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I’ve got nothing… 6 ideas for blog posts

Silken Sheets & Seduction

sofia1

I’m a writer, so writing should come easy, right? Nu huh.

A subject might be top of my mind, or prompted by the news, or simply a burning issue that I want to speak about. But other times… man, it’s tough. The blank page never looked so empty.

To save me beating my head against the desk (which doesn’t actually work as a prompt), I keep lists of ideas. Suggestions from other people, as to subjects to blog about. Here are 6 of my favourites.

  1. Make a list

People love lists. Nice, bite-sized chunks of information. I prefer the shorter lists. I find the 99 Ways to < insert subject >overwhelming, but give me less than 10 things and I’m happy.

  1. Write a review

I’m an avid reader and it thrills me to share recommendations for books I’ve loved. Same with movies. You don’t have to be a critic…

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By sofiagrey1 Posted in News
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6 rock covers that are better than the originals

 

I know the version of a song I hear first is usually the one I like the best, and every time I hear another artist cover it I cringe, and think whyyyyyy? But sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised.

And so, here in no particular order, are six tracks that I think transcended from good, to Holy-freakin’ GREAT, when they were reproduced. Go on, take a listen. See if you agree 🙂

 

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Original: Tears for Fears

Cover: Lorde

The original was a poppy, light-hearted 80’s song, but Lorde turned it into a different beast altogether. Dark, and brooding, it’s PERFECT for this Assassin’s Creed Unity game trailer

 

Wicked Game

Original: Chris Isaak

Cover: Stone Sour

Stone Sour kept the moody, soulful vibe the same, but with enhanced melodic guitar runs. I’m sure there’s a timing slip-up too, around 2:46, but that happens to the best, and adds a delicious complexity to the song.

 

 

Duality

Original: Slipknot

Cover: I Am Giant

How to turn a rock anthem into a heartbreaker. Step 1. Take a heavy number, from a heavy band. Step 2. Watch as kiwi band I Am Giant turn it into an acoustic dream.

 

Baker Street

Original: Gerry Rafferty

Cover: Foo Fighters

Who else would have the skills and the heart to turn this jazz-esque number into a rock ballad?

 

Black Betty

Original: (Lead Belly in the 1930’s) and then Ram Jam

Cover: Spiderbait

Ohhh. Gotta love the crazy drummer. This neglected number comes to life in their hands.

 

 

Hurt

Original: Nine Inch Nails

Cover: Johnny Cash

Another track that becomes almost unbearably poignant second time around, in the skilled hands of the late Johnny Cash. Trent Reznor, who wrote the song, said that Johnny’s version was better than his own.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/the-story-behind-johnny-cash-s-hurt-still-the-saddest-music-video-of-all-time-a6683371.html

 

 

 

I’m sure there are more, but these are six that spring to mind immediately. How about you? Do any of these ping your cringe radar? Or are there any I missed?

 

 

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FREE and DISCOUNT romances in the Stuff Your E-Reader Sale

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E-reader a little skinny after the holidays? Stuff it with 75+ FREE and $0.99 romances from best-selling Australian and New Zealand authors. From sexy or sweet contemporaries to romantic comedy, historical, paranormal, romantic suspense, erotica, women’s fiction and Urban fantasy/Sci-fi/fantasy – we’ve got you covered.

PS: two of my sexy contemporary titles are included – PERFECT STRANGER and POLE POSITION, both at $0.99.

 

PPS: the sale only runs until December 30th, so grab ’em while you can!

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You want to know more?

How can you pass on FREE romances from Tracey Alvarez, Leanna Morgan, Diana Fraser and Demelza Carlton? How about bargains from Bronwen Evans, Heather Boyd and Janet Elizabeth Henderson? And plenty more.

More romances than you can shake a very large stick at… 🙂

Year 2016 written on sand at sunset

* Closes the door on 2016 *

It doesn’t seem almost a year since I woke up to the news that David Bowie had died. I never met him, or even saw him perform live, and yet I felt as saddened by his passing as I would an old friend.

