Welcome to my blog


Welcome to my blog, where I ramble on about writing, the bizarre world of m/m romance, and anything else that happens to grab hold of my attention and refuse to let go.

Regular posts:

Update Monday

My weekly update on my work and real life. Might include incredibly cute pictures of my daughter, Daisy. You have been warned!

Vintage Smut Sunday

Because I adore vintage porn and have been collecting it wherever I can. I’ll be sharing a few of my favourite drawings or photographs each week. Silly captions and stories inspired by the pictures are very welcome.

Use the links below to navigate to all the posts in a particular category:

April Autism Blog Hop: Things I have learned from my daughter

People with autism usually have difficulties with social communication

Daisy and the scorpionWhen I signed up for this blog tour I thought I’d write something about some of the wonderful people I’ve worked with who had autism. Before my daughter came along I was a teacher in a college, teaching classes in English Literature as well as working to support students with all manner of learning difficulties. Two of my favourite students to work with had Asperger’s Syndrome, so were on the autistic spectrum.

However, I think I’d rather write about my daughter. Daisy doesn’t have autism, but she does have Downs Syndrome (yes, US folks, we add an “s” on the end over here!). She’s now eight-and-a-half-years-old, although listening to her, you’d think it was her ninth birthday tomorrow. Just this morning she was planning her birthday party invitations. It’s going to be a pink, fairy princess party apparently. I really hope this doesn’t mean I have to wear a pink dress too!

When I first found out about Daisy having Downs Syndrome it came as a huge shock. There was an abnormality picked up during pregnancy at the routine 20 week ultrasound scan. The radiographer couldn’t tell me much more than that at the time, but I was booked in to see a specialist in Bristol the following day. I was nervous, and became more so as the initial radiographer called in a senior colleague, and then a Professor of Foetal Medicine to come and look at the images. I was told that my child almost definitely had a chromosomal defect, and very possibly a heart defect too. I opted for an amniocentesis to find out more for certain, and a week later was back in Bristol, being told that my daughter had Downs Syndrome. This was followed up by a scan from the cardiologist (the same one Daisy still sees every year for check-ups), who confirmed that she had a Complete Atrioventricular septal defect. This is a serious and life-threatening defect where the heart is missing the wall down the middle that divides the two atria and the two ventricles. I heard that she’d need to have major open heart surgery before she was six months old. My own heart broke.

All through my pregnancy up to that point I’d imagined I’d have a child much like myself. I pictured a bookish daughter, who would go on to have an incredible career and travel the world. She would be creative and beautiful and the whole world would adore her. And of course, she’d have children of her own one day, so I’d have beautiful grandchildren to look forward to as well.

Now my hopes and dreams were brought crashing back down to earth. I had to grieve for that perfect daughter who wasn’t going to be, and to face the fact that I was going to be the mother of a child with special needs and heart problems. And I had to go around telling everyone I knew and dealing with their reactions.

So, I began preparing myself. I read up everything I could find on Downs Syndrome (some of which was horribly out of date!). I didn’t read about the heart defect, though, because that was too frightening and entirely out of my hands. I also went around telling my friends, family and colleagues the news. Most were wonderfully supportive. A few were visibly upset and needed comforting from me, which was a challenge when I was feeling so cut up inside. Others said well-meaning but rather upsetting things, like telling me about the young woman with Downs who had a job at the local Waitrose packing bags. Excuse me, but up until a few weeks ago I’d imagined my child would have some incredibly glamorous and rewarding career, and now you’re telling me I should be glad they’ll be able to pack bags in a supermarket?! But I smiled and thanked them and seethed quietly inside.

Daisy's first dayAnyway, after the initial traumatic few weeks, things began to settle. My (then) husband and I decided on a name: Daisy, and a couple of days later I felt her kick inside me. I knew then that she’d be okay. She was a fighter, and she was telling me that. Things started to get better from that point on, and I knew I’d be able to cope with being Daisy’s mum.

There were many challenges in Daisy’s first year. She was rushed off to intensive care after her birth and we didn’t get home from hospital for eleven days. Then there was the whole terrifying experience of having her go through heart surgery at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children when she was just five months old. I spent my very first Mother’s Day by the side of her hospital cot, but she bounced back incredibly quickly and is now thoroughly proud of the scar running down the middle of her chest (she calls it her zip!).


I’m not saying that life as a parent of a child with Downs Syndrome is a bed of roses, but then again, I look around me at parents of perfectly “normal” children and see them dealing with all kinds of issues themselves. I honestly wouldn’t have Daisy any other way. She’s perfect the way she is, and she brings light, love and laughter wherever she goes.

And you know what? My Daisy is everything I originally hoped for, and more. She is beautiful and creative and adored everywhere she goes. She loves reading, and I firmly believe she’ll be able to find herself a rewarding job she loves when she grows up (knowing her, something to do with cakes and hospitals!). Having Downs shouldn’t stop her from having a child of her own one day, should she want to. And as for travelling the world? Well, I guess it’s up to me to sell enough books to take her on exotic holidays.

