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Guest blogger: Barbara Strickland

29 October 2017

Following that dream

Butterflies have always had a special significance (long story) for me. Consequently I have a small tattoo on my shoulder, and I make reference to butterflies in my novel quite a few times. Cocooned, these fascinating creatures are safe, but will gossamer wings and delicate tiny bodies manage to survive once outside of that warm green haven? I ask the same question about the emerging writer.

As a new writer I know so little and yet I want to spread my wings and please my audience. I want to be that gorgeous creature and flutter and flitter above a multi-coloured world of flowers and nature. I want metamorphism, an event where any of us can step away from the ordinary and become, well, the extra-ordinary. Too bad anxiety walks hand and hand with the change, but then maybe it should.

I truly believe we can do anything we set our minds to if we are willing to work towards it and are willing to accept that success comes with the trying. Let’s face it, not everybody will be an Emily Bronte, or JK Rowling or a David Malouf. But, in our own way, we can be that little bit of out of the ordinary and follow our passions, our dreams. As a teacher I’ve always encouraged this train of thought.

Writing is a hard and possessive taskmaster. It means exposure. Will I be considered delusional? I mean I am a grandmother (and not the svelte, sophisticated kind you see in the movies). I would definitely benefit from some Botox and a regular hairdresser. Should I, can I write romance?

To follow a dream is to take a leap into the unknown, a gap so wide it can cross an ocean. The choice is ours. Jump and we might make it, or at worst make it a reasonable distance. Don’t jump and we will always wonder, what if?

In one of Elvis’s early films he sings a song called ‘Follow that dream’. There are a couple of lines that I really like.

‘But when a dream is calling you,
There’s just one thing that you can do
Well, you gotta follow that dream wherever that dream may lead.’

It has led me into a wonderfully wacky world where you get to meet equally wonderfully wacky people who follow their writing dreams. The writing community is pretty selfless and the willingness to help astounds and delights. Their support encases the novice in a warm cocoon where a butterfly might just gain enough courage to flourish. Evolving as a writer has meant an evolution of my life into a world of trust, and one of faith in the goodness of those around me. It has led me to a community whose generous characteristics I am trying hard to infuse into my books.

I have an Italian background, so my community will have a multicultural flavour but mostly it will be spiced in humanity. A stand-alone series with continuity, my novels will feature the wonderful diversity Australia offers and with it a chance to see the world. The first book is down and out there, and four more will follow with two of them focusing on age and sexiness as not mutually exclusive.

My couple in Unexpected Obsession (also available in print in the next few weeks—hurrah!) don’t live in isolation. My hero would prefer to indulge his possessive nature. He isn’t always very nice and he will battle to keep control of everything around him especially in keeping her to himself, so I hope you will enjoy watching his growth as the series progresses just as I hope you grow to love the characters you meet along the way.

‘Good, so good’ she whispered, moving her mouth away from his to look at him. He held her gaze for a second then swept down to nibble on her bottom lip. Lia dug her nails into his back, tightening her hold by locking her legs around his waist. She pulled away again to speak. ‘Do you know how much I love this, you and me?’ Her hands slid slowly up his back and into his hair. She tugged hard enough to hurt but not enough to stop his thrusts, the thrusts she met with equal abandon. Her hand though, kept him firmly from her mouth. ‘But it won’t be enough to hold me, if you keep trying to force me into doing what you think is right.’

‘Lia.’ He slowed his movements. She wouldn’t have it, lifting her bottom to slam into him. He groaned.

‘Listen to me. You have to let me decide for me. Understand, Nico.’ She slackened the tension in his hair. He used the moment to nod. ‘Now fuck me like I wanted. Hard and fast.’

Find Unexpected Obsession, Book 1 of the Unexpected series at Amazon and Smashwords.

For the chance to win an ecopy of Unexpected Obsession, just leave a comment below. The giveaway will close on 5 November.

You can find Barbara here: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Unexpected Obsession

One moment of unexpected madness can change the path destiny sets out forever. Under a hot Sicilian sun antagonism will melt into blazing sensuality for a beautiful Italo-Australian woman, and for Nico, self-contained and disciplined, his attraction to Lia will destroy the carefully constructed rules of a lifetime.

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