When I tell people I’m a writer, they nod politely and ask what I write, and then go back to whatever conversation they were having before. I get that. Only other writers and avid readers get even remotely interested when they meet a writer.
Those that do get excited immediately think you’re a big star and must drive a Rolex, or is that a Rolls Royce? Whatever. Sadly that’s the farthest from the truth in my case. I’m a writer making a living at it, but not making a killing. I wear sweats or yoga pants to work each day (I know, be jealous) and leave my diamonds and stilettos packed away for important events (probably my funeral).
Yesterday, I learned that COWBOY 12 PACK, a boxed set I have a story in made the New York Times Best Seller at #11 and the USA Today Best Seller List at #33. Though I was excited and jumping up and down, my dogs were not impressed. Sigh. I told my husband and he patted my head and told me, “That’s nice. What’s for supper?” I rarely see my neighbors because I’m on the keyboard all day cranking out page after page, trying to push the world up the hill of fame and fortune. That leaves my sister who is also a writer. I share my news with her when I can get her on the phone. She at least knows the importance of a list and can share my happiness.
So why do we do it? Obviously not for the fame and fortune, because it doesn’t always come our way unless we strike gold and make it big like 50 Shades of Grey. We do it because we love it and want readers to love our stories. And if it pays the bills, we consider ourselves successful!
So thank you to all the readers who buy our books and keep us in the business of doing what we love to do. We love each and every one of you.
Oh, and by the way…WE MADE THE NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER LIST!!!
****For a chance to win a $5 Gift card***
Leave a comment about your successes and the reactions of those around you.
I’ll choose a winner tomorrow.
I’m really fortunate to have a lot of friends who both support my work and my career choice and who, by some strange twist of fate, actually seem to like my writing. As I write erotica, erotic romance, LGBTQ romance and erotica, and the occasional piece of tentacle sex, you can see where I might hit a crossroads of disapproval in the real world.
These reader-friends are wonderful things, since I have people in my life who don’t support what I do at all (eyeroll… seriously, there’s like no non-creative jobs that people get so bent out of shape about… really, Johnny, I don’t think you should be in insurance, I mean, what would my bridge club say…), people who support me, but don’t care to read my books, and people who support me, but don’t really like what I write. So I know what precious gifts my reader-friends are.
Which does make it difficult, sometimes… I have two series of novels that I’m currently working on; the Rainbow Connection novels (LGBTQ Contemporary New Adult Romances) and the Demoniac Codex series (Urban Supernatural Romance). And I have an often roomful of friends who are reading them. (Yay, me!)
The problem comes up that there’s a huge gap between writing and reading. For example, I wrote book one, Roll, in April – August of 2013 and it was published a little less than a year ago in February, 2014. I actually had the entire first draft of Blues (Jan 28th, 2015) written before Roll was even for sale. It went through a couple revisions and then was handed over to my publisher in June for publication in March 2015 (a series of being ahead of schedules and my publisher being flexible and we ended up getting Blues out the door in January instead…). At which point I started writing Classic, book three and finishes out the trilogy with Beau and Vin as the main characters… which I finished writing in November, I think, and is already set for publication in September of this year. (There are two side-novels in the works, which deal with other characters, although Vin and Beau will have a significant role in both.)
For me, their story is over. Everything that’s happened has already… well, happened. In my head, Blues happened two years ago, Classic happened last year.
Which… leads me to the problem of spoilers. I’m a really excitable person and I love to talk about what I’m doing, and what my characters are going through. And my friends making this face at me.
I have conversations that run along these lines, “So, in book five, I’m opening at redacted’s wedding, unnamed character discovers that … you know what? Nevermind.”
What are your feelings on spoilers? If you could get hold of any creative and ask them questions about their work, would you want to know? Who would you talk to?
* * * * *
Rising sophomore Beau Watkins gave up everything to be with his boyfriend, Vin. Beau is disowned by his father, tormented by his brother, is rapidly running out of money, and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. On top of that, his boyfriend seems to see Beau as little more than a live-in maid. Troubled by word of his missing father and fighting nightmares of his own, Vin Reyes turns to alcohol to drown his pain. What’s worse, a handsome transfer student is a little too interested in Beau. Vin throws away everything that’s made him happy with both hands, terrified of his own feelings of inadequacy.
