Tuesday, 24 May 2011


Rocked - my paranormal erotic romance comes out with Loose-Id today!!

Blurb for ROCKED by Barbara Elsborg

The Rock

Desired by men and women, Eli’s good looks make sexual conquest easy until he attends a party at the Supernatural Museum, where they land him in deep trouble. He says no to the wrong women, and his punishment is to learn the ultimate meaning of loneliness.

The Stone Maiden

Much to her family’s disappointment, not only is Pepper single but she works a hard and dirty job as an apprentice stonemason. Pepper loves bringing stone to life with her chisel but struggles with the isolation that comes with being different. Then there’s her attraction to her boss, Alessandro, who appears to prefer men. When Eli materializes out of nowhere, Pepper can hardly believe her eyes. Now she’s caught between a rock and a hard place.

The Hard Place

His hands hardened by years training to become a master stonemason, Alessandro is an expert at his craft, but not in matters of the heart. A daily frustration when he’s in hopelessly in love with Pepper and the man of his dreams has disappeared. As Alessandro’s team begins to restore the Supernatural Museum, he, Pepper, and Eli are drawn into the building’s secrets and risk losing everything they hold dear.


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

What is a writer?

I've always had a vivid imagination and can remember when I stayed with my best friend telling her stories in which we were the main protagonists. Going to bed and resuming whatever tale we were involved in was often more exciting than the time spent mooching about the small seaside village where she lived. However this storytelling wasn't translated into physical writing until I was in my late twenties. Being trapped in a rural cottage with a small child, and no such thing as daytime TV in those days, I started to write a steamy romance just for myself. I was the heroine and became totally absorbed in the story pouring out my frustrations and fantasies in this book. It was then I decided that I was a writer and one day my books would be published and other people could read my stories too.
This is my personal list of what makes a writer.
1. To be a good writer you have to be articulate. If you've ever been to a writing conference/festival/or an RNA party, the first thing you hear is people talking. They're not gossiping, they are sharing writing experiences, explaining the latest plot of their books, bemoaning the state of the publishing industry or giving an unpublished writer some sound advice. (Of course – a certain amount of gossip will no doubt be shared as well.) I've never met a writer who couldn't talk fluently.
2. A writer also has to be able to listen. This might seem a contradiction as we are all such big talkers but if someone is talking then there must be someone listening. It's essential for a writer to observe in order to make their characters real.
3. A writer has to be single-minded. It's a lonely occupation – many hours spent in front of the computer. It's especially hard in the summer when it would be far more pleasant to the outside. Sometimes the book itself will drive you on and it will be hard to drag yourself away even to have a cup of coffee. At other times its deadlines, editors, or agents that keep you pinned to the keyboard.
4. You have to be borderline obsessive about writing. House work, sleep, food, socialising, even family become secondary when you're in the middle of a project. It doesn't matter if this particular manuscript never sees the light of day or is sent to a publish – writing it consumes you totally.
5. A writer must love what they do for its own sake and not for the monetary rewards. Believe me many of us could earn considerably more working in a supermarket. Being published is fantastic but the real reward is knowing thousands of readers are sharing, and hopefully enjoying, your story.
6. It is inevitable that you face rejection and bad reviews. There are very few of us who sent out the first manuscript to an agent or editor to receive an immediate offer to represent all publish. Therefore, another thing the writer needs is a thick skin and an optimistic approach to life. You must always believe that if one book fails the next one will be successful.

This is my personal take on what makes a writer. I think of all these points the most crucial is that you write because you have to, because you can't stay away from the keyboard. Of course we all want to be paid for our work, to be recognised as good at our craft, but for the vast majority of us this isn't why we write. We would do it anyway – being published is a bonus.
It used to be said that money should only go one way – to you – the writer. That you should never pay to have your book published; if it is good enough it will be picked up eventually. With the arrival of Kindle self-publishing has never been easier. Of course you will pay a professional editor and artist to prepare your script and cover. This is quite different from paying a vanity publisher and ending up with a garage full of unwanted hard backs.
If you have any other definitions of hat makes a writer I should love to hear them.
Fenella Miller

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Why There are Werewolves in Cambridge

Werewolves.  Creatures of the id; a metaphor for our darkest desires.  They prowl around the lonely forests of middle Europe; they skulk in the darkened alleyways of nameless cities.  And sometimes they pop along to a Cambridge College and take a turn around Main Court.


