Friday, 31 December 2010

Book Review - Home is the Sailor by Lee Rowan

Home Is the SailorHome Is the Sailor by Lee Rowan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

WARNING: Review contains Spoilers







I enjoyed this tale of Will and Davy, though I found it less engaging than previous tales in the series (I could actually put this book down, and it lasted me nearly a week rather than just a day like the others in this series), probably because it is mostly set on land and the lads are thus at slightly less peril in pursuing their relationship.

It has the feel of a detective novel rather than an historical romance, and whilst I enjoyed the unfolding of the plot I was never uncertain of whodunnit or why. It was satisfying to see the culprit get his comeuppance, though. The book left me on a down, though, because the love story of Will and Davy pretty much gets resolved / shelved at the end of it. I think I sensed that from the start, given both the title and the comments the author has made elsewhere, and that may be why it took me 4 months to get around to reading it. I have adored the characters, and though it's nice to see them get their happy ending, I'm terribly sad that it means I won't get to read about them again. I'll miss waiting for 'the next exciting episode'.

View all my reviews

Saturday, 18 December 2010

The Down Side of Christmas

I am very aware that Christmas brings with it a high rate of suicides. Please, if you are down over the holidays, don't choose this option. No matter what you are feeling right now, you are an important part of the universe and very much needed here.

I especially want to tell those who are low because of gender issues that you are very loved, no matter what you have heard or what treatment you have received from bigots or from those in your family who cannot see you for the beautiful person you really are. You deserve to live and to have the chance to find love and acceptance. Please don't take away that right from yourself.

If you are in Manchester you can start your search for help at the LGF in Manchester.

If you are LGBT and in need of help and are in London try here: 020 7837 7324 (daily 10am -11pm)

If you are in Wales the LGBT Cymru Helpline is 0800 840 28069

Or try here at the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association.

I have Seasonally Affected Disorder, OCD Hoarding, Depression and Anxiety issues. I know how horrendously down this time of year can get people because I've been there myself. The black dog loves to come nipping at my heals at this time of the year, and I did ring the Samaritans on Boxing Day once.

In the UK dial 08457 90 90 90. In the Republic of Ireland dial 1850 60 90 90.

Or visit the Samaritans website for more info

If you are not in Britain, the Befrienders website tells of help available worldwide.

Stay safe and cling to hope. If you're alive something can always be done. Blessed Be.

Friday, 10 December 2010


I would like to direct my fellow authors to this excellent blog posting from D J Manly.

I am not terribly 'au fait' with the jargon writers use to define themselves. Recently I have started saying I write Romantica (Romantic Erotica), I write M/M Romance. I write smut. I write soft porn. I write not-so-soft porn. I write Romance, I write Love Stories. I write Science-Fiction. I write Fan Fiction. I write Historical Romance. I write Fantasy. I write Horror. I write Adventure Stories. I write Thrillers. I wish to hell I could write a good Police Procedural (Ed McBain is my hero). I WRITE. Don't care what your opinion is of the genres I write in, I just care about the quality, content and ethics of what I produce. I like to see the English language used well, correctly, expressively, thought-provokingly. I'm a spelling, grammar, punctuation and proof-reading hard-liner.

Just me off on a little rant, because I hate people who point at others and sneer in order to inflate their own egos. Grow up and get over yourselves, cos you aint all that honeys!

Thanks to D J Manly for voicing what quite a few authors have been thinking and feeling lately.

(First published by me on The Artisan Author.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Projects Update

I'm back at my day job now, but it hasn't stopped me writing and formulating plans for new stories. This month I am Beta-ing and editing for my dear friend Jessie Blackwood, who has been working on finishing her next novel, the working title of which is 'Written Into His Heart'. We have also been writing background for our joint venture, a M/M romance with a sci-fi bent. I've been writing some Torchwood stuff (Alternate Universe)for personal amusement too, some of which may eventually turn up on my FanFiction page, which I must apologise for not updating for some time now.

