Sam Skyborne’s Blog

 

Book review: Philip Pullman's La Belle Sauvage


Philip Pullman's La Bell Sauvage

My thoughts:

I loved the “Dark Materials” trilogy and was super excited when I discovered here was another opportunity to meet up with Lyra and go on adventures in her fantastical world of daemons and dust. This prequel did not disappoint. It is certainly another, hugely imaginative, awe inspiring, action packed quest to save the magical child set in Oxford, England.
Personally, I would have liked to have known more about some of the characters, especially the more mystical ones. The baddie, in particular, was an intriguing, very sinister character that certainly captured my imagination. However, I would have liked to know more about him. What made him the way he was? And, I would have liked to understand his motivation for pursuing the main characters, a bit more fully.

<< Click the image to get your copy.

 


Merry Christmas!! - Gift for You!

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So…

I have written a short little fic distantly related to the Toni Mendez (RISK) universe called “Stakeout”.
It’s a steamy little dream Toni had about her long term friend and occasional colleague, Lizbeth, one night on a stakeout and what happened afterwards during the early days of her realising her own feelings…. There is no hiding from one’s own unconscious!

Not only because it’s Christmas… but it is a small token of my gratitude to you all for your kindness and support.

Thank you!




Free "RISK" Sample now available

I am very pleased to say I finally managed to get a sample sorted of RISK!!

You can get the details of how to download it below.

Happy reading!!

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RISK – Free Sample!

Three Crime-fighting Women RISK All for Love, Lust and Justice

A Lesbian Crime Thriller & Romance!

For Adults ONLY!

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Hot new crime thriller – A gripping, racy page-turner, starring three strong, sexy female protagonists on the hunt for a psychotic killer.

“In the dark domains of crime, lust and love – innocence and guilt mix like blood and water. Will Toni RISK it all to catch the psychotic killer?”

Toni Mendez, an ex-cop turned private investigator in London, takes on a case to find the truth behind the violent murder of the young wife of a successful entrepreneur, Lucille Ransom-Evans. Little did she know that this case would bring to her door Maxine Bennett, a feisty, opinionated, American detective, on the hunt for a serial killer.

Maxine not only infiltrates Toni’s working life presenting a sore reminder of a profession she once loved, she also invades her private life by seducing her best friend, Lizbeth Du Cannon. As the investigation continues, Toni is immersed more and more, both professionally and privately, into a subculture she knew only from a distance – the LGBTQ+ world. She is forced to reassess everything she thought she knew about herself and the foundations of her long-term friendship with Lizbeth.

Get your Sample here:



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“A complete thrill!” – Melonie
“Don’t read on the Tube! – TOO HOT” – Rosie
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“A gripping and sexy page turner” – Patty
“Great sex!” – Jane
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“A new depiction of our world. I like it!” – Jake
“I like the combination of crime and sizzler!” – Pepe

Or Buy NOW:

Large Print Copy of RISK

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More Reader Reviews

Note: If you too enjoyed the book, please let me know!! And join my VIP mailing list to be notified about any new releases.

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Loved it!

“It is 2am. I’ve just finished this book. I picked it up last night at 9 thinking I’d read a few pages. Now I am buzzing! 😉 Loved it. Loved the fact that it was sexy and also engaged my brain in a good story.” – Jacky

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A really good read

“I really enjoyed everything about this book. The characters are excellent & you really feel you get to know them and can relate to them. There are lots of twists & turns along the way which you don’t see coming & which keep you turning pages. RISK cleverly combines crime, romance, and some brilliantly written sex-scenes, and is a great read from start to finish. I really appreciate the fact this book has a real story line and plot, and that the additional romance within its pages just happens to be between women. Definitely recommended.” – Lily

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A thoroughly enjoyable read

“Risk is a fast – paced, exciting book with a host of interesting and relatable characters and a lot of hot intimate scenes! I read the whole book in one sitting and was kept guessing right up until the end. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who appreciates good crime writing and strong female characters!” – Elly

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Stimulating Page turner

“Not your usual detective novel, yes it has a crime, intrigue but this book offers more, much more.
The sexual tension between the detectives is well,…. Very tense.
This is a gripping page turner in every sense of the word, both for plot and characterisation.
Yes it deals with lesbian relationships which are often fraught. But it is not your usual shallow lesbian novel, this spreads it’s wings further, it captures your imagination and draws you in.
This book is definitely a Risk worth taking”
– Gery

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FIVE STARS for another great read from Sam Skyborne

“Bought this from the author at #LFest and I couldn’t put it down!!! It’s a brilliant read – I’ve been waiting for another story from Sam Skyborne and RISK doesn’t disappoint. It’s a real page-turner: a great story, fast moving with lots to it as well as three strong – and sexy – female leads. Now all we need is a follow up, please!” – Ally

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Fun Sexy Read!