Perhaps the hallowed halls of an ancient university aren't the most obvious places to go looking for ravening beasts.  Then again, thinking back to some of the public schoolboys I used to know...

Ahem.  Getting back on track: why did I set Camwolf, my tale of dark desires and inhuman creatures, in Cambridge?

Part of it, obviously, is that I love the place.  I can remember, in my first term as a student, cycling around the old buildings just thinking how incredibly lucky I was to be there.
But the other reason is the very contradiction of the idyllic surroundings housing some very sinister goings-on.  Still waters run deep, as they say.  (If that's the case, it's a wonder Cambridge punt poles don't have to be fifty feet long.)  It's the same reasoning behind hugely popular (and recently controversial) TV show Midsomer Murders, which features beautiful, genteel English country villages with a far worse crime rate than any of our inner cities.
Of course, a recognition that quaint, rural settings may hide a multitude of sins is nothing new.  Ann Radcliffe, in books such as The Mysteries of Udolpho, which was famously parodied by Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey, more-or-less equated naturally beautiful surroundings with Gothic horror.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stated it explicitly:

It is my belief Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside. 
-       Sherlock Holmes, in The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

Indeed, there's now a whole genre of "cosy" thrillers, from Agatha Christie's Miss Marples to Charlie Cochrane's Cambridge Fellows series, where the settings are for the most part, rural, the characters, well-mannered—and the crimes no less dark than any city might dubiously boast.

It seems we all love to think that, under the surface, things might just not be what they seem...


Camwolf, by JLMerrow
Now available in e-book from Samhain Publishing, or on Kindle.

To save his lover, he must become his own worst nightmare.

Dr. Nick Sewell. Non-conformist. Werewolf. The first puts him at odds with his colleagues’ idea of how an All Saints College lecturer should behave. The second, bestowed upon him by an ex-boyfriend, puts him at odds with himself.

There’s his tendency to change into a wolf on the full moon. And his visceral attraction to Julian Lauder, a troubled young German student. Despite his determination not to act on his desire, Nick’s brutal response to seeing Julian with another man frightens them both. At first.

Then Nick learns that Julian is not only a naturally submissive werewolf, but one who has learned better how to deal with just being a werewolf. That explains the attraction, but it doesn’t make it any easier when the tables are turned, and Julian—once the student—is now teaching Nick…who still isn’t happy about conforming to the “werewolf way”.

Meanwhile, reports of a strange wolf stalking the town barely register on Nick’s radar—until Julian disappears. Accusing eyes—both wolf and human—are turned toward Nick. Even with the help of friends, hope is growing as cold as the kidnapper’s trail. Unless Nick gives free rein to the wolf’s inhuman power…  
Warning: Contains hot outdoor sex, alliterative insults, allusions to abuse, and really awful sherry.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Stunning review for 'Self's Blossom' by David Russell

David Russell is delighted to share this new stunning review for his story, 'Self's Blossom' on the British Romance Fiction blog. Here it is:

From Miz Loves Books

First off, I’d like to make it clear to readers that Selene, for me, didn’t come across as the usual romance heroine. If you expect to like her a lot, you may be disappointed. I, however, loved her because she isn’t your usual romance heroine. I saw her as conceited, vain, totally self-absorbed, and a pure delight for being this way.

She knows she looks good, knows her workouts have given her a body most women would envy, and the kind of woman she is was portrayed perfectly with this line: Selene had a far better body than the mousy little model in the photograph. While this isn’t something you might expect a romance heroine to think of herself, I loved it because she was made real by Mr Russell creating her this way. We have all thought things like this, perhaps not about our bodies, but about other things—I have a nicer hairstyle than her…I have a better car than her…I have prettier eyes than her—and Selene’s inner thoughts, of which there are many, gave me a glimpse into one of the realest women I’ve ever read. She was human, with, in my opinion, many flaws that might make her distasteful to some, but by God, she riveted me with her self-absorption and brutal honesty.