I've also been reading tons, as you may have gathered. My top writers at the moment are (in no particular order) Lee Rowan, Cameron Dane and Syd McGinley. I'm also loving A.B.Gayle, Jessie Blackwood and the 'Bodyguards in Love' series by Carol Lynne.

My current 'Most Wanted' is Syd McGinley's 'Pink:Dolorosa' and my present read is a splendid non-fiction book, 'Mother Clap's Molly House: The Gay Subculture in England 1700-1830', by Rictor Norton. I also today, to my delight, picked up a second hand copy of 'Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story' by Paul Monette.

All of the books mentioned in this post are available from Amazon UK or direct from the publishers (DreamSpinner Press, Torquere Press, Cheyenne Publishing, Noble Romance Publishing, Loose Id, Silver Publishing).

Monday, 6 December 2010

Haven Falls Update

Those of you who have been reading the 'soap' which is the Haven Falls free read may have noticed that it's writers have been on a break for some time now. The blog owner, Remmy Duchene, has had a lot of stuff to deal with in the 'real' world and this has left the blog somewhat in limbo. Too, various contributors have either also had 'Life' or have been writing to deadlines for publication, or working on other 'paying gigs'.

Remmy has now posted the following message to readers:

>>>HAVEN FALLS IS CURRENTLY GOING THROUGH MAJOR UPDATES AND CHANGES. PLS VISIT US AGAIN IN THE NEW YEAR FOR MORE! lt;<.. After much deliberation, I've decided to start Haven Falls over. The new and improved Haven Falls will be unveiled in the new year. Please check back then.

I have decided to take down my stories for now, until it's clearer how the site will be moving forward. I do, though, feel that the Haven Falls Project is a terrific idea and I hope to contribute further in the new year, either with my existing characters or with someone new for you to grow fond of. I wish Remmy and the other HF writers all the best for Xmas and the New Year. Will see you all, readers of HF included, soon, all being well.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

More of the fabulous Syd McGinley

Dr. Fell Volume II: FoundDr. Fell Volume II: Found by Syd McGinley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am now a huge fan of Syd McGinley's work. This second volume of the collected Dr. Fell stories is fabulously true to 'Lifestyle' (BDSM) and to 'power exchange' relationships (D/s)- not the BS the 'in crowd' would like you to believe, but the honest 24/7 stuff. Dr.Fell, whilst being a Dominant, is also human. He lives, loves, loses, finds, cocks-up, makes up; in short he is realistic and believable.

Please have a read, especially if you want to understand BDSM or D/s. This is an accurate reportage as well as a damn fine series of novels. Start with Volume 1 though if you haven't already read it.

View all my reviews

Terrific M/M BDSM read by Syd McGinley

The Complete Dr. Fell Volume I: LostThe Complete Dr. Fell Volume I: Lost by Syd McGinley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this book! I read one heck of a lot of M/M stuff and this stands out in the crowd. It provides an accurate, realistic portrayal of 'power exchange' relationships (D/s) and the meaning they have for those involved. I like Dr. Fell because he's human, flawed, trying his best to deal with grief and has friends around him who are both true and loving.

This isn't an instant gratification novel(though there is plenty of sex to keep it floating if that's your interest). It's a biography for a fictional character, and at times it feels more like a collection of short stories assembled in chronological order. (If you have bought any of the short stories as e-books previously you will find that they repeat here, but the book is a great read and can be had in paperback format - I adore owning REAL books!).

If you liked this then you will definitely love the next, 'Dr.Fell Volume Two: Found'. Trying myself to acquire 'Pink: Dolorosa' presently but struggling to locate a copy. Thank you Syd for a terrific set of believable characters and a down to earth setting that works so well.

