Twisted Fairytale

Twisted Fairytale

The voices of a thousand pages call out to me.
Tortured whispers filled with lies.
There is no gentle prince by my side.
The darkness moves and shifts, a beastly form only I can see.

A bruised petal gifts the sweetest scent.
A broken wing strengthens the heart.
Fragile breath against a soul so marred.
There is no light, only a dark descent.

Oh moon, you cannot help me now for I am in his grasp.
Captured and tamed, under his rein.
Tied and bound, salvation thru pain.
With him there is only the moment; no future no past.

He is my twisted fairytale.
I know my love for him will prevail.

– Zoe Blake


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Nice Teeth – Some thoughts on civility


In my sorority we had a tradition, if you couldn’t find something pleasant or positive to say about someone, you said they had “nice teeth”.

It was a simple way to keep things civil. A subtle reminder that vacuous negativity had no purpose, was hurtful and unproductive.

I often think about that social ritual when reading a bad review; whether it be for a restaurant on yelp, a travel experience on tripadvisor or for my own book on Amazon.

Too often, people searching for that fleeting bit of notoriety which comes from numerous “likes” resort to over-the-top, hateful language designed to generate maximum impact. A bully on a playground, playing to the lowest factor to get a quick laugh. It is a sad truth, most bullies reveal more about their own insecurities while trying to tear down those around them.

I am not saying you cannot dislike a restaurant or express a negative opinion. However, there is a way to do it without stripping the humanity out of the process. Staring into a cold, expressionless computer screen, some people seem to forget there is a human being on the other side of that review. Someone who attempted to create something. Someone who put themselves out there, knowing how cruel this world can be. Someone who tried. You may not like the result but the least you can do is respect the effort!

You can say you didn’t like a book without tearing down the author. You can say a restaurant meal wasn’t flavorful enough without stating the chef had no business being in a kitchen. You can say a florist didn’t do a great job on a bouquet you received without hoping their business fails. That particular statement always upsets me the most when people, on Yelp especially, announce their “prediction” a business will fail. Why would you even put that kind of negativity out into the universe?? You hope someone loses their savings? That someone loses their job? That vendors lose money on unpaid invoices? And for what? Because you felt the woman behind the counter didn’t smile broadly enough? Didn’t put enough caramel syrup in your coffee drink?

I do not hold with the feeble explanation (excuse) that the anonymity of the internet leads to bold, unvarnished truths. The basic lessons we all learned in kindergarten of decency, respect for others, fairness, thoughtfulness and positive, effective communication should still hold. Civility should still prevail…no matter the medium.

And of course the two most basic lessons of all…naming calling is mean and no one likes a bully.

“When once the forms of civility are violated, there remains little hope of return to kindness or decency.”

– Samuel Johnson

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Interview with Zoe Blake


Here is a fun interview I did for Blushing Book’s Blog. Enjoy!

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Excerpt from “His Dark Obsession”

Available September 26th!


Pierce swung Sarah around till her back connected with the wall, cushioned only slightly by a thick tapestry.

She had only a moment to glance around before his broad frame blocked her sight. They were in the library. The dark, unoccupied library.

Running his hand down her arm, Pierce closed his hand around Sarah’s delicate wrist, lifting it high over her head.

Pinning it against the wall. Feeling the power of his height and strength, she was trapped. Sensing the danger she was in, Sarah watched the muscular swells of his chest beneath his thin linen shirt expand with each labored breath as he fought for control.

“Look at me,” he demanded soft and low.

Sarah kept her eyes trained on his waistcoat buttons. Her humiliation from him not kissing her and her jealousy of that woman had gotten the better of her and now she was going to pay the price. Despite the trappings of wealth and respectability there was something primal and uncivilized about Lord Warrington.

“Now,” he barked.

Startled, Sarah looked up at him. Her bright green eyes close to tears.

“Little girls who are used to boys shouldn’t try their games on men. Do you understand me?”

Sarah could only nod.

Pierce palmed one thick ringlet of her hair. Slowly gliding his hand down the long, silky length, pulling the curl straight. Gripping the end tightly, he gave it a sharp tug before allowing the curl to spring back in place. Her hair fascinated him. It was raven’s wing black. The color rich and deep. So long and thick, a man could wrap his hand around a silken lock twice. A vision of her head forced back as he fisted her hair before driving deeply into her small, tight body with his cock flashed before his eyes.

Sarah opened her lips on a gasp from the small sting of pain from the sudden tug on her hair. Watching his strong hand grasp the delicate tendril somehow heightened her awareness of his physical brawn compared to her diminutive size. She couldn’t help but feel the hum of restrained energy, as if he was forcing himself to only lightly touch her. What would happen if his restraint snapped?