She goes on holiday alone, and I liked the way the book showed what was happening now but also took me into her mind, showing me memories and why she acted the way she did. I didn’t feel any sympathy for her at any time, just accepted she is like she is and let myself be sucked in by the way she thinks and acts. She’s a breath of fresh air, a person who has the courage to say what she thinks and damn the consequences, and also to think what she does with no remorse whatsoever.

The writing is very good, a touch of literary with an almost languid air to it that gives you the feeling it is slow-paced but it actually isn’t. I think it’s the dreamy state it gives you that creates that slow-moving feeling, and this is not a negative in any way. I loved the way it coasted along like that, where her thoughts and memories came into play and showed me Selene’s psyche. It’s a delve into the mind and life of a woman who knows what she wants and plots to get it. Although she plots, it never came across as malicious plotting. She went on holiday to meet someone, to ensnare them and have glorious sex with them—she makes that clear right from the start—and she is going to get it.

She has a sexual encounter on the beach with a young man—not in her plan at all because it didn’t play out quite as she envisaged—and she knew it was wrong. Not wrong that she had sex, but wrong for her, for her plan, and she walks away afterwards knowing the man is distraught she has gone but…oh, she’s so blasé in that she shrugs it off somewhat and continues on her original mission.

She meets Hudson, and here is where her plan comes fully into play. She is a manipulator, a master at it, in my opinion, and I adored watching her plan unfold, loved knowing what the next step would be and how she would make things go her way. Selene is, quite simply, not someone I would wish to know in real life, but I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her in fiction.

Self’s Blossom is not all hearts and flowers. It’s a journey that amazed me with the portrayal of Selene being so herself and human, flaws right out there for all to see. The prose is also mesmerising. Maybe it won’t be so for you, maybe Selene will seem totally different to you, but I really did enjoy this book very much and am very glad to have been given the chance to read it.

See the full review here:

Monday, 2 May 2011

World War II romance


The cities of London, Liverpool, Plymouth and many more were decimated by bombs during World War II. An intensive raid such as this was called a Blitz. Military, non-military adults and children died during this time.
Many futures were cut short by untimely deaths during this horrendous part of world history. In the midst of this chaos love bloomed and survived, despite the adversities the couples were forced to face.
My novel Blitz is inspired by my parents. They met and fell in love immediately prior to the war. This kicked off the inspiration for Velma and Jack’s story. I started their tale at the time of their meeting.
Not only did the happy couple have to be strong in the face of the fighting, but they also had to be strong to face up to Velma’s family. Her sisters still considered her the baby of the family and felt they had the right to dictate what she should do. Velma is faced with a budding romance, the threat of war and asserting herself so as to gain control of her own life. Can she and Jack survive these obstacles and emerge victorious?
A summer of love can last forever, but clouds of war darken the horizon. Velma and Jack’s happiness is overshadowed by an uncertain future. Jack must leave to fight the enemy. Velma remains at home and does her best to aid her country. Will they survive and live the future of their dreams? Or will bombs and fighting destroy their lives and love? 
May 1938
"Florence, are you there?" Velma knocked on the door. No answer. She pushed it open and called again. "It's only me."
She heard a muffled noise in the kitchen at the back of the house and grinned. Her sister must be busy with little Sam. Florence's life centered on the four-year-old. Everything faded into the background when she and Sam were alone. Velma moved down the hallway and pushed open the door at the end.
Sunshine filled the kitchen and blinded her for a moment. She stretched her arms out wide to welcome the warmth and twirled round and round, the skirt of her cotton print frock flaring as she spun. Velma stopped abruptly. The other person in the room definitely wasn't her sister. Dark eyes watched her. Male eyes full of amusement had followed her carefree dance.
"Who are you?" Her voice sounded breathless. She stopped, facing him. "I might ask you the same question." Velma tilted her head to one side as she considered the man in front of her. He'd made himself at home. The warmth of the kitchen had encouraged him to take off his khaki jacket and drape it over the back of a chair. He wore no shirt. The startling white of his vest stood out against his sunburned arms. Black braces attached to the waistband of his trousers had been released from his shoulders and looped down to accentuate the slim hips. Tendrils of hair on his chest escaped the top of the vest and Velma shivered as a tingle crept through her body.
She had to raise her head to see his face as he stood several inches taller than her. His dark hair had been combed to one side with a precise straight parting, and his face showed a deeper tan than his arms. Her gaze shifted to his twinkling dark brown eyes.
"Like what you see?" 
"I'd like it better if I had a name to put to the face. Who are you?" 
"Ladies first." His infectious grin made Velma respond with a smile of her own. 
"I'm Velma, Florence's sister, and you are..." 
"Jack. George's brother." 
One of Florence's brothers-in-law. Now she knew his identity she could see the resemblance to George. Several of the Stanley brothers had attended Florence's wedding some years ago. She couldn't remember Jack. Both bride and groom came from large families so the church and reception had been pretty crowded.
"Where's Florence?"
"She took little Sam to meet his daddy off the bus." Jack picked up the kettle and filled it from the tap over the sink. "Can I make you a cup of tea?"
"That would be nice."
Velma watched him through lowered lashes as he turned the gas on and struck a match to light the hob. He placed the large kettle over the flames.
"Tell me about yourself."
He emptied the dregs from the teapot. "Not much to tell. I'm younger than George. Joined the RASC a few years ago."
"RASC? Sorry, I don't know what that is." 
"Royal Army Service Corps. I'm a driver and mechanic. There's not much work onHayling Island. I've always been interested in engines and motor vehicles, so I headed straight for the transport section when I joined."
"Aren't you worried about being in the armed services? My brother says there's a war brewing. Germany is trying to grab more than its fair share of land."
"Worried? I'm not sure what you mean. Do you think I'm afraid to fight for my king and country?" He frowned at her, annoyance flashed in his eyes.
Oh heavens, he thinks I'm questioning his bravery!
"Of course that's not what I think," she hastened to explain. "But don't you get a bit frightened you might have to fight. Kill or be killed? I know it would scare me to death."
"There wouldn't be a problem then would there?"
Velma relaxed as Jack grinned and his anger evaporated. He poured hot water into the teapot, swirled it round and emptied it into the sink. Returning the pot to the draining board, he put in three spoonfuls of tea and poured on hot water.
"We'll leave it to draw for a few moments." He placed the teapot on the table, followed by cups, saucers, tea strainer and milk jug. "Do you take sugar?"
"No thanks."
Velma ducked her head to hide her flush of embarrassment. Letting him make her a cup of tea indicated a closeness to each other. She considered Florence's house a second home. She should have been the one to make the pot of tea. To relieve the tension building up inside her she searched for something to say.
"Tell me about Hayling Island. George's spoken of it often. I've never been there."
"Not much to tell really." He poured tea into the cups. "It's a small island just off the coast near Portsmouth. George and I grew up there, along with the rest of our brothers and our sister. My brother Will and I are the same age. He's a postman on the island."
"I know who you are," Velma exclaimed. "You're one of the twins, the youngest one."
"People always call me the youngest." Jack laughed. "Will's only twenty minutes older than me."
"What's it like having someone who's identical to you?"
"It's nice when you're growing up. We always had someone our own age to play with. We looked alike so we played lots of tricks on people. Coming from such a big family having a playmate made all the difference, especially as our sister is the youngest. She got spoiled by everyone. Will and I are nearly thirty now and we've got different ideas on what we want to do, but we're still close."
"I know what you mean about big families," Velma sighed. "We've got the same amount as you. Ours is the other way round. Eight girls and one boy. I'm the baby of the family and at times it's not nice."
"Don't you get spoiled?"
Jack blew on his tea before taking a sip and the same warm shiver rushed through Velma's body. She liked this man a lot, he made her feel relaxed. The comfort made more acute by the thrill of excitement at being so near to him.
"Yes, I've been spoiled," she admitted. "But I also get overprotected. My sisters and their husbands think it's their duty to take care of me. They forget I'm nearly twenty-five and quite capable of taking care of myself. My older sisters have been watching over me for so long I guess it's difficult for them to remember I'm all grown up."
"You look like a full grown woman to me."
Jack's reached out and touched her hand. Warmth passed between them; warmth that promised a wealth of feelings for the future.

Sue Perkins - Author

Buy Link - Desert Breeze Publishing