Category Archives: erotica

New release: A Murmuring of Bees

amob-5Improbable Press has a new anthology of Holmes/Watson romance stories, celebrating the celebrated sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his biographer, friend and (in these stories) lover John Watson.

Some stories are sweet, others steamy. Many involve cases. Some are set in the Victorian era while others take place in 21st century London. In some they are young men solving crimes, and in others they have retired to Sussex.

They all contain some sort of reference to bees or honey.

I’m utterly delighted to have both a short story and a poem in the book and to be in the company of other writers including Kerry Greenwood (the Phryne Fisher series) and Atlin Merrick (The Night They Met) as well as many excellent writers being professionally published for the first time.

The Blurb

cover-a-murmuring-of-beesThink of Sherlock Holmes and you think of mysteries, John Watson…and bees. While Arthur Conan Doyle sent the great detective to tend hives in retirement, here bees are front and centre in stories of love and romance, war and hope, of honey on the tongue and a sting in the tail. In tales of rare nectars, secret diaries, and the private language of lovers, bees may be the buzzing heart of the story…or as ephemeral as a murmur. What you’ll find in every tale are John Watson and Sherlock Holmes helping one another, wanting one another, loving one another.

To encourage a world where such love is seen for the precious thing it is, profits from “A Murmuring of Bees” will be donated to the It Gets Better Project.

Excerpt from my story, Nectar

After they’d been in the basement for thirty six hours, they weren’t joking any more. Sherlock refused to discuss his symptoms but John knew them anyway: the decreased sweating; the onset of muscle cramps; the increased respiration and the incipient fever. Sherlock was more dehydrated than John, and was betraying the signs sooner. Neither of them was critical yet, but they were far from comfortable.

After everything they’d been through together, it began to look like this was how they’d die. Together. Of thirst.

In the thirty-seventh hour, the storm broke out.

Rain spattered through the open window onto John’s face, waking him from a reverie that was more a stupor. He absently licked drops of water from his lips, and again: then his eyes were wide open. He lurched to his feet and staggered towards the window.

The pattering rain became a driving downfall. It ran in rivulets through the broken window.

John pushed his cheek against the wall, shoving the side of his mouth against a steady stream that gathered in a crack and poured down the bricks. Water flowed over his lips and tongue and down his dry, dry, dry throat. The water tasted of dust and brick and God knew what else, and it was the best water John had ever tasted in his life. He pooled a mouthful and swallowed it. Pooled a second. Swallowed it.

He tried to put his hands under the stream, but the chains wouldn’t let him get that close. So he pooled a third mouthful, larger than the first two, and held it behind pressed lips.

He took two strides to Sherlock’s side, dropped to his knees, and shook Sherlock awake.

Sherlock peered at him with weary perplexity. John tapped Sherlock’s mouth with his fingers. When Sherlock didn’t respond immediately, John poked his fingers between Sherlock’s dry lips to part them, hovered—his mouth millimetres from Sherlock’s—and then he opened his mouth to let the water dribble carefully down.

Sherlock made a small, desperate noise and swallowed the water. He tried to catch a spilled droplet with his tongue.

“Sorry,” rasped John, “Had a full mouth and couldn’t warn you. Wake up, now.” He was already moving back to the wet bricks; to the precious rivulet of rainwater.

After a small swallow, John filled his mouth and returned to Sherlock. He transferred the precious cargo into Sherlock’s cupped hands. Sherlock was sucking at his wet fingers as John returned to the window; came back ready to fill Sherlock’s palms again.

Sherlock tilted his head back. “Lose too much that way,” he croaked, and opened his mouth.

London rained on them for an hour. It was almost like she wanted them to live. For an hour, John went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. He drank sips almost as a by-product of collecting water for Sherlock, and fed mouthful after mouthful of water to his friend. Buying time.

Sherlock revived a little with every mouthful, though his first strange thought on waking to John watering him mouth-to-mouth persisted.

What kind of flower actively feeds nectar to the bee?