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Cover Reveal!!!

“His Dark Obsession” out on September 26th.


Here is the beautiful cover for my next book out this Monday. It is a Victorian Erotic Murder Mystery.  It also has a fun twist. The Hero is an aristocrat with an interest in photography. (Photography was a growing medium in the Victorian era.) He uses his art to ensnare the Heroine in a web of dark erotic games.

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Writing Resources

I have no intentions of ever trying to write the “great American novel”. I really like writing erotica. It’s fun and makes people happy…very happy if I’m doing my job correctly! Just because I’m writing in a fun genre doesn’t mean I don’t do my research. If I’m going to write erotica it is going to be the best damn erotica I can write!

Here are a few of my “go to” resources.


I simply adore thesauruses! They are such a useful writing tool. I always stare in wonder when other writers tell me they use the “computer thesaurus”. There are 32mil books in print/ebook around the world right now. At any given time there are 4mil books on Amazon. This does not include those who are writing with the hope of being published.

Now think about most of those people using the limited number of options offered by the computer thesaurus. Boom! You’re all using the same damn six synonym options for “anger”. Where is the originality? The unique voice?

Here are a few of my favorites. For links, etc. Go to my Goodreads Author page.

Roget’s Super Thesaurus by Marc McCutcheon – This is my main one. It not only gives different word options but phrases as well. I tend to highlight the common words I often look to replace for easy reference. For example: command, gentle, force, beautiful.

These next few are amazing! The authors Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have several different versions.

The Emotion Thesaurus – For each emotion it gives a definition, physical and internal signs and plot actions as well as writing tips. Excellent resource!

The Rural Setting Thesaurus/ The Urban Setting Thesaurus – For each setting they give a detailed description and then cover all the senses – sights, smells, tastes, touch, sound.

Romance Writer’s Phrase Book by Jean Kent. So I bought this book back when writing a romance novel was just a twinkle in my eye and bodice rippers were in vogue. Admittedly the phrases are a bit stilted but I usually just flip through and draw inspiration from the individual words. For example, I might see “his eyes lowered on a fierce scowl” and only pull “scowl” from it.

Thinking Like a Romance Writer by Dahlia Evans – I bought this recently to see if I could get some updated inspiration. I don’t really use most of the book think “swollen masterpiece” as an example of what to call a cock but I do like the word lists for feelings, facial expressions and different words for “said” (I try to use said as little as possible in my writing because it is not descriptive enough).

Banish Boring Words! by Leilen Shelton – This is a kid’s thesaurus and it is awesome! Quick and simple lists of character traits, colors, shapes, sensory words, emotions, action verbs. I love this book! haha

Victorian Research

For anyone who reads my books, you know I like to sprinkle in lots of historical details. I don’t just say the heroine is wearing a pretty blue dress, I describe the style, fabric, etc. I am also a fan of dropping in daily life details you may not even notice but I know makes for a richer reading experience.

Here are a few of my favorite resources if you write in the Victorian genre.

Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders

How to Be a Victorian by Ruth Goodman

A Royal Cookbook: Seasonal Recipes from Buckingham Palace by Mark Flanagan, Edward Griffiths

Murder Mystery Research

My upcoming book out October 7th, “His Dark Obsession”, is a Victorian murder mystery so here are the books I used to research poisons, the criminal element and the legal process.

The Arsenic Century: How Victorian Britain Was Poisoned at Home, Work, and Play by James C. Whorton

King of Poisons: A History of Arsenic by John Parascandola

The Art of the English Murder: From Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock by Lucy Worsley

Did She Kill Him?: A Victorian Tale of Deception, Adultery, and Arsenic by Kate Colquhoun

Western Research

The book I’m currently working on is a Western. I am doing allot of research. I want to avoid the “Hollywood” version of the West and capture the real details.

Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the Wild West by Candy Moulton

Western Words: A Dictionary of the Old West by Ramon Adams. This is a great resource but you have to read through it since it is alphabetical by the old west terms not the term you are looking to replace with a more authentic vibe.

How the West was Worn by Chris Enss – Awesome wardrobe resource. Has all the details you would need.

Hiker’s Guide – If you are writing a book that takes place in the outdoors, like most Westerns, I recommend picking up a hiker’s guide. It will tell you about the flora, fauna, general atmosphere, weather. I have one for the action area of my current work in progress.

I hope this helps! Happy Writing!