But I also know she’ll be perfectly happy with the simple things in life, like a day out at Longleat, handling scorpions and proving she is far, far braver than her mum!

What have you learnt from people with special needs? Has anyone touched your life like Daisy has touched mine?

Comment to be in with a chance of winning a $10 gift voucher to the ebook retailer of your choice! All comments made by 01.00 GMT on Tuesday April 8th will be entered into the contest.

Jo’s latest title:

Tailor Made cover - art by Lou HarperTailor Made

When Mr. Wrong measures up just right!

College tart Felix McAvoy is used to causing a stir with his conceptual art pranks, but for his final show he’s planning something even more outrageous. In a last ditch attempt to seduce his jaded tutor, Felix plans to wear the canvas in a subversive display. However, if he’s going to do this right he’ll need a tailor-made canvas suit. Fortunately, he knows just the tailor to turn to for the favour—and Felix isn’t shy about offering favours of a very different kind in return.

First year fashion student Andrew Wheeler knows Felix by reputation only–and plans to keep things that way. Andrew’s determined to save himself for the man of his dreams, and Felix couldn’t be more different from his ideal Mr Right. There’s only one use Andrew will contemplate for Felix’s body: a model for his end of year project. Trouble is, it’s going to involve a lot of close contact with a nearly naked Felix, and Andrew’s never had temptation quite so close at hand!

Amazon | Smashwords | All Romance eBooks

Check out the rest of the blog tour posts:

Vintage Smut Sunday: Men and Motors (gay erotica, NSFW)

Okay, cars aren’t exactly my area of expertise, but I did recently top up the oil in my engine (all by myself!) so I’m feeling up to a motoring blog post :)

Don’t expect any tips on engine maintenance, although these saucy vintage pics of men orally misbehaving in their vehicles might well get your motor running!

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Update Monday: on learning to relax

Anna & Jo Eroticon 2014

Working week:

Okay, so the last two weeks have been a bit of a washout, work-wise. Daisy was off school ill all of last week, and the week before I ended up taking three days off writing to do adminny stuff and prepare for Eroticon. Had to take today off too to catch up with my paperwork! There really aren’t enough hours in the day. I need to hire a secretary or something :)

Eroticon was fabulous, by the way. It’s a very different crowd to the people I’ve met at the UK Meet, as it’s erotica writers and sex bloggers of all orientations. Anna Martin and I did a talk on GLBT erotica/erotic romance and it went really well, with the audience asking all kinds of great questions. I also got some great tips and inspiration from other sessions I attended, so all in all, what a lovely weekend!

Real life:

So, Daisy had a stomach bug last week. Ugh. It began on the evening I returned from Eroticon, knackered and needing sleep. Instead I spent the night clearing up vomit. On the plus side, I managed to avoid catching it myself which is great, as every other member of my family has had it. Also, I decided not to panic about not being able to work and just enjoy spending time pottering at home with Daisy, and as a result I actually enjoyed the week. I think I’m getting better at learning to relax and let go when life throws me a hiccup.

You’ll all be happy to know that Daisy is now fully recovered and had a great weekend doing fun things. She was back at school today, and earned her first swimming badge (5 metres) in her lesson afterwards. What a star!

The other thing that’s happened this last week is my very first Workawayer has come to stay: a lovely Spanish woman who is helping my with the garden in return for room and board (and plenty of chatting to improve her English). I can highly recommend the whole Workaway scheme for both hosts and travellers–what a fabulous idea!

This week:

I aim to finish the first (very rough) draft of How to Train Your Dom, so I can start polishing it next week. Am hoping to read through what I’ve written so far before bed so I can get back into the groove after almost two weeks off. Other than that, I’ll be working on getting new plants into the garden and tidying the garage. Yay! Who knows, I might even feel inspired to tidy up my work area…

How was your week? Got any plans for the week ahead?

Vintage Smut Sunday: Exhibitionist Sailors (male nudity, NSFW)

Okay, I’m back after a week off blogging, and I wanted some amusing vintage pics to share with you. The following are all of sailors exposing themselves.

Hope you enjoy the partial nudes. I do love the cheekiness of only the clothing below the waist being removed. And I’m hoping that if I can find one more pic of an exposed sailor asleep, I’ll be able to offer up a post of those soon ;)

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Blogging with Lou Harper… and there’s a giveaway!

AcademicPursuits_coverTailor Made cover - art by Lou HarperMe and Lou Harper are blogging over at Joyfully Jays with an interview and excerpts from our recently re-released college romances, Tailor Made and Academic Pursuits. Comment to be in with a chance of winning both books!


PS – I know I’ve been very quiet here this week. That’s because after all the excitement of Eroticon at the weekend, Daisy came down with a stomach bug on Sunday evening. She’s ended up having to have the whole week off school. She seems to be better now, and so far I’ve avoided coming down with it *fingers crossed*. Will do a proper update next Monday. Ciao for  now!