“I really enjoyed this book. I hate to sound cliche but….I had a hard time putting it down. The crime aspect is well thought out and kept me engrossed and to be blunt…it is sexy as hell (and that really kept me engrossed). The squirming sexual “awakening” of Toni was fun to follow. I don’t like reviews that give away the entire plot so suffice to say….I really enjoyed it, it was a fun read, and I recommend it!” – Musiclover

As indie authors it is very hard to spread the word about the books we have spent time and toil creating for our readers. Please help us by telling others whom you think might be interested in RISK about it.

 


Supernatural Book Readings... Book readings boring? Ha.. watch this.

So.. some of you might have heard of the odd book reading or two.. and let’s be honest mostly they can be rather dull… but not always. Here is a clip taken of one of my readings in Skala Eressos in September during the Sappho International Women’s Festival.

Get your copy here: Simulation: The Dawn of a Superhero my futuristic lesbian sci-fi fantasy.

If you’d like to receive notification of my new posts or new book/film releases and promotions, please add your details here to my private mailing list.

And see the right side column for some of my other books. :-)


"Cat Sitting" Story/film COMBO on Promotion! NOW - until 30th Nov 2017

Twinkles Diva

Twinkles is very pleased to announce that we are currently running a special promotion of “Cat Sitting” the short story and short film combo box, wherein she is undoubtedly the DIVA. 💅🏻

Be sure to get your eBook or Paperback copy from Cat Sitting on Amazon SOON. The promotion ends on Thursday the 30th November 2017.

What do you think? Does Twinkles’s performance is worthy of her DIVA status?

📌 Also check out the right side 👉🏻 column for some of my novels 📚.


Holiday Snaps - Hookey and me (Follow on from Holiday Romance)

As so often happens with holiday romance stories… sometimes one can get carried away. 🙄 “He”/”she”, who seemed like “Prince/ss Charming” at the time, turns out to be a real toad as time goes by and they forget to text or write or message….

So, just to prove that I was not making it up, I thought I’d post two lovely holiday snaps of my tall dark handsome stranger.

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Needless to say he has not texted or written or messaged .. 😔 .. but with climate change he has promised to come visit.
If you’d like to receive notification 📧 of my new posts or book/film releases and promotions 💫🎉 , please add your details here to my private mailing list >>

Check out the right side 👉🏻 column for some of my novels 📚.

*** Other NEWS: Promos ***

I am running a special promo for “Simulation”, “Cat Sitting” and “Saying Sorry” during the next two weeks on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Find out more here >>


Whaleshark - Holiday Romance

It is a true story, even though the telling of it is creative…

Whaleshark Snorkelling Holiday Romance

Sometimes reality is better than fiction. That is me in the picture!

He was a tall (2.5 meter long) dark stranger. We met one morning in late September just off the shore of a beautiful tropical island. I can honestly say, for me, it was love at first sight.

As often happens in these situations, when they sneak up on you, I was not looking at my best. I was wearing an ill-fitting bikini which was clinging a little too snugly across the bulges that had come to rest on my midriff during the recent over indulgent summer holiday. To add to the ensemble, I had a red over sized life-jacket tightly strapped over the top making me look like a beached baby whale in a corset. I had patiently waited my turn to take the plunge off of the twelve foot luxury yacht that had brought us out for our morning snorkel excursion. When it came to it I tried, but I suspect failed, not to plop too inelegantly into the azure water.

I was still catching my breath from the shock of submerging my small rotund self in the chilled salt water, bobbing uncontrollably like a buoy, when he glided up next to me, catching me by surprise. In contrast to my frenetic splutters and splashes, his large, lithe form was confidently languid, moving with effortless grace. His wise but little eyes gave me the once-over and then with an imperceptible nod he invited me on a tour of his world. Yes, he invited me, or so it felt, even though there was a whole gaggle of snorkelers clambering over each other (literally swimming over one another, fighting, flapping fins in faces) to get closer to him.