When Vin and Beau’s happily-ever-after turns into a train wreck of drinking problems, resentment, insecurity, jealousy, and violence, they both try to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives. Their mutual friends, Hector and Ann-Marie, try to help the two young men as best they can, but neither want to listen. Beau accepts a morally questionable job offer to pad his finances and Vin starts a downward spiral of self-destructive behavior that sends him right for rock bottom. Can Vin and Beau win through doubt and guilt, jealousy and recklessness, to find their place in the world?
A – Amazing in Every way
B – Beautiful
C – Cum…see what I have to offer *snicker*
D – Delightful
E – Everything I thought it would be and more
F – Fierce
G – Gentle and rough and everything in between
H – Happy. Kink simply makes me happy
I – I…highly recommend it!
J – Just what YOU want it to be
K – Kicks that sweet romance stuff in the back door
L – Love on steroids
M – Magical
N – Never boring
O –“O” face inspiring
P – Pussytastic (Please imagine jazz hands)
Q – Quitting only happens on the color RED
R – Risky but worth it
S – Simply Perfect
T – Touches everyone in a different way
U – Utterly satisfying
V – Vanilla it is not
W – Welcoming
X – Xtremely special
Y – You can have a little or a lot – I recommend a lot
Z – Zinc rhymes with Kink which makes it AWESOME!!!
That was so much fun!!!
In celebration of kink I’m giving away an e-book copy of any of my Members ONLY books!!!
Just comment below. Pick any letter of the alphabet and tell me what kink means to you! That could be reading it or living it or being curious about it!
You never know! Something you say…just might show up in a book!!!
Thanks for reading peeps – stay kinky!!!
Members Only, Book Six
Every night Jenna spends hours preparing submissives for their Doms at The Library. She encourages them, reassures them as they take a step into the forbidden and urges them never to settle. But when it comes to her own journey, she’s spent years hiding, trapped within the steel cage of her corsets. She can’t hide any longer.
Nick has wanted her since the moment he laid eyes on her but she’s always told him no. Until now. She agrees to be his submissive for a night but he wants more…much more. He unwittingly brings in the one man Jenna never stopped loving and, on the cusp of everything’s he’s ever wanted, he’s not the only one fighting for her heart.
Ian can’t forget her…his Jenna. He walked away years ago, but not this time. This time he’ll settle for nothing but her complete submission.
Three people unable to let go of the past must learn that love—above all else—is worth fighting for.
A Romantica® BDSM erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
Jennifer Kacey is a writer, mother, and business owner living with her family in Texas. She sings in the shower, plays piano in her dreams, and has to have a different color of nail polish every week. The best advice she’s ever been given? Find the real you and never settle for anything less.
The original spark of an idea for my His Girl Next Door series was inspired by many summers spent at the shore in Lavallette, New Jersey. My brother met his wife there, his own “girl next door.” I adore writing friends-to-lover stories and I thought it would be fun to write a romance series where my heroes discover love is just around the corner, literally. I set the stories in four New Jersey shore towns and four different seasons and I’ve had a wonderful time exploring some favorite and sentimental memories while writing these romances.
Friendships have been an integral part of my writing, both the friends around me here at home and on-line—and the roles friendships play in my stories.
I frequently write while in an online chat with my critique and goals group and other writing friends. I can’t thank them enough for the advice and support they’ve given me over the years. Their friendship and support has been invaluable in my journey to publication. Our members hail from different states and countries, different romance genres, and different stages of our writing careers. They are a critical editing eye, encouraging sounding board for ideas, mentors, cheering squad, shoulder to whine and cry on, and very great friends.
I also belong to New Jersey Romance Writers, and without the support and friendship (and not a little nagging and genial pushing) of my friends at NJRW, I might never have made those first terrifying attempts to pitch and submit.
As for my romances, it seems no matter the couple, my stories revolve strongly upon all kinds of friendships and the support that you get from them, from friends turning to lovers, and old friends that are closer than family, to discovering new friends, and discovering new facets to familiar friends.