The rain stopped, and John stopped, slumping in exhaustion beside Sherlock on the floor. They leaned against each other.

“Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me,” laughed John, “You’ll make me think we’re not getting out of this.”

Sherlock didn’t say anything.

“You’re welcome,” said John.

To find out how they are rescued (of course they are rescued!) and what happens afterwards, pick up A Murmuring of Bees and support a good cause at the same time.

Pre-orders for the 5 December paperback release are now available at:

A Murmuring of Bees is already available as an ebook.

 

Review: Ice in Sunlight by Julia Leijon

IceInSUnlightSome stories that become beautiful start in ugly places. Mary Borsellino, writing here as Julia Leijon, is a master of this progression, never shying from harsh realities while simultaneously always offering hope for redemption.

Ice in Sunlight opens with a slave, Corwen, hiding in the kitchens while the assassination of his owner – the King of Genest – is taking place upstairs. Corwen is cold, cynical and unpleasant. He is in the habit of tormenting the kitchen dogs and comes from a society where the eating of one’s enemies is a literal thing, and several bodies are hanging in the pantr

For all this harsh beginning, it’s very easy to see how Corwen’s meanness and acceptance of cruel practices stem from his own experiences. He’s been a sex slave to a tyrant since he was ten years old; he carries a scar on his throat from a childhood attempt on his life; he has survived to almost twenty through cunning and cleverness. And yet his thoughts of the prince who was his friend remain kind. In the midst of his unpleasantness, there is a kernel that there may be more to Corwen than life has allowed him to be.

Corwen has been brutalised from an early age, and his greatest comfort seems to be imagining how he will die – young, certainly – in ways that give him more power and personhood that his life, and how he believes his end will really come. His antipathy towards the castle dogs comes from a very awful and bitter understanding.

The King’s assassins turn out to be philosophers of a sort, here to do this one unpleasant but, they think, necessary deed. Corwen believes he will be slaughtered as a traitor if he stays, so they allow him to return with them to Ardvi Aban, despite their misgivings and his.

Nobody, thinks Corwen, can be as kind as these people pretend to be. Certainly, Corwen does not think he has any worth at all, and cannot understand why anybody would think better of him.

And so we get the story of how Corwen, made flinty and cynical through abuse, discovers kindness. He learns that sex doesn’t have to be about power, and learns not only that love is possible, but that he does deserve it.

That paragraph makes it sound like a sweet and sentimental journey, and Ice in Sunlight is not that. Corwen’s self-worth (or rather, self-loathing) is also caught up with his sometimes complex relationship with his abuser (or abusers, if you consider how he got his scar). There’s a lot of pain in his growth, and often I was close to tears as I read. Many of his thought processes, and the revelations he has on the way, reflected things I’ve read from people who have survived abuse and how complex the thinking can be when you are both reliant upon and frightened of the person doing you harm.

Ultimately, it’s a beautiful story of redemption and love. Not every problem is solved by the end, but there is growth and a place of peace. Corwen is written with compassion even for his worst behaviours, because he has been taught it is literally an ‘eat or be eaten’ world. That the reader can be invested in him, even at his worst, and can feel pain for his pain, is a deft bit of writing – one at which Leijon excels.

The supporting characters are also beautifully written: the seeming Utopia of Ardvi Aban is indeed a wonderful place, but it’s a very wonderful human place, a sanctuary of the best that humans can be, in contrast to the Genestian environment in which he was warped. People aren’t perfect, but they are seeking balance. The final philosophical revelations – about water and waves and ice – are perfect metaphors for love and loss and Corwen’s journey of transformation.

In Ice in Sunlight, Corwen finds peace, kindness and love. He is healing from his terrible wounds of the soul. It makes for heartbreaking reading at times, but by the end my heart was mended and as full as Corwen’s for the new hope he has for his life.