View all my reviews

Saturday, 13 November 2010

15 in 15 minutes

This is a literary meme... List 15 authors who have influenced your writing in 15 minutes. These are mine, only there are more than 15 of them and it's taken me more than 15 minutes to collect them together:

Influences on my Erotic Romance writing in particular

A.B. Gayle, Jessie Blackwood, Lee Rowan,
Cameron Dane, Remmy Duchene, A.N. Roquelaure,
Russell T. Davies, Galadriel1010, wereleopard,
Leslie Feinberg, Andrea Speed, J.J. Levesque,
Dhillon Khol, Angl and Rina, Elizabeth A.Lynn,
0lizzybennet0, JonesIantoJones, Night's Darkness,
JerBearThompson, Jack Rinella, Jay Wiseman.

Other Influences on my writing as a whole

C.S.Lewis, Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton,
Alan Dean Foster, Melody, Anonymous,
Mark Rein-Hagen, Tanith Lee, Ursula Le Guin,
Dan Abnett, James Goss, Carl R. Rogers, Wendy Pini,
Steven Moffatt, Joss Wheedon, Roger Lancelyn Green,
Gareth David-lloyd, W.S.Gilbert, Dodie Smith,
Marion Zimmer-Bradley, L.M. Boston, Paul Mather,
Mary Norton, Ed McBain, Mo Hayder, Lynn Abbey,
Robert Asprin, H.P. Lovecraft, Marc Torley,
Terry Nation, Rashid Mhar, Chuck Palahniuk,
Mark Rein-Hagen, Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis,
Jamie Delano.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Haven Falls - Please give us some feedback!

After 200 blog stories, many in the 3000+ word mark, Haven Falls, the free online soap created by Remmy Duchene is having a short break. The twelve authors involved (including yours truly) would love feedback from readers via the latest blog post.

Haven Falls - GLBTQ Soap Opera, an online rpg storytelling project

If you haven't been reading at Haven Falls, now is a good time to catch what has already been written in preparation for when we start writing again, which should be around mid-December, all being well.

If you are an author and would like to join us, contact Remmy Duchene via the Haven Falls blog.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Truth in the Dark

It's a pity this post will push the picture of GDL off the front of the blog, but I feel the need to share a book I am reading. It is 'Truth in the Dark' by Amy Lane, published by DreamSpinner Press.

It's also available from Amazon as a Kindle product. (You don't have to own a Kindle to access Kindle books, they offer a free download of the required software for PCs).

Here's my favourite excerpt so far (the character is a wood carver):

I was terrified of my weakness, of my sharp tongue, of my every flaw. I was terrified that this moment, my chance to live in happiness for however short a time we may have had,would be ruined because I was simply not carved out of the same wood as happiness, and that my grain was too twisted to ever take its form.

I think that's one of the most beautiful passages I ever read in a M/M Romance. The story is very captivating, especially if you like to wonder what will happen next and you enjoy the 'fairy tale' genre. Get it, read it, love it!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Much as I adore Gareth David-Lloyd, the man's choice of underwear could be improved. Quite why he had dropped his pants at a convention I am unsure, though doubtless naughty fangirls provoked the move. Good on you, girls! Beautiful legs, Gareth. I so envy GDL's lady!

Why am I publishing this pic here? Well, first I haven't seen it before. Secondly, we writers need our muses, our inspirations, and Gareth David-lloyd is one of my favourites. Where do I get my ideas? From pictures like this and men like GDL.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

On the Subject of Sex, (Wales and Anarchy)


This is Blue Gillespie, fronted by Gareth David-Lloyd (the talented actor, singer and songwriter who played Ianto Jones in Torchwood). This is my favourite BG song, and I have the joyful memory of Gareth singing it at the gig at Manchester's Ruby Lounge (affectionately referred to as 'the tit gig'), where the delightful man was wearing less...

This performance was at Sex Wales and Anarchy (1), apparently, which is an annual event Gareth devised to promote unsigned talent in Wales. The song is called Bam Bam.

Buy Blue Gillespie stuff off Amazon UK and see them on You Tube, My Space, Twitter and Facebook and on their own website.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Harvey - Tribute to a Pookah

This is a still from my most favourite film ever, the wonderful 'Harvey', starring James Stewart and the pookah Harvey, white rabbit extraordinaire.

