To celebrate this Halloween in sufficiently sexy style Etopia Press is releasing six anthologies of erotic short stories on the 5th of October! 




With two M/M anthologies, two M/F anthologies, and two menage anthologies, there’s really something here for everyone. I edited several of the M/M stories and I can tell you they’re hot, so if you’re out for some sexy quickies to suit the season you should definitely check them out!

There’s also going to be a Twitter party tomorrow at 9PM EST to celebrate. Hashtag #etopia 



Comfort Books

Posted: August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

I think every reader has at least a couple of these: the well-worn, much-loved stories they turn to on a semi-regular basis. There’s a definite comfort to flipping open a ragged copy of a book you know and love and saying hi to a familiar world.

My biggest comfort book(s) is The Black Jewels Trilogy, by Anne Bishop. I first read Daughter of the Blood when it was released and have re-read them all pretty regularly since then… so much so that I actually bought an omnibus edition when it came out to try to save my original print editions from getting any more beat up.



Yellowed, thumbed-through, dog-eared. These books have seen a whole lot of love.

Daughter of the Empire and Daggerspell are also very worn books on my shelf, as is The Wayfarer Redemption (Australian numbering, not US) by Sara Douglass (her relatively recent passing actually made me cry; Battleaxe was one of the first adult fantasy books I read growing up). What are your comfort books? Is there anything in particular that keeps you going back to those worlds again and again and again?

I love love stories. I love them so much that I really don’t care much about who the parties involved are, so long as it’s a great romance. Male, female, menage, even aliens. I’m pretty easy if people are falling in love and lust and having lots of feelings and UST, so I’ve been reading male/male stories for a long time now.

M/M stories are a growing part of the romance genre landscape. These tales have everything a “traditional” Hero/Heroine romance does: tension, hot chemistry, and plenty of intense emotion. The only difference is that they have two Heroes creating that romantic and/or erotic friction at the core of the story.

There are obvious differences that come up when throwing two heroes together rather than a hero and a heroine. You can’t just rewrite a heroine to be a guy and suddenly have a great M/M story. It’s a whole different ballgame, but it can be a lot of fun to try.

Have you ever written a m/m romance? Are you maybe interested in trying? I’ll answer any questions people might have no matter how silly or dark or dirty they might be, so don’t be shy! Leave a comment here or tweet me @narellebailey You can also email me at if you’d prefer.

And, as a heads up, next week I will be hosting a pitch contest! So polish up those pitches and keep an eye out for my next post. 🙂

The topic of wolf shifters came up at work today. They’re hugely popular and have been for some time… I mean, let’s face it, most of us can understand the animal magnetism and raw appeal that werewolves offer in paranormal romance. But I’ll be honest: I’ve personally become a little jaded towards them in recent years. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy them a lot, there’s just so much more potential in the shifter stable that I’d love to see taken out for a ride sometimes!

The most obvious way to shake up the common wolf shifter formula is to swap out the lupine for something entirely different. Werecats of various persuasions are becoming increasingly common too, but I still find it relatively rare to see feline shifters as the main (or only) kind of shifter in a story. And then there’s all the other kinds of creature with shifter potential. I have yet to see bears tackled (polar bears, even… I can easily imagine a story set in the Arctic involving a polar bear shifter and a researcher or explorer and, bonus, think of all the opportunities for snuggling for warmth!), or lions.


Or even an unhappy polar bear shifter and a wildlife photographer!

You could even look at more exotic creatures to fuel your shifter muse. While I was thinking about what to write in this post I got daydreaming about a thylacine shifter story. A thylacine is an extinct species of marsupial from Tasmania, Australia, that was hunted to extinction by the early 1940s. They have some very interesting quirks and were called both Tasmanian Wolves and Tasmanian Tigers at various points in history. There’s more to this story, though, in that the urban legend of their continued existence and sightings to prove it persist to this day. What if the shifters were the only ones left, or if there was only one left, perhaps searching for a mate in the hopes of finding a new home and a new life. The history of many different species provides plenty of similar fuel for potential plots, so start looking!


The Thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian Tiger or Tasmanian Wolf


With the current prevalence of 50 Shades of Grey and associated talk of erotic fiction in the media, I’m seeing a really gross term bandied about more and more often.

Mummy porn.

It seems I can’t read an article about 50 Shades without seeing it, and even on my twitter feed I am seeing more and more writers and editors using it themselves. And in my opinion, we really shouldn’t be accepting it. Putting aside any opinions I have about the 50 Shades phenomenon, the fact that in 2012 the very idea that women might enjoy reading porn is considered so shocking that it has fuelled an ongoing storm of media interest is offensive enough. That the media has decided to label this mummy porn just pushes it over the edge into downright disgusting.

By calling 50 Shades of Grey and its ilk “mummy porn”, the media is invoking the old cliche of bored, sexless housewives surreptitiously reading Mills & Boon novels to get their kicks. While men are expected to enjoy porn, and fantasies about sex and romance, apparently women only indulge in this if their own real lives are unsatisfying. This is offensive in two ways: the idea that a mother and/or housewife would necessarily have a need to turn to erotica (because mothers don’t have sex, obviously!) to indulge, and the idea that no woman without children and/or a husband would ever be interested in reading romantic fantasies involving sex. 

I read romance and erotica. I have ever since I found my mother’s Mills & Boon novels and realised that there were ENTIRE BOOKS focused just on my favourite parts of stories: the romance subplots, the emotional tension, and the inevitable sex. I will also be married this time next year. My enjoyment of these genres has nothing to do with my marital status or my sex life and everything to do with how much I love love stories, love all the intense emotion of two people falling in love and fighting themselves and each other and the world but in the end, love and desire will always find a way. 

Obviously, I like other genres too and I know pretty much any reader of romance & erotica does. Some of us like thrillers or crime, some of us love medical, some of us love the stories about rich oil tycoons and playboy princes. Others prefer our porn wrapped up in a paranormal backdrop, or urban fantasy… sci-fi, horror, you name it. There is so much more to all of us as readers, writers, and editors than a shallow, presumptive label like mummy porn. 

Let’s not stand for it. 

Welcome! + Contest

Posted: July 19, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Who Am I?

My name is Narelle and I’m a content editor for Etopia Press.  I also edit and slush read for Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, spend far too much time spoiling my cat and looking at gifs on Tumblr, and split the rest of my days between spending time with my fiance and watching movies.

What Am I Doing Here?

I’m going to be posting here about lots of different things, most of them at least tangentially related to writing, publishing, and my favourite genres. If I occasionally get distracted and post a heap of gifs from a movie while telling you all how fantastic it is, then I’m sorry.

So You’re An Editor… What Are You Looking For?

At the moment I’d love to hear from authors who think they can deliver:

  • unique twists on the paranormal, science fiction, and horror subgenres
  •  intense love stories at the higher end of the heat scale (read: I love good porn!)
  •  M/M, M/F, and F/F romances
  • creative world building and engaging characters
  • complicated romances between humans and non-humans of any kind (if it also ticks all the other boxes on this list, and is a particularly non-humanoid non-human, you will be my new favourite person)
  • anything that pushes the envelope of weird, different, and sexy

If you have something that might fit the criteria, whether it’s 5,000 words or 80,000,  drop me a line at narellebailey @ [remove the spaces]. Even if you’re not sure, or think what you have is too weird or out there, drop me a line anyway!


To celebrate my first official blog post, I’m running a contest! The rules are simple:

  1. Retweet this tweet HERE
  2. Then tweet me and, in 140 characters or less (obviously!), tell me what romance you’d most like to read or write right now.  An angsty love story about a sea witch and a selkie? A fun, sexy romp between a starship captain and his intrepid alien engineer? You can submit a maximum of two entries.
  3. The contest will run from the 18th of July to the 27th of July. **EXTENDED** until the 6th of August!

There will be TWO prizes: one randomly drawn $10 amazon giftcard, and one $15 amazon giftcard for the romance tweet that I liked best. So get to it, and I look forward to getting to know you all!