Buy Ice in Sunlight

Review: Herotica, Volume 1 by Kerry Greenwood

HeroticaKerry Greenwood may be best known for her Phryne Fisher and Corinna Chapman series, but she has written far and wide, including SF, fantasy and her Delphic Women trilogy, retelling the stories of Media, Cassandra and Electra.

The fabulously diverse and busy Ms Greenwood also takes great delight in romance, including queermance, and has just launched two books of Herotica – that is, ‘heroic erotica’

Clan Destine describes the first volume of Herotica as ‘tales of love and lust between heroic and adventurous men across the ages from Ancient Egypt to a future in space’. Kerry Greenwood describes it as ‘wonderful stories of gorgeous gay men shagging each other senseless in impeccable historical settings’.

Both descriptions are delightfully accurate, and it’s a wonderful thing to read so many stories of men falling in love and getting a happy-ever-after (with an occasional ‘happy-for-now’) ending. I love a happy ending and given the mainstream’s habit of presenting queer stories full of punishment and pain, these stories were an especial joy.

Greenwood has cleverly – and quite charmingly – followed storytelling conventions of the eras in which the stories are set. In tales set in classic ancient cultures, men tend to meet, declare their undying love for each other on the instant and then dedicate themselves to one another thereafter. Stories in later eras have the protagonists generally taking a bit of time to get to know each other, before, bless them, declaring thir undying love and dedicating themselves to one another for life.

The 36 stories start with two men conducting a symbolic battle between Horus and Set and the evacuation of Atlantis; they end with spaceships, androids, heavenly beings and earthy, loving humans. In between are Romans, Greeks and Welsh druids; there are time travellers and summoners of demons; there’s Leonardo Da Vinci, William Shakespeare and Noel Coward; Holmes and Watson and King Arthur’s Court; wars and peacetime, humour and drama; and above all, love.

It’s inexpressibly charming that all the stories and their couples having happy endings (though some are a little bittersweet). Most of the do indeed have these ‘gorgeous gay men shagging each other senseless’, but their communion is rarely explicit, full of the sweetness of love as well as passion.

Favourite stories include… well, all of them. But that’s not especially helpful, so I’ll single out a few.

  • The Library Angel is a love story for booklovers. The Angel presides over an afterlife where all the storytellers and those who loved, and saved, knowledge find their rest, along with all the lost books. This is where our heroes from the burning library of Alexandria find themselves, and it sounds like paradise to me.
  • Aqaue Sulis is one of the stories that ends with notes indicating the story was built on little hints from real life (in this case, an unusual grave from the borders of Roman Bath). In the story, two people have been pulled through time to the Minerva Pool from their respective futures and forge a new life in their new shared past.
  • The Devil’s Bargain sees a scholar summoning a demon to ask for love. Of course, demons can’t be trusted, but things don’t turn out quite how either the summoner or the demon predicted.
  • Salai and Mentzi  is the story of two of  Leonardo Da Vinci’s household and the last days of the Great Master’s life. Salai is the name given to the man who was the model for Da Vinci’s last great painting of John the Baptist.
  • The Secret Diary of Dr John Watson, MD is of course a story after my own heart, with its reading of Holmes and Watson as a love story.
  • Do Not Despair is not likewise a Biggles story, but it’s Biggles-esque and full of derring-do as well as heroic love.
  • I Never Got the Hang of Thursdays is a space opera of a story: it’s a lot of fun and pays tribute to a lot of humorous forebears, including Douglas Adams and The Princess Bride. A sexy space pirate is always good value.
  • Spaceships Other Planets has an awkward genius and his longsuffering best friend finally working their secretly-in-love selves out. I love this sort of thing better than chocolate!

These are particular favourites, but all the stories are a delight – and for all that the theme is consistent, they each have a fresh story to tell, proving Kerry Greenwood has hundreds of stories yet to tell us.

Which is by way of saying that I need to get my hands on volume 2!

Buy Herotica Volume 1

Clan Destine Press’s Foolish April Sale

Clan_Destine_logoMy Australian publisher, Clan Destine Press, is having a massive book sale this month! Most of the books are in paperback as well as ebook, and there are some corkers available, all at 50% off.

