Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Averting Disaster - Back Up Your Files!

I had a miserable week because I decided to try to "fix" my computer and ended up breaking it beyond repair. Luckily, I backed up everything long beforehand. My computer is fixed now as of a few hours ago after being out of commission for over a week, hence this very short blog post. Here is my message:

Back Up Your Files!

1. Have a backup set up on a flash drive, separate server, zip discs, or other physical means.

2. Email yourself important documents as you work on them. Your email will preserve your work.

3. If you have access to the Cloud, use it.

4. Email your stuff to a close, trusted friend to keep it for you in case something horrid happens and you lose it.

5. Use a backup service if you wish but I don't really think it's necessary. It's also an added expense.

I'm lucky that I already back up everything like crazy. This mess could have been a real tragedy if I hadn't. My brief post is a friendly reminder to back up your documents and such to avoid losing valuable material.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Writer's Block Sucks

Writer’s Block. We’ve all heard of it. Heck, we’ve probably all had it, regardless of whether or not we’re a writer. Maybe we’ve experienced it trying to write a report at work, or for a school assignment. Maybe in trying to write up a grocery list.

As an author and university student, I’ve lost count the amount of times I’ve had writer’s block. Sometimes it only lasts a few hours. Usually, though, it’ll last weeks. Not at all conducive to getting many books written. Unfortunately, I'm neck deep in writer's block at the moment. Took me about two hours just to write this blog post!

There are many things can cause writer’s block. Stress is a large part of it, which has many causes of its own. Money, work, personal or family issues often get in the way of stress-free lives.

So what do you do when stress puts up walls that prevent you from writing?

Well, you could cut yourself off from everything and become a hermit. There are a few famous authors, and even painters, that shut themselves off to the world to focus on their craft.

Usually these days, however, that isn’t an option. Bills need paying, and family and friends are less likely to allow you to become a hermit. Believe me, I’ve tried!

So rather than trying to shut out everything that can cause writer’s-block-inducing-stress, instead try taking a time out; just a few minutes throughout the day to relax and take deep breaths. Close your eyes if you need to. Let your imagination start meandering through a peaceful scene, and you’ll be surprised just how quickly your writer’s block departs.

Another way to beat it is to just start writing. Let your mind wander like just mentioned, but write it down while it happens. Pretty soon, you’ll be making awesome progress, and as Stephen King once said when asked how he writes, “One word at a time.”

Making that effort every day to just write something, even if it’s just a list of groceries, or reminders of things to research or appointments to keep, questions to ask; it makes no difference of the what. It only matters that you write. 

Limiting distractions also helps, so try to avoid social media. Goodness knows I've lost hours on Facebook. So close that Internet tab and write!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Who Is Gemma Parkes?

From an early age English was my favourite subject. I am in love with the written word and hugely influenced by Shakespeare, Dickens and D. H. Lawrence. I appreciate peace and quiet when l write. I couldn’t possibly listen to music as l would focus on the instruments instead of my work. My day to day life slows down my creativity as it is often impossible (at the moment) for me to close myself off.
I have been writing all my life but have only specialised in Erotic fiction since 2011. I live a peaceful, but busy life in rural England. I have a beautiful view from my windows and as a result l tend to stare out and get distracted when l should be writing. Having said that, my garden can, on occasion, inspire me. My writing routine is not as organised as l would like it to be. Perhaps if l had a cleaner, cook and shopper l could devote more time. I would imagine this is the same for all my writing colleagues.
Writing in this genre brings with it a level of animosity which causes many of us, including myself, to hide behind a pseudonym. My family and friends know what genre l write in, but they do not know my pen name.
I am a freelance author who self publishes a large chunk of my work. This is because l enjoy the process of self publishing, it has its disadvantages of course, the editing which falls on my shoulders alone and the search for a cover design. I do send work to publishers and have many anthology inclusions (see below). I have been extremely happy with the publishers l have dealt with and am very proud to be associated with them and lucky enough to be included in anthologies bearing their name. I would like to write something longer than a novella and intend working on that some time in the future. For me though, short stories are so much fun to write and l love the variety and freedom it gives me.
I describe myself as a storyteller, l like to tell sexy stories about ordinary people. I don’t like being tied to one sub genre as my mind is always full of new situations and experiences.
I sympathise with some of my characters and of course, much of my opinion and emotion comes out throughout my writing. Do l have a favourite? I like Scott from ‘Pleasing Mia’. He is a really nice guy! The whole story is about His love for the seemingly unattainable Mia and we follow Scott through a multitude of emotion and self doubt.

