Guest blog: Bonking, Grunts and Grinders by JL Merrow

Like many pastimes, mountain biking has a terminology all of its own.  And oh, what fun for the writer discovering this fresh seam of innuendo-ripe jargon!

Take bonking… You probably already know the British slang meaning of the verb “to bonk”

Small Bridesmaid: What’s bonking?
Scarlett: Well, it’s kinda like table tennis, only with slightly smaller balls.

–                  Four Weddings and a Funeral

But in mountain biking, it has quite a different meaning:

Expression used by cyclists to describe exercise induced low blood sugar levels; being a feeling of light-headedness and weakness in all limbs. Similar to ‘The Wall’ in running. – Urban Dictionary

Here’s Tim’s introduction to the term in Hard Tail, shortly after he’s been drafted in to manage his injured brother’s bike shop:

“I was about to close the magazine when a title caught my eye: What Really Happens During Bonking. I did a double-take and looked around furtively, wondering for a moment if one of the porno mags had slipped inside this issue… I still sniggered as I read the article, with its useful tips on how to avoid a bonk.”

Poor Tim. He could probably have done with that advice during his ill-fated marriage to Kate!

Here’s a couple of other terms that may (or may not) be of use:

Grunt: a very difficult climb

Grinder: a long uphill climb

Condom:  the little plastic or rubber thing that protects your tube’s valve stem from rim damage

Nipple:  the nut at the end of a spoke that nobody knows the real name for.

crotch-testing: sudden impact between a male rider’s private parts and something very hard and pointy, such as a handlebar stem or seat.

And, of course, Hard tail: a bike with front suspension but no rear suspension.

Obviously. 😉

Definitions courtesy of the entertainingly-written Dictionary of Mountain Bike Slang.


Mountain biking can’t be the only sport/pastime with slightly dodgy jargon!

Do any of you have the sort of hobby where, if you talk about it in public, you get funny looks – even if what you’re saying is entirely innocent?

All commenters will be entered into a draw for winner’s choice of an e-book from my backlist, PLUS a gift certificate for $25 from Amazon (or the e-book retailer of your choice). The more blog tour posts you comment on, the more chances you get!  See my website here for full itinerary.

Finding love can be a bumpy ride.

His job: downsized out of existence. His marriage: dead in the water. It doesn’t take a lot of arm twisting for Tim Knight to agree to get out of London and take over his injured brother’s mountain bike shop for a while. A few weeks in Southampton is a welcome break from the wreck his life has become, even though he feels like a fish out of water in this brave new world of outdoor sports and unfamiliar technical jargon.

The young man who falls—literally—through the door of the shop brings everything into sharp, unexpected focus. Tim barely accepts he’s even in the closet until his attraction to Matt Berridge pulls him close enough to touch the doorknob.

There’s only one problem with the loveable klutz: his bullying boyfriend. Tim is convinced Steve is the cause of the bruises that Matt blows off as part of his risky sport. But rising to the defense of the man he’s beginning to love means coming to terms with who he is—in public—in a battle not even his black belt prepared him to fight. Until now.

Product Warnings: Contains an out-and-proud klutz, a closeted, karate-loving accountant—and a cat who thinks it’s all about him. Watch for a cameo appearance from the Pricks and Pragmatism lovers. May inspire yearnings for fresh air, exercise, and a fit, tanned bike mechanic of your very own.

Hard Tail is available from Samhain Publishing at a reduced price for a limited time only.

Jamie’s website:
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Goodreads page:
Amazon author page:

Handle with Care contest and other giveaways

I’m gearing up for the release of Handle with Care on Tuesday 24th April, and have news of a few giveaways you might be interested in:

I’m giving away your choice from my back catalogue over on Embrace the Rainbow – a fabulous new blog set up specifically to educate about the wide spectrum of sexuality and gender identity within the GLBTQ community. 28 authors have offered books in the giveaway, including some really big names within the genre. Comments close at midnight EDT on April 18th:

Comment over at Stumbling Over Chaos to win a copy of Handle with Care – closes at 7 pm CDT, Monday, April 23:

And now for one in our time zone! Comment on this post for another Handle with Care giveaway. It will close at 9pm GMT on Monday, April 23, and I’ll send the randomly drawn winner their choice of ebook format the following day.