There’s my vampire novel set in Melbourne, Walking Shadows, and my erotic romances, but since this isn’t all about me, let me give you some recommendations!

If you’re a fan of the Phryne Fisher TV series, the author of the book series, Kerry Greenwood, also writes fantasy and erotica. Her Delphic Women series explores Medea, Electra and Cassandra. Her brand new collection, Herotica, is full of stories about heroes and beautiful men having fabulous sex.

I cannot sinTHRIVE coverg enough of the praises of Mary Borsellino’s brilliant work. Not ever. Her Thrive is one of my favourite books ever – challenging and full of pain but also beauty, love and redemption. She’s awesome. She also writes lovely erotica.

Want more of an Aussie vampire fix? Jason Nahrung’s Vampires in a Sunburnt Country series is terrific.

Alison Goodman, of the famed Eon series and the new Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club, has an Aussie SF/Crime novel with Clan Destine called A New Kind of Death.

RC DanielsThe Price of Fame is rock and roll, crime and the paranormal in St Kilda!

So if you want to try some new reading and see the amazing books Australian writers have to offer, now is a great time to fill up your shelf or you kindle with a bunch of brilliant stuff!

The Books of Love: Tyler Knoll’s Just For Fun by AB Gayle

Reviewed by Narrelle M Harris

The blurb…

TKJFF_Composite_1000x1595Tyler Knoll was born one wild, stormy night in April 2013.

Of course, Tyler might tell you he was born twenty years earlier, but should we believe anything he says? That’s for you to decide.

In Tyler’s first adventure—like many a gay man before him—he was SNARED by gay porn, wallowing in tales of bigger, stronger, harder….

Then his fickle mind was seduced and SHREDDED by the prospect of BDSM and slavery.

When a Big Misunderstanding SLASHED at Tyler’s sanity, almost costing him his life, he turned to another genre for his salvation. But even this encounter proved potentially hazardous—not from freezing temperatures, but at the hands of irate fans.

Finally, tired and SCREWED by all his trials and tribulations, he discovers—like many storybook heroes before him—that sometimes Mr. Right is closer than we think.

The review…

The four books of Tyler Knoll’s sexy adventures are a vastly entertaining read! Presented as a series of books written by Tyler himself for self-publication, they are full of sly asides, terrible spelling, and discussions with the reader, the editor and with a ‘ universal reader’ beyond the fourth wall. It’s all very meta, but metatextuality with a breezy, cheeky air. If you like the idea of playing games with the form while still having a story and some sexytimes, this could be the book for you.

The series in turns lampoons and embraces all the traditions and tropes of MM erotic romance. There’s sauciness aplenty within the self-aware commentary and general silliness, and some sections lead you along a garden path and then spring a dizzy twist before the raunch makes another appearance.

Tyler Knoll’s Just for Fun is exactly that. It’s a quick, silly, funny read with a likeable protagonist, plenty of magic realism and a sweet ending.

Excerpt

At least he wasn’t mad at me. He kept giggling and shaking his head, muttering, “Tyler, Tyler, Tyler. What am I going to do?”

His broken glasses and the lens were sitting on the desk behind him. I picked them up. “Don’t worry. It’s easy. My screw fits into this little hole perfectly.”

He burst out laughing again.

I handed him his glasses and Dilbert put them back on. I heaved a sigh of relief. Now he wasn’t the sexy stranger who I knew would feature in my dreams for the next few evenings.

“Thanks,” he muttered. His hand shook slightly as he dragged a pack of Marlboro’s out of his pocket.

“Erm….”

Dilbert had only recently started to smoke. Or maybe he’d been doing it forever, but I only just noticed. Since the introduction of the compulsory no smoking policy, employees had been bitching about having to stand on the footpath. Dilbert’s suggestion to management that an unused loading dock could be converted to a secluded landscaped area was surprisingly successful. They must look after their smokers back in Oz.