Are you a dunker? Guest post and giveaway by Jay Northcote

Header bannerThanks Jo, for agreeing to host me again. It’s lovely to be back on your blog :)

As many of my conversations with the lovely Jo Myles on Facebook seem to involve the joys and tribulations of biscuit dunking. I thought it would be fun to share a little extract with you from my latest novel, Not Just Friends.

biscuit dunkNot Just Friends is about two first year students at the University of Bristol who share a flat in halls of residence. In this scene Lewis is having a love-life crisis—over Max, his flatmate—and has gone to see his friend Amanda for some tea and sympathy (well, technically hot chocolate and sympathy).

Lewis jumped up to help Amanda as she pushed her way back through the door with a mug in each hand and a packet of biscuits hanging from between her teeth.

“Thanks.” She grinned as he took the biscuits from her and cleared some space on the little table beside her bed for the mugs.

“So,” Amanda said, once they’d made themselves comfortable again—side by side on the bed, with mugs and biscuits in hand. “Have you talked to Max yet?”

Lewis shook his head, timing the dunking of his biscuit perfectly. It was exactly the right amount of soggy, but didn’t break off into the mug. “No,” he replied through his mouthful of chocolaty biscuit. “I’ve honestly hardly seen him. If you’re dedicated, it’s amazing how easy it is to avoid someone who lives in the room next door to you. I’ve only really been around him when the others are there, so there’s no chance to talk about anything personal. But what is there to say anyway?” He shrugged. “There’s nothing to discuss, so there’s no point going over it again. We’re just mates, we hooked up. That’s all. It’s a bit awkward, but we’ll get over it.” He paused, dunking the second half of his biscuit carefully. “Well… I’ll get over it. He seems fine.” Lewis thought he’d done a very good job of not sounding bitter, but then his biscuit disintegrated into his mug and gave him the perfect excuse to curse a little more viciously than the occasion demanded. “Fuck it all!”


Poor Lewis–it’s always risky when you overdunk. But some people (my kids for example) actually enjoy the biscuit sludge at the bottom of a mug after a dunking disaster. I think they let them break on purpose sometimes so they can eat the gooey bits with a spoon at the end.

Hot chocolate with digestive biscuits dunked in it is one of my favourite beverage-biscuit combos, but I’m not very keen on dunking biscuits in tea because I hate sweet tea. Are you a dunker? If so – what’s your favourite type of biscuit, and what do you like to dunk them into? Please let me know in a comment below!

 Jay is giving away one ebook copy of Not Just Friends. Please leave a comment below to enter. Giveaway closes at midnight on Friday (UK time).



Leaving home to go to university is an exciting phase in anyone’s life. One that’s full of new places, new friends, and new experiences. But Lewis is not prepared for the sudden and intense crush he develops on his out-and-proud flatmate, Max—given that Lewis had always assumed he was straight. Max starts dating another guy, and Lewis’s jealousy at seeing them together forces him to confront his growing attraction.

When Max’s relationship goes awry, Lewis is the one to comfort him and one thing leads to another. But after a night together, Lewis is devastated that Max wants to go back to being just friends. Lewis tries his best to move on and their friendship survives, but the feelings he has for Max don’t go away. He faces other challenges as he deals with coming out to his parents, and needs Max’s support more than ever. But Lewis isn’t the only one who’s conflicted. When Max finally admits he cares for Lewis too, Lewis must decide whether he dares risk his heart again on being more than just friends.

Not Just Friends is available at Dreamspinner Press[P3]

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her amazing, occasionally ridiculous husband, two noisy-but-awesome children, and two cats.

She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.


Website: www.jaynorthcote.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jay_northcote
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jaynorthcotefiction
Jay’s books: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_953

photo credit: Pam loves pie via photopin cc

Update Monday: the home stretch

Working week:

I had aimed to get up to 62k on my work in progress (How to Train Your Dom), and ended up a little short at 60,030 words, but I’m still very happy with that. Other than that I’ve been sorting out things for Eroticon this weekend, as well as longer term convention plans for RT Booklovers and GayRomLit. So much to think about!

Real life:

There hasn’t been time for much socialising this week, but I’m pleased to say I have finally got around to watching my very first episode of Sherlock. And yes, I do agree that it’s fabulous television. Why did it take me so long?! Also, Benedict Cumberbatch isn’t nearly as creepy in the programme as he is in pictures, although he was engagingly eccentric.

This week:

I’m going to Eroticon in Bristol at the weekend (Erotica writers and sex bloggers conference), and Anna Martin and I will be giving a talk on writing and publishing gay erotica. I’m really looking forward to this, as I’ve learned some fascinating things and met lots of lovely people at the last two Eroticons :)

Aside from that, I have Jay Northcote guest blogging tomorrow, and I really must find time to finish the novel… I’m aiming 15k this week, which should give me an almost complete first draft *fingers crossed*

How was your week? Got any plans for the week ahead?

Vintage Smut Sunday: women with strap-ons (lesbian erotica, NSFW)

This week I’m sharing a few pictures that illustrate what a long history certain sex toys have. Although I knew plugs and dildos have been around for centuries (if not millenia!) until I’d seen these early lesbian pictures I had no idea that strap ons had such a vintage!

Enjoy the ladies…

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