Thanks to swbsam at PelicanParts for the image.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

More images for Lyle

These are two further images I associate with Lyle Ashley Tate, my character for Haven Falls.

I've picked these images up via Kei Chan's Facebook albums, so if you own them and would prefer if I took them down please let me know.


Thursday, 30 September 2010

The Game's Afoot

Time for you to go take a look at Haven Falls, if you haven't done so already. There's a plot blossoming involving my character, Lyle. You'll learn more about who Lyle is and what his history is as well as see him put in serious jeopardy!

Transexual hero, mild-mannered mortician, sexual adventurer, mystery man; Lyle Ashley Tate is all of these things and more, so follow his story at Haven Falls.

Haven Falls

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Michael James Romano, Haven Falls Resident

I have a new character over in Haven Falls. His name is Mike Romano. This picture is the nearest I have found to how I imagine Mike to look. I'm afraid I can't recall where I found it, so if it's yours and you want me to credit you or to take it down please leave a message. Likewise, if you know who the gorgeous man in this picture is please let me know; I suspect he's an actor, but I'm not sure.

Mike is 35, 6ft 7ins tall, with short, spikey, salt and pepper hair and an anchor-shaped beard. He's an ex- NYPD cop and sports an NYPD tattoo on his left shoulder and a 9/11 commemoration tattoo on his right shoulder.

Mike and Asher Rose are good friends. He started as Asher's bodyguard at red carpet events and is now his Chief of Security at his nightclub, Renegade Steele.

Mike likes swimming, sunbathing and dating both gorgeous men and hot women.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Lyle Ashley Tate

This is the image I now think of as Lyle. I've not been able to find out the original source of the photo, so if you own it please let me know. I'd love to be able to credit you. This is Lyle when he is dressed for work. He's a mortician.

Toughest Writing Task Yet

Yesterday I finished writing what proved to be the toughest Haven Falls entry I've written thus far. Indeed, it was the toughest piece of writing I've done anywhere as an adult to-date. There must have been about 15 versions of the text for 'Haven Falls #169 - Coming...To Blows'.

What made it tough? Well, for me the hardest part was writing with sensitivity and awareness of my intended audiences. Haven Falls is mean to be a way for the participating authors to 'give back' to their fans in a fun way, through the genre of Soap Opera. My primary audience, then, is my fanbase and that of the other authors participating in the Haven Falls project. I should know what my own fans want, right?

Too, though, I am aware of how much criticism has been levelled recently by the LGBT community towards authors of M/M Romance. I at least, in my writing for Haven Falls and elesewhere, seek to make tales that 'ring true' for those who share the orientation and lifestyles of my characters. This subset of readers are a group I am especially keen to court and to have to like my work, because this is my own community.

Maybe I made a rod for my own back when I chose to portray a transgendered character in this online roleplay, a character that has hidden depths, scary secrets, a complex history and who will have to face many challenges as his story unfolds. When I roleplay though I use my characters to explore the world, either theirs or my own. Lyle Ashley Tate is no exception to this.

I love Lyle. I admire him. I don't always like him, but he's important to me. I desire that my characters, including Lyle, are 'authentic', and that is also part of why this piece of text was so hard to write.

Whilst I don't consider that being 'PC' is something a writer should be constrained by, I also have a terrific depth of feeling towards the LGBT community. How was I, then, to write a piece that met my own needs as a writer and those of my character without stirring up a hornets nest?

I'm hoping that the version of the text which finally was posted comes close to fulfilling all of my goals in writing it. I wanted to progress Lyle's story whilst taking the opportunity that story offers to encourage empathy and understanding in my non-TG readers for transgendered persons and to do honour to those who are TG. Take a look, please, and leave me some feedback, either here or over on the HF website, but bear in mind I still have bruised ribs and a ringing in my ears from going ten rounds with this text!

The character of Lyle Ashley Tate is dedicated to my former partners Scrimshaw, Heather and Luvbnd, with much love.