Personally, I didn’t care either way because I didn’t smoke, but Dilbert took advantage of the maximum permitted breaks and joined me in the courtyard about five times a day. Seeing I had to maintain the garden anyway, he suggested I do those chores while he lit up a fag. His use of the word had offended me at first, but he assured me that’s what they were called back home. Anyway, I noticed he never used the term again in my presence. I’d wondered if I should also persuade him to stop smoking, but then he wouldn’t have an excuse to visit me so often.

I enjoyed those short breaks. For some weird reason, we were never disturbed, although I heard later that there must be some problem with the door into the basement as someone had complained that they couldn’t get it open. It seemed fine when Dilbert and I checked, so they mustn’t have been pushing hard enough.

Dilbert’s hand was still shaking when he tried to flick the lighter. “Fuck!” he said.

“Erm….” Should I remind him that we were still inside? Technically, he was in a superior position in the company, but Mrs. Stringer had reassured me that while I was down here, I was in control. Or in charge. I wasn’t sure which word she used. Both gave me an unusual sensation of security. A space where I belonged. “Shouldn’t we?” I gestured toward the door leading from the underground car park to the outdoor smoking area.

Dilbert chuckled. “Sorry. Force of habit. I always light up after a screw.”

Buy Tyler Knoll’s Just For Fun

 See the book trailer!

 

The Books of Love are romance book reviews of both new releases and old favourites.

Recent publications: erotica, essays and scars

The last few months have been good to me, writing wise, with a couple of things published.

Scar Tissue

One is a story about life and the scars it gives us. It’s a complete departure from form, as it’s non-genre and not romance either. Scar Tissue is still a love story of sorts, but it’s about family and redemption. Like so many of my stories are. You can read it in issue #49 of online magazine Mildred.

Homecoming

Two other stories are in my expanding (I was about to write ‘burgeoning’) field of erotic romance.

(I’ve now that I’ve started writing erotica that everything I write has a double meaning, and not always a subtle one. To quote Tom Lehrer, ‘When correctly viewed, everything is lewd’.)

homecoming (1)So, in March 2014 (in time for the Queermance festival) my M/M adventure/romance Homecoming was released by Clan Destine Press. Some nice reviews of it so far include:

“The author truly excels at capturing the emotional components of intimacy along with the physical aspects. I can foresee many more adventures for these two with no danger of them becoming tired of each other or boring the reader. They have wit and charm enough to take them (and us!) through many more adventures.” – Lin S – Amazon.com

“‘Passion and adventure together’ is absolutely right. Sweet and sexy story with lovely writing and some dangerous crime-solving as well! Both the leads are incredibly appealing: the steady protector Jack and the willowy and joke-cracking but secretly vulnerable Elliot. But the best part is what a good team they are, both in their investigations and in bed, and how much they care for and adore each other. Lots of fun. Highly recommended!” – Shadowphoenixfire – Goodreads

I always enjoy Relle’s Australian settings, which are fair dinkum while remaining distinctly urban. There’s always a real feel of life as it is lived in Australia today. Her characters are interestingly layered as individuals and well juxtaposed as a pairing. Her plot, meanwhile, keeps the pages turning.” – Julie Bozza – Goodreads

So that’s very lovely. If you want to get it (and it’s only a few dollars), Homecoming (A Talbott & Burns Mystery) is now available at:

Late Bloomer

Queermance-Vol-1-CoverAnother M/M story is in the Queermance anthology, where I share digital pages with writers like Kerry Greenwood and Matthew Lang.  Late Bloomer is the story of a rather melancholy judge, his night-blooming garden and his gardener, Jake.

Queermance Anthology  Vol 1 is available at:

Sex and Intimacy

If you’re interested in how I approach writing erotic romance and sex scenes, I wrote about Sex and Intimacy for the Queensland Writers Centre in March in issue 237 of their magazine.