On a weekend visit to a local nightclub, Scott, a quiet, good looking man, sets eyes on a beautiful girl dancing with complete abandonment on the dance floor. Everybody is watching her, though she seems oblivious to any attention she is receiving. The girl (Mia) is simply lost in the music.
When eventually circumstances lead her to succumb to his quiet charm Scott discovers Mia’s wild sexual nature is not restricted to the dance floor. As he struggles to keep up with her sexual prowess and ever changing moods Scott discovers a side of himself that he had not deemed possible. Pleasing Mia is by no means an easy accomplishment. Will Scott succeed?

Sunlight beamed through the pale roller blind adorning Scott’s small bedroom window and cast a warm ray on to Mia’s golden hair. Scott woke sleepily and glancing down, noticed that they had hardly moved all night. Mia was still lying with her head on his chest. With her arm wrapped around him, she looked just like a sleeping angel.
Scott glanced across to the alarm clock. It showed 8:30a m. He wondered briefly if she had to go to work and realised once again that he still knew very little about her. He wanted to make her coffee but knew that to do that he would have to disturb her. Right now he was happy to reflect in the brilliant shine her hair was affording him, mirrored only by the glow within his soul. Lifting his head he kissed the top of hers, tenderly. Mia stirred, and began to stroke his soft chest hair with her small hand. He could feel his morning erection and longed to reach down to stroke against it with a lazy but determined hand. There was no need, Mia had already found it and ran her fingers the full length of him. He groaned deeply as his cock twitched with appreciation.
“Good morning baby.” Scott murmured.
Her reply was a slow smile followed by her head lowering beneath the sheets towards her hand which was still gripping him tightly.
“Oh!” he gasped as her lips wrapped around him sliding him deep into her mouth.

Short Bio:

Gemma Parkes is a freelance writer from the UK who specializes mainly in Erotic fiction. Her writing covers a variety of sexual genres. Gemma enjoys fine wine, great food and the company of funny, intelligent people who love life as much as she does.

Previous publication credits include short stories with Ravenous Romance, Cleis Press, House of Erotica, Naughty Night's Press, Yellow Silk Dreams and many more...

Buy links:

Contact me:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

BLMorticia Interviews Michael Mandrake - ILIR Blogtour N'awlins Exotica

Good morning. Today my muses are playing together. Well okay, no not really but yes, BL is interviewing Michel Mandrake. And BL has some special news. Take it away muses. 

* * * *

BL: Hey peeps. This is BL on NNP’s blog, interviewing brother muse Michael Mandrake, but before I bring him in a bit of news. *drum roll* My book Under the Gun, that ironically used to be Michael’s has been contracted by Naughty Nights Press. This book has a hot couple, Camdyn and Malik. Malik is a former soldier while Camdyn is a PI looking for love and a new partner. Together they make up Hardy and Day. This small novella series will feature the twosome on big cases while they make sexy, hot love. *licks lips* I’ll be filling you in some more as the time comes but lets bring in brother muse, Michael Mandrake.

*audience claps*

MM: *Michael walks in, dressed in a three piece suit and tie. Smiles at the camera.* Hi there BL. Thanks so much for having me.

BL: No prob bro. So tell us about I Love it Rough, the sequel to I Like Em Pretty.

MM: Well, as you said, it is a continuation of Kajika and Frankie’s story, set in New Orleans about two men getting together after a tragic event occurs. This tale is a follow-up into their relationship but I add some suspense, murder, and some sexual tension that makes this book in my opinion better than the first. Its not a romance, more like a mystery, complete with a serial killer, unrest between the characters and of course Kajika himself who is also entertaining.