Very, very calmly and considerately he took the lead, gently guiding our path. Like a true gentleman, he’d slow down when I could not keep up, or I got water in the spout, or I steamed up my goggles. Once I’d caught my breath or he thought I might be getting bored, he’d speed up again, alternating in just the right proportions between diving down, swimming deeper to show me interesting things on the ocean floor, and surfacing to snuggle in closer for a more intimate exchange. Together we danced an intoxicating dance through the cobalt blue of the Indian Ocean and for three short hours I felt like the queen at the prom and he was my king.

Then, when it was over and my ride was ready to leave, I thanked him and blew him a kiss. Like the mysterious tall dark stranger he is, he nodded, bid me farewell “until we meet again” and disappeared off into the deep blue distance.

And we, Hooky and I, will meet again. I’m sure of it.

It was a brief but awesome encounter – the type that will feed fantasies for a lifetime.

If you’d like to receive notification of my new posts or new book/film releases and promotions, please add your details here to my private mailing list.>>


Why L.E.S Combos?

I have been asked quite frequently why I decided to create the Lesbian Erotic Stories COMBO Collection. Why did I feel the need to rewrite the stories of already great little short films?

Well, the answer is this. These films, like many others, not least a number of lesbian films, have been subjected to the “kiss CUT TO: The morning after” syndrome.

There are many reasons for this I am sure. I suspect is because:-
1) Writing sex scenes is rather difficult. I certainly am only just learning and starting to experiment with how to do it. Filming a good sex scene is even harder.
2) Filming sex scenes is often prohibitively expensive and certainly not often viable for a short film.
3) By leaving it blank the writer or filmmaker opts out of taking any stand. They tactfully allow the readers or audience to fill in the blanks in ways that are personal and suit each individual.

These are all very valid reasons and often the story does not require a detailed extrapolation on the sex scenes.

However, by taking this as default position I believe we miss out on an opportunity to give a view, to engage in a discourse on a topic which is essentially a part of our identity, our sexuality.

“Lesbians” and “sex” are not often mentioned in the same sentence in any non pornographic/more serious capacity unless it is a discussion on “Lesbian bed death”.

I exaggerate. True!

However, my point is, in my experience, lesbians and lesbian life-style is not commonly associated with adventurous sexual activity. In fact, it is quite commonly believed that most lesbians lead a more or less platonic life with their life-partners, favouring intellectual, spiritual or pure emotional connections with their significant other…. right in between digging up a flower bed in their communal allotment or brewing an herb tea. 😉

Gay men on the other hand, have a completely contrary reputation and very little is talked about the more lasting, deeply emotional connections between gay men and their life partners. But more about that later.

I am often told that there is no reason to fill in the blanks and that most explicit depictions of sex is gratuitous. I believe differently. There should be a good balance. I believe it is important that lesbian sexuality is visible, presented, discussed and enjoyed.

So what is it then? What do lesbians do in bed?

I am sure there are probably as many variations in lesbian sex as there are women on the planet, if not more.
:-)

So, with the L.E.S COMBO Collection I try to fill in the blanks by giving A VIEW of what could possibly happen in the absent CUT TO scenes. I also hope to demonstrate a sex scene can be an essential part of the story—without it the story is only half told. It was my hope to fundamentally change/augment/provide a twist to each of these stories in someway, by the addition of a meaningful sex scene.

What do you think? Did I succeed?


If you’d like to watch the films and read the stories they can be found here:

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Cat Sitting

L.E.S Combo I

A sexy lesbian romance of Loss, Lust & Love.

Sometime after a messy breakup, Alex finally agreed to do the cat sitting for her ex-lover, Teresa. She knew her first visit back to what she used to call ‘home’ would not be easy. However, she could never have imagined such an unexpected turn of events! =)

 

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Saying Sorry (On Pre-order Now)

L.E.S Combo II

A sexy lesbian story of Love, Anger and Forgiveness.

Having screwed-up again, Jo finds there is no easy way to say sorry. Repentance and forgiveness is a two-way interaction and the journey is not always easy, nor predictable. Each person needs to find their own way to the same end.

