Gabriella West left me a very positive review for An Expanded Love on Smashwords
A snippet of the review
“This book gets four stars because of its originality and daring and because it’s a wonderful picture of alternative life in London: pubs, dances, cold flats, buses and all. I loved the way the narrator, Nadia, is so uncomfortable in her own skin at the beginning of the book and could really relate to it.”
An Expanded Love is now available as an e-book at Smashwords. For the next thirty days you can buy it for 50% off, using the coupon code below.
So if you want to read An Expanded Love at the new low price, please take advantage of the coupon as it won’t last forever. And if you’d like to leave a review on Smashwords, then I would be very happy indeed!
Coupon expires 12th July 2011
Code: : EL27C
Hello, all. It’s Sam here. Jacqueline’s been a little slack with this blog lately. So I’m taking it upon myself to treat you good people with one of my favourite dishes like. Nadia, the heroine of An Expanded Love, devoured these waffles when I made it for her. Now I can hear you all saying, Sam, you’re a fictional character. You never made these waffles did you? Well folks, this may come as a surprise like, but you’re all fictional to me. I’ve chosen to make my own reality. So why not do the same? These waffles taste so good you’ll start to question what’s fictional and what’s real.
These waffles don’t contain any eggs or dairy, so they’re suitable for Vegans. There’s no oil in it either. And because I know pretty much everyone who reads this will live in the U.S, I’ve included cup measurements along with Imperial like, even though it does my head in!
· 1 handful of dried cranberries (don’t get too worried about how much that is, just chuck it in)
· 1 handful of seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or a mixture of whatever you’ve got)
· 1 eating apple, shredded to a pulp (or cheat and use a couple of good dollops of unsweetened applesauce)
· ½ cup or 4 fluid ounces of orange juice
· ½ cup or 4 fluid ounces of soya milk or another non-dairy milk
· 1 cup or 4 ounces of self-raising flour or all-purpose flour with ½ tablespoon baking powder added
· ½ cup or 2 ounces of uncooked porridge oats / oatmeal
· Pinch of salt
· 2 tablespoons of sugar
1. Switch on your waffle iron. Mist a little oil on it according to your waffle maker’s instructions.
2. Place the apple, seeds, cranberries, orange juice and soya milk in a jug. It will look like it has curdled a bit, but don’t fret, it’s supposed to do that.
3. Place the flour, oats, salt and sugar into a bowl. Stir to mix everything together.
4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry stuff, a little at a time to stop huge lumps forming. Give it a decent stir, but don’t overdo it like. Don’t worry if it looks a little thick, but if you think it is, add a little more orange juice.
5. When the waffle iron is ready, pour the mixture in the middle of the iron. Don’t bother spreading it. Let the weight of the iron do its work.
6. Cook until golden brown. Let the waffles cool for a few minutes as they can be a little gummy when they’re just done.
7. Eat as is, or top with syrup, fresh fruit or anything that takes your fancy like.
8. P.S – I’ve got a square shaped waffle iron, but these always come out circular…
First up: OpenCon which is happening in October 2011 in the U.K. From the people who organise Polyday which I’ve enjoyed in the past. I haven’t been to OpenCon, but I heard some good things about last year’s event.
However I have a question about the language used amongst other things. The first thing listed on the highlights of the conference is “Vet potential lovers.” It felt a little mercenary to me to have that as the first thing you read about the event. I also didn’t like the fact that their pricing structure has a cheaper option if you are a woman, and a more expensive cost if you are a man. I’ve seen nightlcubs (especially fetish clubs) use this ploy before, and it never goes well for the women who turn up, as the men who attend seem to automatically expect more because they’ve paid more too. Having an ‘Unwaged’ and ‘Waged’ price might actually help people who need it, instead of this. Also most poly people I know are usually clued up when it comes to gender queerness and not restricting things to male and female. Seems a shame that these things jumped off the screen at me, when this conference sounds otherwise positive…
All in all I’m glad events like this are happening, but some could do better with their P.R…
The writing’s on the wall, or on the arm…
Photo taken by myself of a talented artist who likes to wear bunny ears a lot…
Imagine a world where nobody cheats on their partners, where nobody has to hide their lovers. Imagine loving multiple people, and being happy when your partner finds someone new. Welcome to Polyamory.
When I started writing An Expanded Love, I was in the process of breaking up with one of my girlfriends. I was also facing surgery, and a long and difficult winter. Being polyamorous does not preclude me from heartache, jealousy or that sometimes I’ll feel totally alone. But like the characters in this book, I learned to deal with it and move forwards in time. It wasn’t easy to write under these circumstances, but I like to think that this labour of love was worth it in the end.