🙂 ZB

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Fan Girl Moment – My Gilmore Girls’ Trip!

This is not my typical blog post but I thought it would be fun to share anyway. In the interest of full disclosure for those die-hard lovers…I’m a Netflix fan. While I loved catching the occasional episode when it was on T.V., it wasn’t until Netflix ran the whole series that I was able to sit down and watch all the episodes in a row.

Quirky. Cozy. Fun. Charming. Sweet. Romantic.

There are hundreds of reasons why people love Gilmore Girls. For me, like many others, the initial appeal was the town, Stars Hollow. Living in a big, impersonal city, I just loved the warm, friendly atmosphere it embodied. The off-beat festivals. The informal town hall meetings…although Taylor would object to the word “informal”! The quirky residents. It is all so engaging.

Next it was the idea of creating your own family. So many programs focus on family as the all-important unit. Blood is thicker than water. Family is everything. Not all of us are close to our families. The idea that a family can be a group of unrelated people who genuinely care for one another really spoke to me.

So when Blushing hosted a very fun writer’s retreat in New Hampshire recently, I jumped at the chance to pop on down to Washington Depot, CT. The town that inspired Stars Hollow and Gilmore Girls.

Here is my trip!

Tip #1 – By all accounts, this sleepy little town is not enamored of its claim to fame. With the interest generated by the upcoming new episodes, that is only going to get worse. Your best bet is to keep your true purpose for visiting on the down low.

Okay – Let’s get this part over with it. There is no gazebo in the town center. I know. I know. Disappointing but almost every other cute, little town you pass on your way to Washington Depot will have a gazebo so you will still get your fill of that charming town staple.


Here is their Town Hall. A great deal more impressive than Ms. Patty’s School of Ballet but personally I prefer her cozy wood-paneled studio! Check out the awesome sports car which was parked right outside. Lorelai is that you?!😉


Speaking of Ms. Patty. Here is the closest counter-part to her studio.


This adorable grocery store is I believe a very good substitute for Doose’s Market.


I also swung by the Post Office right next store to mail a quick letter. I got a true Stars Hollow experience. The guy behind the counter was so friendly! During the time I was in there three separate residents came by and were all greeted by name. I know this is a small thing but when you live in a city where the Post Office is cold and impersonal, it made an impression.

I spent over an hour wandering the aisles of this adorable bookshop. Don’t you just love the name! While they do have souvenir t-shirts and hats, etc. that say Washington Depot…sadly none with the Gilmore Girls. Ah well…maybe one day!


Tip #2 – Washington Depot doesn’t really have many boutique shops so don’t plan on spending half the afternoon wandering from store to store. Personally, the bookshop was the only one which appealed to me.

No visit would be complete without a visit to “Luke’s Diner”! From what I could tell, this is the closest you will get. Be warned. This is a very nice place with a stellar culinary reputation of their own. In other words, don’t go in there calling it “Luke’s”, they won’t appreciate it!


This place is beyond adorable! It has a fairyland, rustic vibe. The food is fantastic. They have an amazing menu filled with fresh, local products. Everything from a basic sandwich to high-end creative dishes.

I decided to go with what I thought would be a Lorelai inspired meal. Pineapple soda and a big, juicy cheeseburger!

Tip #3 – Hidden Valley Eatery is actually a few miles outside of town. Basically when you get off the highway and see a sign that says Washington Depot to the left…you take a right. It’s totally worth it because there is nothing to compare restaurant-wise in town.

And now for the main event…the Inn that inspired it all. The Mayflower Hotel.


The grounds are stunning! The hotel is beautiful! And by the way, surrounded by what looked like laurel trees…laurel…Lorelai…laurel. Hmmm…

Tip #4 – The Mayflower Hotel is in the next town over, Washington, CT. They are both right next to one another and most maps just list Washington but it can lead to confusion for us fan girls. Also, it is up on an isolated hill on basically private grounds which means you will stick out like a sore thumb! I tried to stroll around and look like I belonged but to be honest, I didn’t linger!

Here are some photos of around the town. I even captured what I think is the town Christmas tree!

Final Tip – While it was great fun wandering around and experiencing this town, it really only took up about two and half hours and that included my lunch and close to an hour in the bookshop. Basically, I would plan an afternoon of it. I think if you set aside an entire “Gilmore Girls” weekend you will get bored. The good news is there are so many lovely country roads and other towns to explore in the area! The Mayflower Hotel is a bit pricey for most of us but I did notice a spa on the property so if you wanted to linger I can’t think of anything more Lorelai than a fun mani-pedi!





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