BL: Yes he is. He’s a piece of work. I caught his interview a few days ago. And what about the surprise you have planned?

MM: Well, I have a couple. One might not make some people too happy but the other should bring a smile to fans of Ryland and Ryder Durand. They’re making an appearance in this story. How do I do it? You’ll have to read to find out. *winks*

*Audeience oohs and aahs*

BL: Wow, bro. You sure you don’t want to give us a sneak peek?

MM: No, I can’t BL. Then it would take away a big part of the story.

BL: *pouts* Alright then Well tell us more about the series and how me an Rawiya fit into this.

MM: *smiles* Well you’re taking over the very spicy Kenina Porter
BL's book #3 Hell Hath No Fury

*audience boos*

MM: *Michael’s eyes widen* Now, now, Kenina is very nice. She just needs some TLC. BL is going to give her a great story too. She’s a woman scorned. And then you’re writing book 4 which will be Orrin’s story.

BL: Oh yeah, Orrin is the goods. *rubs hands together*

MM: And then Rawiya takes over book 5 with Naomi, then back to me with book 6. And actually you’ll be the first to know that there might be a book seven. I haven’t really made up my mind but another character in this series needs some TLC as well.

BL: Ooh, well I’m looking forward to it Michael. Kenina is a gal after my own heart. Now, last question, how would you summarize the N’awlins Exotica series in one word?

MM: *blinks* Just one? I’ll go for, saucy. *laughs* That’s the best way I can put it. Its exotic, erotic, chaotic, it’s… all of these and more. It’s really a fun collection and Im glad we’re all working on it together.

BL: Great bro. Well thanks for stopping in and folks if you haven’t checked out this series, please do. It is a blast!

*Audience cheers*


Livin’ in N’awlins ain’t all that easy…  

Kajika Fortier loves his job, the attention he gets from onlookers, and Frankie Choteau. However, his new partner’s jealousy, mood swings, and over protectiveness drives Kajika to the brink but at the same time, excites him to no end. To complicate things further, a murderer is on the loose looking for blood. All three of the killer’s victims are strippers which not only makes Frankie nervous about Kajika’s safety but leaves him questioning his love for being a homicide detective. Coupled with the stresses of cold cases as well as some fellow officers shunning him for coming out, Frankie is having second thoughts about staying in New Orleans. Despite the encouragement from Vance, Kenina, and Orrin as well as new chief Quinn Murray, Frankie is wondering if his life’s passion really is to catch the killers.  

Will the new couple survive these new issues that impede their nearly perfect union? Or will the relationship fail, thus leaving Kajika alone and a target for New Orleans latest serial killer? Detective Choteau and Kajika’s commitment to one another is being tested in more ways than one and they only have one another to lean on.


 Kajika stepped out of the tub, grabbing the towel nearby to dry off. He’d been looking forward to spending the night and the early part of the day with his man, but duty called, causing Frankie to run out the door without saying anything more than ‘I’m gone’ and ‘I love you’.

Damn job.

Sometimes Kajika wished Frankie worked a nine to five instead of the dreaded detective position he held at the police station. They hadn’t had much time with the workload being so large due to shortage of staff, and it affected their relationship more than Kajika would’ve liked. At first he thought he could handle it; the excitement of his hot homicide detective out in the streets solving murders. Such a dangerous career but with it came nice money and accolades. Although Kajika was scared to death of blood and dead bodies, he loved hearing about some of Frankie’s cases, including the more intriguing ones that had yet to be solved. Tonight though, he would’ve traded all that in for his Frankie to be by his side.

In bed with me, where he should be.