As a teenager, and in my early twenties, I had a number of clear and vivid dreams about him. In those he was a friend, someone who called around to my place and hung out with me, when he wasn’t on tour. There was no concept of Rock Star, he was just David. I don’t recall dreaming about him for years, and then he visited my nocturnal plane the night before he died. Once again we hung out, drank wine and chatted about our lives, and then he was gone. And when I awoke that morning it was to find he’d truly gone.

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2016 was a year of oddities. David Bowie was the first of many celebrities and musicians to go. There were political upheavals with Brexit, and much later, The Donald. There were more terrorist atrocities. The weather seemed confused too. Extremes of everything – and the ground shook HARD in New Zealand.

Was anything good this year?

I discovered SUITS on TV and binge-watched my way through all 5 seasons. I ❤ Harvey.

I read some fantastic books. I fell in love with Sarina Bowen’s new romances (True North series), set in Vermont. Also her Ivy Years college romances.

I listened to some awesome music. There was the day-long Homegrown Music Festival in Wellington (in March), featuring the best of New Zealand’s live music. I also discovered Highly Suspect, Kaleo, and Broods.

If you somehow haven’t heard Highly Suspect, you don’t know what you’re missing. And THIS video. It’s just… WOW! Shot entirely underwater, in a single take, she really does hold her breath that long. Incredible!

I hope 2017 is kind to us.

What were your high (low) lights of the year?

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A Holiday Treat from Sofia Grey

Silken Sheets & Seduction

sofia1

Go on, treat yourself. You’ve been busy shopping, and planning your holiday celebrations, but now it’s time for you. I’ve discounted two of my contemporary romances for a limited time. At $0.99 each, you can afford to lose yourself without breaking the bank. Enjoy  🙂

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PERFECT STRANGER

Kate’s having the birthday from hell. A sadistic boss and rumors of a corporate takeover threatening her handpicked team are bad enough, but then her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. In a monsoon.

A one-night stand with the delicious Jordan Merrill is probably not her best idea, but it’s far more appealing than room service and pay-per-view. Like Cinderella, she runs away from the best night of her life, but instead of leaving a glass slipper, she drops her business card.

Like Prince Charming, Jordan isn’t satisfied with just one night, though he and Kate live hundreds of miles apart.

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By sofiagrey1 Posted in News
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Perfect Rebound is now available (a contemp novella from Sofia Grey)

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If you read and enjoyed PERFECT STRANGER, this one is for you. It wraps up the budding relationship between Cade and Jenny  🙂

 

PERFECT REBOUND

 

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Cade’s been in love with Jenny for years. She’s recovering from an abusive marriage, and is scared of falling for the wrong guy again.

With Cade about to move halfway around the world for his job, time is running out to show Jenny he’s more than her best friend.

He’d be the perfect rebound, if only she’d take a chance on him.

 

Available for $0.99 from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

 

 

EXCERPT

 

Jenny was so far out of my league, she could have been in a different time zone.

She was blonde, bubbly, and gorgeous, while I was a geek. Her idea of a good night out included friends and drinks, while mine was more likely to involve pixels or lines of code.

And yet, we hit it off. She was so damned kind, with a heart the size of Kansas. Or Texas. Whichever was larger.

I stared at the phone in my hand and forced myself to think about the call I just took. Best career opportunity ever. The chance to work for a respected previous boss, on his dream team. Promotion to Lead Developer. Pay raise, of course, an exciting project, and a trip Down Under—six to eight months in New Zealand, visa organized for me and all expenses paid.

What was stopping me from calling right back and saying yes?

Jenny.

Could I bear to be away from her for so long?

We weren’t a couple, much as I loved the idea, and though Jen had started divorce proceedings, it might be years before she was free of her shit of a husband. We were the best of friends, who not only worked together but also shared a house. Anything more was as unlikely as flying to the moon. On my motorbike.

There was every chance Jen would relish the idea of having the house to herself. I wouldn’t know until I talked to her, and that had to be soon. Alan wanted a decision quickly.

My head whirling, I walked back to my desk and found Jen bent over, writing a sticky note for me. I paused and watched, drinking in the sight of her luscious arse, the tight skirt clinging to her thighs. Jen had the figure of a 1950’s pin-up model, with curves that screamed to be touched and blonde hair that bounced as though she was taking part in a shampoo commercial. She was fucking gorgeous.