It took me almost nine months to write this book, and in that time, both my characters and I have grown and changed. The fictional people whose details I first scribbled down on bits of paper are part of my consciousness now. With every Pagan festival that passes, I think of Yolanda and Sam. When I travel by train on the Northeast coast of England, I think of Lex playing a flute on the beach at Lindisfarne. I see my heroine, Nadia in so many places, and ultimately I see her reflected in myself. For polyamorous people, seeing ourselves reflected in any work of fiction is rare indeed.
I didn’t want to write a book that promotes all the wonderful highlights of being polyamorous, without mentioning the not-great stuff too. Even though people don’t have to lie, they still do. There’s no need for jealousy, but my characters feel it anyway. Drama usually means a conflict, and there is plenty of conflict within these pages. There are other things contained in this book: new ways of expressing affection, how to form connections when your lover lives on an island in the North Sea, and how to buy the best lube for that hot date.
It is my hope that this book entertains you; that it makes you think about a whole new world. Because by just reading this far, you’ve proved that you are open to new possibilities. Welcome to the polyamorous world. You’re already living in it.
Excerpt from An Expanded Love:
We all went out later. The sun had come out, and the temperature was raised somewhat. Lex pulled on a long black coat. He held my hand as we walked back to the road and down another series of paths to the beach. At one stage we had to move single-file through little more than a gap in the hedges. Brambles caught at my clothing, my whole body was tender, tingling from what I’d done earlier, but the added sensations made this experience all the more real. The hedgerows became even denser as we struggled onward, but at last I stepped out onto sand. My feet sank into the yellow surface, throwing my balance momentarily. Lex took one of my hands, and Lee held on to the other. The dark blue waters of the North Sea moved all around us; the fact that we were really on an island was brought home to me.
“It’s lovely,” Lee whispered. “Smaller than I remember though.”
I laughed at that. “How old were you the last time you came here?”
Lee screwed his eyes shut. “Twelve or thirteen I suppose.”
“Well it wasn’t the sea that got small, mate. You just got big.” I held his hand, and kissed it. Lee smiled at me.
Lex sat on a big rock, but as I came closer I could see that it was actually the base of a tree. Broken roots were fossilised, star-like as they radiated this way and that. The colour was muted, bleached by sea, the sand and time. Lex pulled a thin silver rod from inside his coat pocket. I balanced on another part of the tree, whilst Lee sat cross-legged on the sand. Lex placed the flute to his lips. I listened to the breathy notes as he played. The sound the flute made was melancholic. There were no words to speak, save for the throaty call that emanated from the instrument. Hear me, it seemed to say. Hear me; hear me now.
I wanted to take the flute from his hands, and kiss him, but I couldn’t move. A tear rolled down my face. I turned away, embarrassed at my display. Lex caught me by the shoulder. He rubbed my back.
“It’s been a tough year for all of us, hasn’t it?”
I nodded. “I’ll be fine.”
Lex looked over at Lee. “Will you be fine too?”
“Ask me next year.” He got up, joined us on the tree base, though it was a bit of a squeeze. “You’re very good. That flute doesn’t look like one I’ve ever seen before.”
“Do you play?” Lex passed the instrument to Lee, who took it after a second’s hesitation.
“Not since school and I was hopeless back then.” Lee blew across the mouthpiece, but nothing happened. He blew again, and the flute made a shrill noise.
“Don’t try so hard,” Lex said, moving to kneel in front of Lee. “Talk to it. Breathe life into it.”
Lee looked at him strangely, but then he shrugged his shoulders, and made another attempt. A single note emanated from the flute. He looked at it as if it had transformed into an alien object in his hands.
“Talk to it, and it will talk to you. Give the music life—live through it.”
Lee straightened his back. He blew over the flute once more, moving his fingers slowly. He played the scales up and down three times, and then he sagged, breathless beside me. He handed the flute back to Lex.
“Keep it,” he said, passing it back to Lee. “It’s yours now.”
Lee grinned, and twirled the flute in his fingers.
Photo: Fossilised tree stump, Spittal Beach, Northumberland. Taken by myself.
An Englishman’s home may be his castle, but where does that put me?
Someone asked me an interesting question on Saturday. I was at Wales Bifest, in the Poly workshop. A man who was new to the concept of multiple loves asked me where I considered home. Do I belong with my boyfriend or my girlfriend? Who do I live with the most?
I tapped my chest, and said, ‘This is home. This is where I belong.’ Being Polyamorous does not guarantee that I’ll always live with the people I love. People don’t owe me anything. And after spending some time in the past being homeless, it means a lot to me to feel secure and responsible for my own self. It’s also scary as hell, but I prefer it that way to just being complacent.
BiFest Wales was great, Cardiff was lovely, and I’m grateful for the roof over my head on a daily basis.
Photo: Cardiff Keep, taken by myself.
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