Do you want the blurb and cover art again? Oh, all right then…

The best things in life aren’t free…they’re freely given.

Ben Lethbridge doesn’t have many vices left. After raising his little sister to adulthood, he wasted no time making up for the youth he lost to responsible parenting. Two years of partying it up—and ignoring his diabetes—has left him tethered to a home dialysis regimen.

He can do his job from his flat, fortunately, but most of his favourite things are forbidden. Except for DVD porn…and fantasizing over Ollie, the gorgeous, purple-haired skateboarder who delivers it.

Their banter is the highlight of Ben’s lonely day, but his illness-ravaged body is the cruel reality that prevents him from believing they’ll do anything more than flirt. Not to mention the age gap. Still, Ben figures there’s no harm in sprucing himself up a bit.

Then one day, a package accidentally splits open, revealing Ben’s dirty little secret…and an unexpected connection that leaves him wondering if he’s been reading Ollie wrong all this time. There’s only one way to find out: risk showing Ollie every last scar. And hope “far from perfect” is good enough for a chance at love.

Warning: Contains superhero porn comics and a cute, accident-prone delivery guy with colour-changing hair. Readers may experience coffee cravings, an unexpected liking for bad mullets, and the urge to wrap Ollie up and take him home.

Read an excerpt

Check out the upcoming blog tour (also with prizes!)

24th April 2012, Samhain Publishing
ebook novel – 51,000 words
Cover art by Kanaxa
Preorder links:
Kindle US | Kindle UK | Publisher


Vintage Smut Sunday: The WTF? pictures and a caption contest (m/m – NSFW)

Hope you’re all having a great day and not being the butt of too many practical jokes! In honour of April Fools Day, I’m serving up the silliest vintage porn I’ve collected 😉

I’m also having a caption contest – best caption for each picture can choose an ebook from my backlist. I’ll make the final decision tomorrow (Monday) round about 10am, GMT.

Continue reading

Writerly Ramblings at Romance Around the Corner and two giveaway contests!

Yes, Writerly Ramblings this month is hosted at the fantastic review blog, Romance Around the Corner. Head on over there to meet my muse – but be warned, there’s a NSFW picture in there!

There’s also a giveaway contest to commenters on the post, and the winner can choose between Tailor Made or the First Impressions series.

There’s also a giveaway contest for First Impressions in its shiny second edition over on Chris’ wonderful blog, Stumbling Over Chaos. Comment to enter!


Get your limericks here: Charlie Cochrane writes to order!

Art by Ovsanna

When I asked Charlie what she wanted to do today she said she fancied doing something a bit different to a guest blog post, so instead she’s very bravely offered to write flashfics or limericks to order. Give her a subject (within reason) and she’ll go with it! Charlie’s writing is always witty, so you’re in for a treat 😉

In addition, all commenters on this post will be entered into the prize draw for an exclusive “Seductive Dr Coppersmith” T-shirt, featuring gorgeous Deco inspired artwork of Orlando Coppersmith (from the Cambridge Fellows series) looking far more spiffing than a mathematician has any right to!

Get your prompts and comments in by midnight tonight (GMT) in order to be included in the draw and get your very own piece of fiction by Charlie. She’s promised to get them all written asap, and they’ll be posted up here when they’re done. She gives you her word they’ll be done by the 14th February at the very latest, and hopefully much sooner :)

Do keep your eyes peeled as I’ll be back in an hour or so with an excerpt from Charlie’s recent publication: Home Fires Burning, and then this afternoon with my mini reviews of some of her stories.

ETA – Here’s the master list of all the challenge fics Charlie wrote:

Two limericks for Elin and E Van Hine

A limerick for Tam and a flashfic for HJ

A poem for JL Merrow

Cambridge Fellows flashfics for Jay Rookwood and Stevie Carroll

A Wolves of the West flashfic for Grace Roberts

Limericks for me and Anne Barwell

A Home Fires Burning flashfic for Thrace Adams, and a very silly poem for Prue