Trend Bucker, Tradition Fucker: Sex Before Books

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“So you don’t just bang on about feelings?” asked one tongue-in-cheek male reader before downloading and thoroughly enjoying one of my hard-hitting, fiercely uncomplicated short stories about drugs, male violence and life on the streets. I appreciated his honesty. A question is always better than an assumption.

For probably the last five times I told a stranger I write books their first question has been, “Is it romance?” The two muscles I use on either side of my face to create an understanding (and definitely not annoyed in any way whatsoever) half-smile are starting to ache. When I asked, politely and with as few expletives as possible, “Why do you suspect I write romance?” a substantial number replied along the lines of, “Well, you’re a woman.”

For over a century, women have fought hard to be published, often resorting to using male pseudonyms, like the rebellious political essayist and women’s rights advocate, George Sand. When a young Charlotte Brontë sent her first poetry anthology to poet laureate, Robert Southey, his response went down in bookish history: “Literature cannot be the business of a woman’s life.” To their credit, Charlotte and her talented family proved their doubters very wrong. When JK Rolling unmasked her male identity, ‘Robert Galbraith’, to the editor of her crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling, he replied, with honest surprise, “I never would have thought a woman wrote that.”

Of course, much has changed and many women are published purely for their talents as exceptional writers, their great ideas for books and their determination to succeed in the profession they care most about, but there are still a few sexual skeletons in the literary closet and I personally believe the imbalance is down to either sexism in the readership or harsh marketing stereotypes. Continue reading

This is Joe. Joe hates his job and loathes corporate jargon… #BeMoreRebel

Angry bananaMeet Joe. He likes bananas. He hates wanky office speak. We tested him out on a few phrases to see if we could get him to explode.

Give us your thoughts on “Idea Shower”, Joe

“Brainstorm” is too nineties, so some knob came up with this phrase to describe the corporate process of masturbating – sorry, creating solutions – in the office shower. Why is another fucking matter.

What aboutLook under the bonnet?”

In office-speak, this means “to work shit out by thinking”. In most walks of life, where not everyone you meet is a class-A prick, you don’t need to deliberately create a way of saying “I’m thinking now.” Prepare the fucking OBE.

“Touch base offline”?

A heinous example of office jargon, this is a way of getting people in offices to actually fucking talk to one another, because for those who’re sane enough to avoid corporate suck-fests, some office wankers send emails to people two metres from their own faces.

“Get all your ducks in a row”…

An asshole’s way of saying “be organised”. If they actually used ducks, it’d be ok, but you guessed it, they don’t. They’re too fucking boring.

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Brave Realistic Fiction: Enter The Unpredictable World Of Sex Media

article-2582395-1C5A1FE900000578-853_634x632Lonely Simon Webber lives with his retired parents in Edgewood, Kentucky. He is addicted to real-time pornography. To sate secret fetishes he waits until he’s alone in the house, then logs onto Sex Media, a successful business devoted to satisfying the sexual needs of a range of clients worldwide using high speed, online technology. Simon excitedly selects GIRL with LONG LOOSE HAIR and he soon sees it flowing.

On the other side of the world, teenage orphan, Opal Sang, arrives on the doorstep of an abandoned tower block in Sangbashi, a concrete wilderness once dubbed ‘The Dubai of Northern China’. She is given her first assignment: to dance, near-naked and nervous, for the benefit of a stranger in America watching on his bedroom webcam. Opal thinks she made the right decision coming to this place, but after a few minutes in the STRAWBERRY ROOM with new client Simon Webber, something begins to frighten her.

That night, Opal meets another female worker by the name of Xian, an ex-student who learned to suppress her rebellious streak to avoid the violent temper of notorious Sex Media manager, Ramirez. Xian is resilient and experienced, yet when she finds Opal’s body – alive but drugged – she decides the time has come to do more than survive. As the two friends enact their ambitious plan, they dream only of justice and freedom, but in truth, their precious futures hang from a fast-unravelling thread.


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Sex Media is Carla’s darkest, most powerful piece of fiction so far, an emotionally-charged yet life-affirming portrayal of the global sex trade at its rawest and most diverse.

Discover Sex Media’s secrets for yourself by reading the free excerpt at: Amazon UK, Amazon US and Kobo.