Kajika finished wiping down and wrapped himself in his terry cloth robe to get ready for bed. He’d thought about staying up and watching some television, hoping that Frankie might return sooner than later, but he knew the truth. When called in, detectives don’t make it back home within a couple of hours. More like a few hours, or even half the day, would pass before he’d see his man again. As long as he came home safe, Kajika would deal with the amount of hours he spent away from their warm bed in Kenner, Louisiana.
On the way to the bedroom, Kajika wrapped his hair in the towel, drying his long strands. He glanced at the clock on the wall and grimaced when he noticed the big and small hand hovering over the two.
“Shit. Now I know I won’t see you until breakfast.” Kajika clicked his teeth and stomped on the trail of rose petals, angered by their night being interrupted. He pushed their bedroom door closed and leaned against the wood. “Damnit. We haven’t done a whole lot other than late night cuddling, quickies in the bathroom or on the kitchen floor. I need more than that, Frankie…I need−”

A long buzz sounded from the dresser, and Kajika moved quickly to see who was calling.


Frankie, or at least Kajika hoped it was, calling him with the news he’d be returning home sooner than expected. Although farfetched, Kajika could still wish his husband to be back early. He gulped hard and said a little prayer before clicking the connect button. “Hello?”

Silence then a sigh. “Babe, it’s me… I… I got some real bad news to tell you, sweetheart, but I’d rather you hear it from me as opposed to anyone else.”

Kajika released a deep breath and shrugged. “Are you okay, love? Something bothering−”

“Naw, I’m good, boo, but−” Frankie stopped a moment and blew hard through the phone.

Kajika plopped on the bed and crossed his legs, wondering what the heck his man was talking about. Bad news? What could it possibly be? Kajika nibbled on his bottom lip while he toyed with the frayed threads on his housecoat. “What is it, lover?”

“Babe, the murder I got called in for was…” Frankie ceased speaking again and sounded a little choked up about it.

Kajika held his breath and blinked twice in succession. “Who Frankie? Come on, just spit it out, right…who…”

“Lana Miles, babe. Lana’s been strangled to death.” Frankie spoke quickly to get the words out.

Kajika stared straight ahead, and his heart caught in his chest. Oh my God! Unable to cope with what he’d just heard, he dropped his phone and immediately the tears welled under his eyelids. Lana? Oh my God, who killed her? She was a good person…she…

“Kajika? Babe, you there? You okay, love? Talk to me, honey.”


Overall Series Blurb
The N’awlins Exotica/Paranormal series
The city of New Orleans is rich in tradition, diverse, and known for the inspiration it provides. In the “Big Easy” there lies the hunger for the erotic as well as the unknown. The residents here feel that sexual energy and it reveals itself through their various creative activities.
Join the characters as they take a wild ride on the edge, enjoying their town for all it has to offer. There’s a certain magic in the air, an erotic magic that cannot be ignored.

To find out more about book one, I Like Em Pretty, click the banner

Follow the blogtour for more chances to win


One winner receives:
1 ebook copy of ILIR

1 Coffee Mug

1 Starbucks Gift Card
Bag of Beads from New Orleans
1 All Romance Gift Card
1 N'awlins T Shirt
Jewelry Inspired by N'awlins Exotica
Booksmarks, Postcards, and pens from Sharita Lira/Muses

Blogstops ILIR
2/22 Mantasy Remmy Duchene
3/8   JC Wallace
3/9   Chris T Kat
3/10 LM Brown
* * * *
About the Author and the muse

Michael Mandrake pens complex characters already comfortable with their sexuality. Thorough these, he builds worlds not centered on erotica but rather the mainstream plots we might encounter in everyday life through personal experiences or the media. To find out more please visit http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com

Author Sharita Lira: In one word, crazy. Just crazy enough to have 3 different muses running around in her head, driving her to sheer exhaustion with new plot bunnies and complex characters. This happily married mother of two beautiful children loves music, computers, reading, and still enjoys reading and writing fanfiction. She’s a proud member of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association, as well as an advocate for rights of LGBT citizens.  She’s also a contributor to the heavy metal ezine Fourteeng.net.

 For more information, please visit http://www.thelitriad.com as well as her Facebook fanpage, The Literary Triad.

The Literary Triad - http://www.thelitriad.com/#!

Michael Mandrake – http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com  

BLMorticia – http://blmorticia.wordpress.com  

Rawiya - http://rawiyaerotica.wordpress.com  

TriadPromo - http://triadliteraryworks.blogspot.com/  

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