 


13th May - Happy birthday Florence Nightingale!

So, for those of you that don’t know, the 12th of May is quite an important day. For starters, it comes after “Twilight Zone Day” on the 11th and before “Blame Someone Else Day”, would you believe, on the 13th.

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It is not only “Limerick Day” and the beginning of the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations, but also happens to be the birthdate of Florence Nightingale.

To most of us, in the Western World at least, Florence and her amazing impact on health care is quite well known, perhaps not as well known as the Queen, but nevertheless. We mostly understand why she is so important and why there would be a number of statues, hospitals, stained glass windows and other laudations in her honour scattered around London, Derby and the rest of the UK, including seeing her face on a £10 bank note for a few years.

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Through the number of films, theatre productions, and our standard education we may know that she came to prominence while “serving as a manager of nurses trained by her during the Crimean War, where she organised the tending to wounded soldiers” and that she “gave nursing a highly favourable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture”, especially as ‘The Lady with the Lamp‘ while making rounds to tend to wounded soldiers at night.

She has even been heralded as a pioneer in the concept of medical tourism as a result of her 1856 letters describing spas in the Ottoman Empire. She detailed the health conditions, physical descriptions, dietary information, and other vital details of patients whom she directed there due to the treatment there being significantly less expensive than in Switzerland.

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Even though we mostly associate sanitary reform in the UK with Edwin Chadwick, a few of us know that Florence Nightingale was instrumental in getting the Public Health Acts of 1874 and 1875 passed that required owners of existing properties to pay for connection to mains drainage. She also combined with Edwin Chadwick to persuade Stansfeld, the minister responsible for the Public Health Bill, to devolve powers to enforce the law to Local Authorities, eliminating central control by medical technocrats.

We might even know her as a trail blazing statistician and that she was elected the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society and later became an honorary member of the American Statistical Association.

Even though we might disagree on whether she was a positive or a negative force for early feminism, we can all agree she was not insignificant in the history thereof and that “Cassandra”, the best known essay of an 829-page, three-volume work, which Nightingale had printed privately in 1860, which until recently was never published in its entirety, is regarded as a major text of English feminism.

According to more modern metrics, in 2002, Florence Nightingale was ranked #52 in the BBC’s list of the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide vote.

However, what very few of us do know, is that from the age of 37 until she died at 90 years of age, she suffered from chronic depression and potential PTSD. She also spent long periods of time completely bedridden as a result of potential undiagnosed brucellosis and associated spondylitis thought to have been contracted by ingesting unpasteurised milk or undercooked meat during the Crimean War.

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And then there is the question of her personal and private life. What little we know has been presented to us through the filter of a repressed and conservative male dominated heterosexual world—presenting views that we only very recently have dared to question.

“Some scholars of Nightingale’s life believe that she remained chaste for her entire life, perhaps because she felt a religious calling to her career.” Does this not perhaps sound like a suffocated interpretation of a potentially very different reality. A reality society could not speak of then. Could it be possible that her “several important and long-lasting friendships with women” were of a more significant and perhaps less chaste nature? Could Mary Clare Moore or Mary Clarke have been her life long loves or even her lovers?

Could her seemingly damning judgement of women: “I have never found one woman who has altered her life by one iota for me or my opinions,” not be seen as slightly too dramatic for a rational assessment but more likely her emotional response to a woman’s scorn?

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Could the fact that she often referred to herself in the masculine, as “a man of action” and “a man of business” potentially suggest that she regarded herself on the spectrum of transgender or as “non-binary” at the very least?

Even if we will never know the truth, the prospect that any of these are possibilities exist, as well as her formidable achievements in her life and her vast legacy is what has made her such an interesting character to me. This is why I chose to pay tribute to her in my latest novel, Simulation (Simulation: The Dawn of a Lesbian Superhero).

One of the main characters in the novel is a very intelligent highly successful medical scientist, Dr Victoria Henderson, who was partly modelled on Florence and the archetype she represents.

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The obvious comparisons in intellect, field of work and achievement is only the beginning.

Like Nightingale, Henderson is “a man of action” – A pragmatic, over achieving, seemingly slightly repressed, woman with a “masculine” mind, who keeps the company of men because they only engage her mentally and analytically which helps her to avoid needing to face the demons straining within.