Kitty and Cadaver

I’m also still publishing Kitty & Cadaver online – the entire book is written and the last part is scheduled to go up on 2 June. I’ll be looking for a publisher after that, and if/when it’s accepted the story part of the site will come down – so go over there and read it (and leave comments) while you can!

kittybannerFB

 

Narrelle M Harris is a Melbourne-based writer. Find out more about her books, smartphone apps, public speaking and other activities at www.narrellemharris.com.

Expendable and Showtime: e-available!

Kitty banner smallGood morrow, good readers! It’s mid July and things that I write continue to wriggle out into the world at every opportunity.

Kitty and Cadaver: Not the Zombie Apocalypse continues to appear, one part at a time, every Monday. The second part of Chapter Three went up on 15 July. If you haven’t checked it out, you can start at Chapter One here.

ExpendableIn the meantime, the second of my erotic spy stories has been published. The Secret Agents, Secret Lives series began with Double Edged, and the story of Spymaster Philip Marsden and his lover, Agent Martine Dubois, continues in Expendable. As the blurb says:

Secret Agent Martine and her spymaster lover, Philip Marsden, are back in action and on the trail of international bad guy Bartos Rigo. Will they have to compromise their love or their honour to get the job done?

You can get both books in digital format from Clan Destine Press for only $1.80 each. Double Edged is also available on Kobo. 

Expendable will follow its footsteps there soon.

In the meantime, you can also get both stories for Kindle on Amazon.com:

Showtime_smlFinally, my Twelfth Planet Press contribution to the Twelve Planets series, Showtime, is now available for Kobo along with a stack of other Twelve Planets titles. These include collections by Tansy Rayner Roberts, Margo Lanagan and Kaaron Warren, who has just won the Shirley Jackson novella award for Sky, which appears in her Twelve Planets collection Through Splintered Walls.

If any of you feel so moved, it would be great if you wrote reviews for any of the Twelfth Planet Press or Encounters books on GoodReads, Amazon or Kobo (or all three!)

Narrelle M Harris is a Melbourne-based writer. Find out more about her books, iPhone apps, public speaking and other activities at www.narrellemharris.com.

Review: A Brighter Spark by Mary Borsellino (AWW Challenge 2013 #4)

brighter sparkReaders of this blog will know how much I adore Mary Borsellino’s horror fiction. The Wolf House and The Devil’s Mixtape remain two of my very favourite works.

Have I mentioned how versatile that writer is, though? Have I? Because she is. Not only does she write amazing horror, she also writes fun and sexy erotica with wit and intelligence.

While her latest, A Brighter Spark, hasn’t the complexity of her longer genre work, the deceptively simple story addresses a very modern human issue: how do you know when you’re a proper, fully functioning adult? And why would you want that, instead of the freewheeling excitement of being young?

Suzy is a single mum of kids in their awkward teens, and feels like life is slipping away from her. She doesn’t feel like a proper grown up, but the mad joys of her youth are obviously well behind her. Feeling at a dead end, Suzy meets the gorgeous and possibly perfect Daniel, and a one night stand blooms into the potential for something more. But Suzy fears she can’t possibly live up to him, just as she fears that being a proper adult means leaving behind all the fun stuff forever.

Suzy is likeable and you can readily identify with her as she stumbles through the difficulties of learning what responsible adulthood really means. Daniel is indeed a picture of perfection, but with just enough charm and a little geekiness to make him very appealing. As always, Borsellino does a pitch-perfect job of creating the teenaged characters and their relationships with the respective parents.

A Brighter Spark is a light, fun read, populated with appealing characters, good humour and some distractingly passionate scenes.

Narrelle M Harris is a Melbourne-based writer. Find out more about her books, smartphone apps, public speaking and other activities at www.narrellemharris.com.

Don’t Fence Me In (or, Narrelle’s adventures in new genres)

Secret Agents, Secret Lives vsmlI sometimes sort-of-joke in job interviews that I haven’t had a career path. I’ve had a career meander. I’ve pottered about, taking jobs on the basis of my skills and interests at the time. Sometimes my interests were basically ‘I need to pay the rent’. I have been a bank teller, a customer service person, a kitchen hand and, for one awful and soul-withering afternoon, an outbound telemarketer.