Slow down, Cade. It was only six months since she left Rob. It was too soon for me to make a move on her.

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A New Direction

Silken Sheets & Seduction

sofia1

After three years of publishing sexy romances, I’m changing direction. My next major release, LYING IN SHADOWS, is a little different. It’s a romantic suspense, true, but without the bedroom action. Trust me, the characters still get it on, but there’s so much else going on in the book, that it didn’t need the extra oomph from the sweaty clinches.

fear-kills-bwThis is all a bit scary. The readers I’ve attracted love the heat in my books, so why am I taking this risk?

It’s a brand new series, admittedly with some characters from my previous books, and so it gives me the opportunity to attract new readers – ones who might have shied away from me before.

I’ll still be writing sexy scenes, but not in this series.

What do you think? Do you flip the pages until you find the scorching sex scenes, or do you skim past them?

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By sofiagrey1 Posted in News
Close up portrait of a young attractive romantic couple hugging and kissing, laying down on a white bed, having sex and being loving with each other. Love and relationships lifestyle, interior bedroom.

FREE ebook – Wolf at the Door (Snowdonia Wolves #1)

 

For the next 5 days, you can grab a FREE ecopy of Wolf at the Door, the first in my steamy, shifter romance series.

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wolf_at_the_door_cover_for_kindleLove can heal all wounds…

Pop star Lillian Hart is determined never to trust another man. She has no idea that the wolf at her door is anything other than a wounded dog, much less the Alpha of the Snowdonia Wolf pack. There’s something about the wild creature that pulls at her. Then a man with her wolf’s eyes starts to invade her dreams, and reality and fantasy merge in a way that has her hoping, against all odds, for dreams to come true.

Lillian may have sworn off men, but Jake’s not just any man, he’s a shifter, and he’s about to shift Lillian’s world to make room for him. He vows to claim her as his Mate, and when Jake makes a vow, he keeps it. But Lillian wants to take it slow and Jake is not about to waste any time.

In this battle of wills, both discover giving in and trusting their hearts can heal even the deepest of hurts.

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5 post-quake behaviours

Living on an active fault line

I’ve experienced a few earthquakes now, two of which were scary. I’m talking huddled-under-the-desk scared, with ten floors of offices above my head, while the building shook like a rattle in a toddler’s fist. Not fun.

Most of them are gentle, varying from a slight jolt to a swaying sensation, much like being on a boat. I’m fine with those, after all, it’s part of the trade-off for living in one of the most beautiful countries in the world: it’s also one of the most seismically active.

Anyway. Most people who live here, certainly those in the vast area from Christchurch through to Wellington, have adopted new behaviours over the past few years.

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1. Keep the phone charged

As soon as it drops to half-battery, I whip out my charging cable. It might shave a few months from the expected lifespan of the battery, but it’s better than being caught with no electricity and just a few minutes of power left.

 2. Carry the phone everywhere!

While I’m at work, it goes with me (on silent) to every meeting, every time I venture outside, or go to the bathroom or the kitchen. If I get stuck somewhere, I can use it to call for help (if the phone network is still working), use the flashlight (another reason to always keep the battery full!), or—hopefully—text my family to tell them I’m safe and to ask if they’re okay.

3. Keep the petrol tank in the car at least half full

I might have to evacuate in a hurry, with no time to top up the tank. Also, in the event of a big quake, the power lines will be down and the petrol stations not working.

4. Look out for ‘safe zones’ when out and about

The main shopping street in Wellington is filled with tower blocks and glass. I dread the idea of being caught there if the Big One happened, but I keep an eye on safe zones: doorways and recesses, or areas of open ground well away from the buildings. I’d dive under a café table if it offered me some shelter.

5. Always have trainers / flat shoes / walking boots at hand

Wellingtonians usually wear flat shoes around the city (it’s hilly, with uneven sidewalks), but I now always keep a sturdy pair of comfortable trainers (and socks) under my desk. Not so much for walking the ninety km home, but for walking to a friend’s house if I get stranded in the city.

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There are other things I do now, that I never did before (hoard bottled water and muesli bars at home, and always keep a flashlight by the side of my bed), but I might save those for another list.

Did I miss anything? What do you do differently now?