Tag Archives: Fifty Shades of Grey

11 days ’til Christmas: The Literary Agency Advent Calendar

In the run up to Christmas, the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency will be posting an entry from one of our authors each day, offering anything from writing tips and their inspiration, to Christmas memories and their wishes for the year to come.


(Eileen Gormley and Caroline McCall)

Evie Hunter

Christmas Memories

Eileen Gormley

Christmas 1998, I was down the country visiting my parents, waddling my pregnant belly up to Midnight Mass and wondering how much turkey I could eat before the baby arrived. It wasn’t due for another week, so I planned to enjoy Christmas.

At 4am, I shook my husband: “I think that was a contraction.” Despite trying to convince me to go back to sleep, I finally got him up and started making breakfast. “You’re not in labour,” said my mother. “You couldn’t stand there making scrambled eggs if you were in labour.”

We drove back home, and got to admire the emptiness of the roads at 6.30am on Christmas day. When the contractions started again I called midwife and asked if it would be born today… Christmas Day. “Contractions every ten minutes? Yes, I think so!”

In between contractions, we opened Christmas presents. My husband had given me a ghetto blaster and I put on the one CD I owned – Queen’s Greatest Hits. I discovered that dancing to Killer Queen and Fat bottomed Girls was the best way to handle the pain. My husband suggested massaging my back. “Keep your hands to yourself,” I snarled.  “No one touch me.” I wiggled my hips energetically.

Then the baby arrived. A little girl, blue until she breathed and turned pink. An amazing, astonishing, lively girl who was instantly the most beautiful person in the entire world. I have no idea how long we stared at her, before I realized it has been a long time since the scrambled eggs and I’d done a lot of hard labour since then. Only one problem. We had planned to spend Christmas with my parents so there was no food in our house… Almost no food. In one corner of the kitchen was a Christmas pudding, a single carton of custard and a bottle of Champagne. Nothing had ever tasted so good!

The Pleasures of Winter by Evie Hunter       The Pleasures of Summer by Evie Hunter       The Pleasures of Autumn by Evie Hunter

Caroline McCall

The festive season holds mixed memories for me. Hearing the opening bars of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ is often enough to reduce me to tears.  As well as the mad round of Christmas shopping and parties, December is the anniversary of my mother’s death.

There is little in this life more bleak than a funeral at Christmas time.  While everyone else was celebrating, we were trying to contact family members and bring them home. At a rain-lashed graveside in early December, six sisters clung to each other while we sang a final hymn to the woman who had brought us into this world.

So many things have happened in the decade since then. You could say that I fell into writing by accident. As a genealogist, part of my job was to assemble facts and records into a format that was meaningful for my clients.  But after the cases were closed, I found it impossible to let go of the stories. Long dead strangers popped into my head at odd times and I began to wonder, what if?

After that, I was lost. I got used to living with a cast of characters inside my head. I’ve become an avid people watcher and a compulsive eavesdropper, especially on public transport. Once, I got off my train at the wrong stop so that I could follow a couple discussing the millionaire, the wife and the Navy Seal. Writing is not so much a passion, as an addiction.

Plotting and deadlines are as much a part of my life now as eating and sleeping. When we got the opportunity to write the Pleasures Series for Penguin, my writing partner and I became familiar with both.  By the time this Christmas season is over, we will have written almost half a million words together – not bad for eighteen months work!

I often wonder if my mother would approve of having an erotica writer for a daughter.  Would she come to the book launches? Be thrilled to see the exotic covers on the bookshelves? Would she be as excited as I am to see the Pleasures series translated into French, Czech, Italian and even Japanese?  I think that she would.

This year, my Christmas song ambush came while I was seeking inspiration in the lingerie department of a posh Dublin store (As you do in my line of work!). And for the first time since she died, I didn’t want to cry.  If she was with me, we would have gone for a nice cup of tea and a mince pie and perhaps some gentle teasing about my latest racy offering.

Merry Christmas, Mum.

Evie Hunter‘s latest book THE PLEASURES OF AUTUMN, was published by Penguin in October 2013.