But then I found the courage to break out of all those jobs that I did not love to write for a living, at least in the corporate sphere. I took my rather patchy background and wove a narrative through it of me as a writer: of letters to clients, of training materials, of articles for social clubs. Thank goodness for those three years I spent teaching English as a Foreign Language in Egypt in Poland, which got me through the door.

But even my corporate writing career has been eclectic. I’ve written abstracts for a news-gathering service; educational materials and advocacy texts for an aid agency;  brochures, newsletters, taglines and marketing texts for an advertising company. For a year I was a journalist who wrote about supermarkets and convenience stores and related products (and I’m still unreasonably excited that I got to interview Stephen Twining of Twinings Tea). These days I’m a quality assurance editor, being paid to be pernickety about other people’s grammar.

Cold BloodFrankly, if I’m all over the place when it comes to my day-job career, it can hardly be  a surprise to anyone that I’m just as eclectic in my vocational writing. So far in my non-office writing career I have produced crime, fantasy and horror fiction.  I’ve written a true crime essay  (part of the recently re-released Cold Blood) and two non-fiction smartphone apps. I’ve written a play. I’m currently writing songs with my talented niece, Jess Harris, for a new book project.

And my latest unexpected foray into new genres?

I’ve become a writer of erotic fiction!

I haven’t always been a fan of the genre. I read a lot of romance novels that made me want to stab one or both protagonists, but I don’t believe in dissing a genre I haven’t actually read. As much as most of the books I read left me cold, though, I would sometimes find books that were fun, with great characters and rollicking plots. I also kept meeting smart, funny, confident women who enjoyed the field. I must be missing something, I thought. So I asked the Twittersphere for advice and it delivered Anne Gracie to me. Oh. So that’s what all the fuss was about. That was what a good, fun, saucy romance story could be!

When Lindy Cameron, my publisher at Clan Destine Press, approached me about writing for the press’s new Encounters line, I thought: why not? I haven’t written in that genre before, but it’s an element of some of my previous books. And it’ll be a challenge. It’s good to be challenged. It’s obviously very hard to write romance and erotica well, and I want to find out if I can do it. I want to find out if I can write a believable romance as the central point of a story, and if I can write an explicit sex scene that isn’t utterly risible.

Let’s face it, most of my books contain an intense relationship of some kind – often a romantic one, though not always. Exploring human relationships is a significant part of my plots.

Thus – ta da! – I have added a new genre to my literary ensemble. Double Edged is the first short story in the Secret Agents, Secret Lives series. Other stories are being prepared for that and another series in Clan Destine’s Encounters erotica stories, written mainly by writers better known from other genres – including Kerry Greenwood, of Phryne Fisher fame.

To delineate this genre from my other work, I’ve opted to publish the stories under a simplified variant of my own name – NM Harris – rather than my stripper name (Heidi Hillside, if you’re interested). After all, I don’t have children to protect from my own reputation, and I’m actually pretty proud of my efforts in the genre.

But you know me – I love a bit of adventure! Double Edged is full of action, sacrifice, explosions,  spy shenanigans, swordplay and sass. And that’s before we even get to the saucy scenes.

I’d love it if you’d come on this surprise foray into love and adventure with me. (And I hope you like it if you do. It’s only $1.80, so it’s worth a try!)

And let’s all wait with bated breath to see what genre I’ll be writing in next!

Double Edged by NM Harris

Martine Dubois is a disgraced cop whose main sin was to trust a partner she should not have trusted.

When spymaster Philip Marsden, who has a painful past of his own, recruits Martine as an agent, it’s her chance to find redemption, and a chance for both of them to find love – unless duty kills them first.

Narrelle M Harris is a Melbourne-based writer. Find out more about her books, smartphone apps, public speaking and other activities at www.narrellemharris.com.