Additionally, I also loved the imagery and symbolism embodied in the idea of “The lady with the lamp”, the person with holds the knowledge and the key to…. salvation? (substitute your own aspiration here) In fact, I found the dynamism of this theme so compelling that I allowed it to develop from a single lantern into the the formidable lamp of the lighthouse and even its extreme incarnation as a blazing fire–too much knowledge can burn?

 

If you would like to read my book you can get your copy here:

Simulation: The Dawn of a Lesbian Superhero (Novel)

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The Lighthouse Chronicles: Book 1

A lesbian superhero romance.

Set in a dystopian future when, after a decade of war, the United Kingdom is on it’s knees, ruled by strict martial law and where any ‘deviant’ behaviour like homosexuality or lesbianism is punishable in a manner worse than death–the perpetrators are forcefully ‘reset’. Samantha Fielding, an emotionally scarred war hero, struggles to adapt to ‘normal’ life so she enlists in a top secret scientific research program. Here, not only is she pushed way beyond her physical and emotional limits in order to unleash powerful and potentially lethal dormant human abilities, she also finds herself dangerously falling for the principal scientist, Dr Victoria Henderson – risking everything.

 


Top 5 FAQ questions related to Simulation.

Wollie_rainbowHi Everyone,

Yes, I am Sam. I am new to blogging but really quite excited about it. This will be my first post and as I know from life’s experience so far, I will try not to suck at this new activity, too much, as I find my feet.

So, as a starting point, I thought I would answer a few of the most frequently asked questions I get from readers when they find out or have read my new book for the first time.

1) Why did I write ‘Simulation: The Dawn of a Lesbian Superhero?’

Well, since I was an teenager I always liked science fiction & fantasy stories, particularly if it involved a strong female main character—a kick-ass female hero. Up until quite recently there were not many stories like this around. Finding a lesbian kick-ass hero was even more rare. So I came up with a few stories of my own and this is basically the first one that I have finally, officially, put on paper so far.

It is my dream to create stories that show women, lesbians, living exciting lives, embarking on exciting proactive empowered adventures!.. (rather than jumping off buildings, committing suicide or, their entire worlds revolving around coming out or finding Miss/Mrs Right ;-). Don’t get me wrong, since we are talking about lesbians here, these elements will probably might an appearance, but I aim not to make them the center of attention. Let’s face it, we are rather more multi-dimensional as human beings and that is what is so exciting!

Yes, Simulation is a love story but that is in essence a significant added complication under these circumstances, rather than the sole purpose of this story.

And, in the future chronicles, I certainly have a few more exciting adventures planned for Sam and Victoria.

2) Will Sam ever get to wear a Superhero mask and a cape?

{{Author laughs}} This is not meant to be your traditional Superhero comic. In fact, it is not a comic at all. It is kind of, if you like, a new romance-superhero genre. If anything I would love to see it get made into a film. {{Author dreams}}

As for the cape… well, I think we all wear masks and capes all the time, you just can’t see them. So, yes, so does Sam.

3) How did you come up with the story?

I had originally written this story as a film script and I am positive it would make a wonderful movie. But, then I get a little wiser about the economics of film making and realised that the budget for a film that would need special effects is a little out of my (and my film maker friend’s) reach. So rather than waiting around for this script to gather dust in my desk draw I decided to write it as a novel.

And yes, I am still hopeful about the film, except now my readers can enjoy it in the meantime and create their own movies in their heads, until we figure out a way to really make this movie.

4) Is it true that a large part of this story is based on fact?

It is true that this story is often inspired by facts and truths. It might be exactly the truth, but there are surprising elements of truth and facts that have inspired this story.

I love doing that. I love the idea that there are sometimes quite surprising elements of fact and reality in a fiction narrative. My future blogs will tell you a bit more about these.

5) How can your readers find out about the next book in The Lighthouse Chronicles?

I would suggest that you join our VIP Members Mailing List here: http://dukebox.life/free-gift-buttons/

Our VIP Members will be the first to hear about when the next book in this series will be coming out, any other exciting new releases, specials or promotions that come out. Not only that, we have a little exciting free gift for all our subscribers: Access to a great sexy AWARD WINNING short film that I think you might really enjoy, called ‘Buttons’.


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