Recommended Reads

I have been workng with A B Gayle on joint entries to the Haven Falls website. I've been impressed by Gayle's skill as a writer and the commitment shown to quality in writing. Indeed it is as a result of these conversations with A B Gayle that I decided to start my 'annexe' blog, The Artisan Author (see previous post).

I'd like to recommend the following texts to you all:

'Caught', by A B Gayle, available from 22nd September from DreamSpinner Press.

'Mardi Gras', by A B Gayle, available now from Noble Romance Publishing

I'm not going to provide any spoilers here. Go take a look at A B Gayle's website and you'll find excerpts and other information about all this author's works. Gayle writes engaging, well-informed, contemporary, thought-provoking stories. I adored both of the above tales and look forward to reading more. Gayle also writes non-fiction and is a sensitive and proficient editor, as well as being a very interesting and eloquent raconteur and friend.

The Artisan Author

I have opened an 'annexe' to this, my primary writing blog. I have named the annexe 'The Artisan Author'. Whilst this blog is where I talk about what I am writing and how it is going, where to access my stories and how readers can contact me or meet me at a signing, the annexe is where I intend to catalog some of the influences on my work and analyse or review some of the texts which I feel I have learned from as an author. The intent is to share what I have learnt with other aspiring authors, and perhaps others will in turn share with me.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

A Thank You To My Readers and Co-Authors

I posted a new chapter for one of my FanFiction stories this evening and already, just 3 hours later, I have had 96 hits on it. Thank you to everyone who is reading my stuff over at FanFiction. I love writing Janto stuff for you all.

As noted previously, I've posted on HF again too, and will be adding to what is there later this week. I'd like to thank the readers of Haven Falls for supporting the project. I am loving participating in it.

Please do comment on what you read, it helps me to improve my work and gives that all important sense of who my readers are and what they want.

Special thanks to my fellow authors at Haven Falls too, in particular A.B. Gayle, Andrea Speed and Jessie Blackwood for their insights, prose, roleplay and friendship. Thanks to Remmy Duchene and Lee Owens for all the behind the scenes slog too.

Keep reading please everyone!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Haven Falls - Cats Climbing Out of Bags

If you've been following Haven Falls you'll know now one of the secrets Lyle had been keeping. I hope what I am writing over there rings true for people currently. The subject matter is dear to my heart, since I was once the partner of a trans-gendered person.

Writing Lyle's story is proving to be challenging. I don't want to preach, especially not to the choir, but I want people to understand him and his issues, his pain, his joy and his aspirations. I thank my co-writer, Jessie Blackwood, for giving Lyle a date with Gil. I thank Gil for being so considerate, broad-minded and curious, and for having the eyes to see Lyle as he truly is.

Lyle's had good fortune in finding Gil, even if it is just a one night stand; I know not all TG people are as lucky. If you find yourself in a situation similar to Lyle's, I wish you much success and love.

Just as a side bar to the topic, in response to a recent article in 'Out', not all trangendered people feel the need to transition, to change their bodies. It's okay to be TG and NOT go for surgery. Please god don't feel pressured to indulge in hormone treatment and devastatingly expensive (and not always successful) life-threatening procedures just to fit the perceived model of 'how to be TG'!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Haven Falls Developments

A follow up to the last posting has gone up at Haven Falls. Lots of hints this time about who and what Lyle is, so if you are curious about him you will want to read this latest post (Number 94).

Speaking of Haven Falls, Andrea Speed, Jessie Blackwood and I have a shared new character on the books. Remmy Duchene, the GM for the HF online roleplay game, greed we could write him together and accepted the character concept before the embargo on any further new characters went into effect. He is called Griffin Davies. Not surprisingly, he is Welsh. We'll be introducing him shortly.

Haven Falls has a very varied population actually, reflecting the international nature of the authors involved. We have a fair few American writers, of course, but Brits and Australians also feature strongly. Follow the link on the blogroll to check it out.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

'Per Ardua' released 13th August

My best friend and co-author, Jessie Blackwood, has her first novel coming out on August 13th 2010. It's a M/M Romance set in World War 2. The heroes are a wounded airman and his manservant.

