst. Also, Andrew has a dry, twisted sense of humor like Lestat and falls in endless love like Dracula. He’s different because he’s sort of quiet—the big, brooding type. Andrew won’t be making speeches anytime soon; that’s Edmund’s job.

Andrew thinks about the ‘dark creature’ inside him that craves blood–specifically Edmund’s–do you think we all have dark creatures within us? What does yours crave?

For sure we all have a dark creature. We all have parts of us we don’t want the world to see. Some of us just hide it better. My dark creature? Oh, man. I guess it craves hot guys and pizza. Not necessarily at the same time. Is that weird?

credit: Steph Gentry

Sara Dobie Bauer is a bestselling author, model, and mental health / LGBTQ advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, she lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she’d really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is author of the paranormal rom-com Bite Somebody series, among other sexy things. Learn more at


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INKomplete Cover Reveals

I’m pretty biased but Mara Malin’s INKomplete series is one of my favourite romance series of the past few years. I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of editing them and now I also get to share them with the world through Pen and Kink Publishing.

About the series:

Welcome to INKomplete, a studio renowned for its tattoos, talent, and totally tempting tattoo artists. Every design tells a story, every artist has a tale. One studio, four tattooists, and a whole load of heat. Enjoy these hot and steamy reads that explore the sometimes sweet but always erotic relationships between ink and kink.

When Emily begins an apprenticeship at the renowned tattoo studio Inkomplete, she didn’t realise she was stepping into a world very different from her middle-class upbringing. But not everybody is happy about her dipping her toe into new waters. Famous tattoo artist, Matt Jones, knows she doesn’t belong. What’s he got against her and how far will he go to keep her at arm’s length?

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$0.99 — Amazon (US) (CA) (UK)

Or go here now to read more

After her husband walked out on her, leaving her to provide for their daughter alone, Joe has no intention of relying on a man for anything ever again. As a successful tattoo artist, she can take care of what’s hers. The only thing she needs is a little fun every now and again. And if a gorgeous man offers her exactly what she needs, if they both know what they’re getting into, it can’t get messy, can it?

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Or go here now to read more

Phee has breast cancer. As heart-breaking as it is, she’s determined to be strong so her friends don’t worry. They’re a family, so if she hurts, they hurt, and she can’t allow that. But when lines start to blur between her and her handsome surgeon, trying to hold everything together suddenly feels like the real fight.

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It’s been five years since Blakey’s beautiful wife Elizabeth died and his grief is just as sharp today as it was back then. But now he’s desperately lonely too. As he becomes closer to his friend Aisleyne, Blakey fights it with everything he has. How could he even think about moving on? No, friendship is all he has to offer. That will have to be enough.

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Or go here now to read more

Did you catch the part where you can download a copy of the first book in the series, INKarnate, for FREE right now, today? Because you can!

You’ll have to wait until November 6th for all the rest, but on the plus side, you’ll be able to get them all on the same day. No spreading the releases out across months or years 🙂

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Perspectives on Shapeshifters

Just last week my itty bitty micro-press put out the third volume of our Triskaidekaphilia (love of the number 13) anthology series. This series is meant to explore the darker sides of romance. Each volume is released on Friday the 13th and I’m hoping there will eventually be 13 of them 🙂

Transformed, edited by Charlie Watson, is filled with romantic shapeshifter stories. I thought Charlie put together a really strong anthology, and I’m proud to share it with the world. I’m also happy to share this guest post from her with you. I think it offers some interesting insight into the production of this collection 🙂

Perspectives on Shapeshifters

Charlie Watson

Hello Everyone! My name is Charlie Watson and I’m the editor of Transformed. As this release marks my first foray into the wide world of publishing outside of an academic setting, I am obviously going through the grab bag of emotion—I’m terrified, of course, due to the usual fear of sharing any work publically; guilty, oddly enough, that I haven’t been doing enough social media promotion; and most importantly, I feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of authors. I’m also unendingly grateful for the chance to work with the minds behind Pen and Kink publishing. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into when I agreed to edit Transformed, which probably isn’t the best thing to admit, but hey! Here we are on the other side, and I have a neat new perspective on things.

I was involved in the production of an anthology while at university which dealt primarily with student creative writing—no prompts or themes, the students were allowed to submit anything. I felt that the absence of a theme would create a unique space where the author’s voice had an opportunity to shine individually instead of being lost in parameters. When I started working on Transformed, I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant about working within the confines of a theme, as I was concerned about losing what I thought of as the uniqueness and individuality of my last experience. I cannot stress this enough, but I absolutely could not have been more wrong.

I don’t know about you, but I find that every time that cocky little voice pipes up in my head and says, “pfffft, girl, I know exactly how this is going to go—relax, I’ve totally got this… I promise…” I inevitably end up having to pick myself up off the floor and try to discover where my preconceived notions led me astray.

Transformed has shown me, among other things, how boundless creativity is. Obviously I have a flair for the dramatic, but it really is quite astonishing to me how each author involved in Transformed managed to interpret our prompt so differently. We asked our authors to write a romantic short story that explored shapeshifter culture. Maybe the problem is that I’m just not creative enough. Maybe I expected everyone to hear the word “shapeshifter” and default to werewolves, and vampires, and Jekylls (oh my!) just like I tend to.

Instead, when it came time for the submission deadline, I found that I had a startling array of creative and vibrant characters to choose from. I received stories featuring shapeshifting cobras (which, being Canadian, aren’t really even on my animal radar, let alone my shapeshifter one), selkies, hawks, and dragons, etc. Instead of the lack of individuality I was so foolishly worried about, I got an incredible array of characters, history, mythology, and conflict. I got a set of stories from authors who come from all over the world and have perspectives regarding shapeshifters that I could never have even dreamed of.

Again, I know I’m being overdramatic here, but I think it’s really cool that I got to work with something far better than individual stories with no cohesive theme—I had the opportunity to work with stories that shared a kind of synergy. A synergy that showcases each voice much more dramatically than an anthology with no cohesion would. I think Transformed is worth reading for a great number of reasons, but I think, at least for me, one of its biggest charms is the opportunity it affords us to see how vastly different people interpret what it is to be a shapeshifter.

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