Leave a comment

Filed under advice, agent, author, erotica, women's fiction

Bring on the summer

The Pleasures of Summer by Evie Hunter

Congratulations to our two Irish masterminds, who write as Evie Hunter, on the publication of THE PLEASURES OF SUMMER.  Penguin publish today following the previous Evie Hunter erotica hit, THE PLEASURES OF WINTER, which sold over 50,000 copies last year.

Eileen Gormley and Caroline McCall successfully brainstorm, plan and write together.  For an insight into how fun it can be writing as a duo, have a read of the interview with the ladies themselves.

Both THE PLEASURES OF WINTER and THE PLEASURES OF SUMMER are available to buy now.  THE PLEASURES OF AUTUMN will be out later this year.


The Pleasures of Winter by Evie Hunter     The Pleasures of Summer by Evie Hunter      The Pleasures of Autumn by Evie Hunter

Leave a comment

Filed under bestseller, publication

No.3 Bestseller!

Further to the official book launch in Dublin this week, Evie Hunter’s THE PLEASURES OF WINTER is now at No.3 on the Irish book charts.

It is No. 1 on itunes book downloads in Ireland and No. 1 in the Tesco bookcharts.

Congratulations to the force behind this!


The Evie Hunter website is now up and running.

Leave a comment

Filed under bestseller

Penguin’s new erotic novel

Congratulations Evie Hunter on the publication of  THE PLEASURES OF WINTER, a steamy erotic story of romantic obsession and explosive sexual chemistry for fans of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and BARED TO YOU.

Penguin publishes their print edition today, 1st November.  You can buy your copy here.

‘Evie Hunter’ is actually a pseudonym for two Irish authors represented by the Madeleine Milburn Agency, Eileen Gormley and Caroline McCall, who discovered a mutual love of erotic  fiction when doing a creative writing workshop two years ago. They are delighted the rest of the world has caught up with them. Before writing THE PLEASURES OF WINTER for Penguin, they co-wrote a number of BDSM-themed novellas, including ANGELS, DEMONS AND DOMS for American publisher, Ellora’s Cave.

1 Comment

Filed under agent, publication, women's fiction


I am delighted to share an insightful feature in The Telegraph by our internationally bestselling author C.J. Daugherty: FIFTY SHADES OF YA: Should teen books have ratings?

C.J. Daugherty contributes to this popular debate at a time when it looks like E.L. James’s FIFTY SHADES OF GREY could fuel a Young Adult erotica trend.

She explores the children’s book rating system idea, used by US publishers, which would make her feel more comfortable writing teenage characters that reflect the teens she knew.

CJ Daugherty is the author of Night School (Atom/Little Brown) the first in a five book YA series of political intrigue, murder and romance intended to appeal to both teens and adults. Her second book Legacy is published in January 2013.

Leave a comment

Filed under agent, author

Have you read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’?

A fantastic review in the Huffington Post by my author Martel Maxwell, telling us just why Fifty Shades of Grey gets under our skin…


“Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey?” my friend Aileen was leaning in, her voice lowered conspiratorially.

Her eyeballs moved in their sockets extreme left and right; a strand of hair was in her cappuccino. I wondered if we were being followed.

“No,” I breathed.

“Get it. It’s basically porn. Huge in the States. Fabulous.”

In the weeks that have passed since our conversation, E L James’ trilogy, an erotic tale set in America of two lovers, has become a chart-topping phenomenon.

I know – I’m behind the times. Fifty Shades has spread like wildfire, igniting the nether regions of women all over the world.

My excuse? Getting married then honeymooning in Italy for most of May, where I read the classics. Silly me.

My reasoning for buying the first in the series upon return, was manifold. Well it would be. I’m British and female – I can’t just gleefully rub my knees and tell you with husky voice that I want to read about sex.

I was also intrigued as to how something that is “basically porn” could achieve this mainstream success, knocking mighty The Hunger Games off the top spot after a 16-week reign in the U.S.

As a novelist who is toiling with the writing of sex scenes in her second book – having already had a few juicy episodes published in my first (Scandalous, published by Penguin) – my interest was piqued…. read more

Leave a comment

Filed under author, bestseller