I know Jessie has at least three other books in the pipeline at the moment. One of these I have already mentioned, working title 'Shunted', which we are co-writing. Another is a sequel for 'Per Ardua'. The third is a modern-day M/M Romance. Plus, she is currently also participating in Haven Falls. Her work also includes fanfiction, so go check her out at the FanFiction website too.

Jessie's book will be available from DreamSpinner Press in both paperback and e-book format from 13th August.

More Haven Falls news

The date has rolled over at Haven Falls, and my character is getting properly stuck in to his new job as an assistant mortician when he witnesses a bit of a to-do between his boss, Henry Vale, and someone else he recently met at a party...

The plot-lines at HF are terrific, and things are really starting to rock for certain characters. Go have a read. Check out Flynn Archer, Asher Rose and Carter Gillespie for a start. And I will modestly direct you to my own character too, Lyle Ashley Tate. If you click on a tag it will bring up all the entries for the person concerned. They'll be in reverse order chronologically though, so read them from bottom up if you are easily confused !

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Ongoing projects - Update July 2010

I'm still participating in the wonderfully good fun RPG of Haven Falls. I'm also elbow-deep in a new writing project, with Jessie Blackwood as my co-author. the project's rough working title is 'Shunted'. It's a M/M Romance in the science fiction genre. It's shaping up nicely, though it looks like it's going to be a LONG story!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

So many projects, so little brain

Okay, so the Whitby story is on hold whilst I do research to back it up. Other stuff I'm doing at present...

Doing the preparatory work for co-authoring a sci-fi / romance with my bestest friend Jessie Blackwood.

Squeeing over the fact that Jessie is about to have her first novel published by DreamSpinner Press.

Trying to get my head around the mechanics of 'Haven Falls' so that I can play. Looks like a very exciting and interesting project. Check it out at

Wishing I was better at writing sex scenes. Practising this. (Oh I so love to practise this!).

Getting my head around TG stuff as part of research for writing a new character.

Working on my US english so that I remember to write 'trash can' rather than 'dustbin' and 'sidewalk' instead of 'pavement' when I am writing a US-based story.

Reading lots of m/m romance and quite a bit of non-fiction stuff about gender issues, being bi-sexual, counselling, writing and other topics of interest in my real life.

So, still writing, just spreading myself a bit thin if I want to actually finish anything right now...

Friday, 21 May 2010

Current Projects - May 2010

I periodically write short fan fiction pieces for the 'Torchwood' fandom on FanFiction. My favourite characters there are Ianto and Captain Jack.

I am presently writing a gay erotic romance set in the Northern fishing town of Whitby. I love Yorkshire and Lancashire and most of my writing is set there, or on other planets which spring from my fertile imagination.

I also act as best friend, collaborator, editor and PA for the talented Ms Jessie Blackwood, whose first novel will be in print, courtesy of DreamSpinner Press, shortly.

First Strokes

I am a writer, an artist, and fan of and participant in so many things it's hard to list them. I am an omnisexual, polyamorous female. I maintain numerous blogs, each one addressing different aspects of who I am and how I live my life. This particular blog will focus on my work as a writer.

I write fanfiction, poetry and short stories. Like the rest of the world, I am working on my novel(s) too. I enjoy writing science fiction and fantasy. I am a Scorpio, so I, most of all, enjoy to write abour sex - no surprise there then! I also write about love, romance, angst/comfort, and gender identity issues. I write under three names, 'Katisha Morish', 'MsKatisha' and 'Krekta'.

If you are interested in the 'omnisexual, polyamorous...' aspects of my life you might find my 'Gender Irrelevant' blog of interest, too.

Welcome to my blog.

To read my fan fiction, go to:

Some original writings will be posted here, at least up until I get my finger out and put up a proper website.

If you're one of my readers and you'd like to contact me, leave me a message and I'll get back to you.