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Why You Don’t Have To Fear Your Nightmares

9639660504_96c83e1059_bEveryone has a nightmare once in a while, that terrifying moment when you wake in fear, palms sweating, heart racing, wondering where you are. Some scientists believe bad dreams are a natural coping strategy for life’s stresses and strains and might even help us deal with our problems. But what’s worse than waking up from a bad dream? Surely, not waking up at all? Or is it being alive, but not being able to tell anyone? I can guess what you’re about to say: you don’t want to think about death or anything close. Neither do I, but there is an intriguing state in between that few people have properly explored. Most of us know it as a coma, a persistent unconsciousness, but it’s far from death. According to some it’s a tantalising glimpse of the afterlife, if you’re lucky enough to wake up and remember it, that is. Scary as long-lasting unconsciousness may seem to us, there is something fascinating and mysterious about the way some people have simply opened their eyes and woken up again after months or even years of inhabiting a place we know nothing about. Some survivors report feeling, thinking and knowing exactly what’s going on during their time of quiet, but realising that deep down, even if they tried to, they’d be unable to make contact with the real world.

I’d like you to try a thought experiment with me – one I’ve tried a few times on my own. Just so you know, it’s not dangerous, but it might raise a few challenges, throw up a few surprises. Imagine, just for a moment, that you were in a state of long-lasting consciousness – that you can hear everything going on around you, but simply can’t interact. Imagine you hear a friend’s voice, but you can’t respond. Imagine you hear your own baby cry, but can’t console her. Now imagine your family have begun to make decisions about your future without you – and that future isn’t going to be very long at all. What if you realised, in the deepest recesses of your mind, that there was a way to escape and be free again without the doctors helping you? What if you were the first person to ever find a way of escaping a coma?


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This is how the story, Coma House, was born – one that explores the mysteries of consciousness and the fears that drive our most frightening thoughts, but also shows us how we can use our most unnerving moments to our advantage, to create happier, more successful lives. Somewhere inside us all is an unexplored world waiting to be discovered – and let me tell you this, you don’t need to fall unconscious to find yours.

Explore Carla’s surreal, emotionally-charged short thriller with a free excerpt at: Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon US or Kobo or click the cover of the book (left) to own your own copy on your tablet or phone. Continue reading

“Most people assume I write at night because of the kind of books I write, but I can shut out the light with my mind.”

Rule One: No Amount Of Money Or Power Can Give A Man Principles

kids on streetI’m shocked by the rich-poor divide in Britain. The way we’ve gone from hiding our poorest communities on urban back streets to hiding them in ‘self-contained’ estates. I’m shocked that psychologists have recently proved that we see poorer people, especially the homeless, as fundamentally different and less important than other human beings. I’m also angry by the rich-list’s blatant disregard for those of ‘lower’ class, the way they flout their wealth so openly with polluting cars and parties and regard tax avoidance as a right of passage.

People with a lot of money want us to believe they earned it, but the truth is many of them come from wealthy families to begin with and didn’t make every penny they spend. Only a small proportion of rich people are genuine entrepreneurs who came from nowhere to make it big – and they should be respected, so long as they pay their taxes and give a bit back. From my upbringing in a relatively poor, semi-rural community to my time meeting wealthy friends with ‘everything’ at private school, I’ve seen the full spectrum of the class and financial systems and the benefits and perils of both extremes. Growing up on the outskirts of a Northern town, then moving temporarily to central London where the rich-poor divide is packed into an even narrower space, my eyes were opened at a young age to the differences between people’s buying power, their status in society and the subsequent power they had as people – but something else kept catching my attention.

Everywhere I go, I notice this: there are decent, principled people in every income group, every class and every location. On the flip side, there are some distinctly indecent people in every strata of society, too. But the time when you see a person’s true colours tends to be when their circumstances alter in a sudden or unexpected way and those alterations in wealth or status – either shifting up or down the social ladder – can lead to some very interesting outcomes.


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Based on real life experience, The Social Worker is an urban thriller with a difference. Three men – a destitute drug addict, a courageous career criminal and a strung-out social worker – battle it out for position in a culture of violence and financial extremes where few follow the rules and no one is quite what they seem. Enjoy a free excerpt or purchase a copy here at: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Goodreads or Kobo.

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