In the very early stages of writing Kissing Katie, I hadn’t planned on a series, but characters don’t live in a vacuum, and as one friendship can lead to another in real life, my characters’ friends immediately opened up ideas for more stories. It’s been fun writing the connections and interactions, silliness and seriousness, as one couple leads to the next and getting to share little glimpses into their lives as the series moves along. I particularly loved writing my heroes and heroines discovering just how much deeper their friendships would become and all the emotions of anticipation, hope, fear, worry, rejection and enthusiasm that an unexpected tumble into love and commitment brings.
What’s your favorite memory of a friendship? Have you ever had a friendship shift into romance? I’ll give one commenter an e-book copy of Kissing Katie (His Girl Next Door – Book 1)
CONVINCING CAMI (His Girl Next Door – Book 2)
Sometimes love is just around the corner.
When Cami Alexander moves next door, it’s time for Jack O’Malley to concede the sweet and sexy fellow teacher is more than a long-time friend—she’s the one he’s been looking for in all the wrong places. He’s ready to put his footloose bachelor days behind him, but between his past, Cami’s doubts, her overprotective family, and well-meaning blind date offers from friends, convincing Cami they’re meant to be together is going to get complicated. Good thing Jack likes a challenge.
Cami’s always had a little crush on the dashing, blue-eyed Jack, but when the heat in a spontaneous kiss surprises them both, she’s afraid to risk their friendship over mere desire. Passion proves irresistible, and one explosive night ups the ante on their dilemmas. Jack vows his love and to stand by her through every trouble, but she’s been burned by promises before, and this time more than her heart’s at stake.
The old wooden ladder creaked and rocked with loose joints as Cami climbed. The thing must be as old as the house. She stretched, screwing in the first bulb. The step under her feet creaked, cracked—
And gave way. She shrieked, dropping the light bulb, but grabbed only air. Oh, this was going to hurt—
“Cami!” Jack shouted. Strong arms clamped around her. “I got you.”
Shaken from the close call, she melted into him. “Thanks. That was too close.”
“I knew I should’ve brought my ladders over. You okay?”
“Yes. Just a scare.”
He let her slide to the floor, but held her snug against his body. He would release her, any second now. She should step away. Instead, she wrapped her arms around his waist. She shivered, this time less from the scare and more from realizing just how close he held her. How he’d never actually touched her before beyond a social hug or handshake.
Her quiet little crush speared into a hot rush of want. How warm and sturdy he was. How perfectly they fit together.
She caught her breath and looked up to find Jack studying her with a puzzled, serious expression that she’d never seen on his face before. The twilight added a deceptive privacy to the dim room and made Jack’s eyes appear dark and deep with—
“This is a really bad idea,” Jack muttered. Tightening his arms, he crushed his mouth down on hers.
She gasped, and he seized full advantage of her mouth opening under his in the hungry, demanding kiss.
Oh, Jack was right, this was a really bad idea, but the surprising kiss was far too amazing to rally any effort to break away. With the curiosity of six years pressing her, Cami recklessly surrendered to the pleasure, not caring he had a girlfriend, not caring they’d just careened over the friendship line . . . and his warm body was hard against hers.
What a kiss! Far from a perfect kiss—too hot and rushed—but wonderful, wonderful, fierce, and toe-curling.
Curiosity killed the cat, remember.
Well, she wasn’t a cat, and this was just a kiss.
* * * * *
Come fall in love at the shore
CONVINCING CAMI is available in ebook and print at:
Babette James writes sweetly scorching contemporary romance and loves reading nail-biting tales with a satisfying happily ever after. When not dreaming up stories, she enjoys playing with new bread recipes and dabbling with paints. As a teacher, she loves encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. Her class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! Babette lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and extremely spoiled cats.
Well, I’ve been wondering how to leverage a program like Kindle Unlimited, where readers can gobble up as many books as they want for a single price every month. I haven’t used it before, because frankly, I don’t want to limit my stories to KU, and if an author puts their stories in KU, that’s the only place it can be published.
But I have these short stories I’ve written, which might appeal to readers looking for a quick nibble… 🙂
So my talented sister, Elle James, volunteered to create covers for those short stories. Aren’t they pretty? I love how she “branded” my name, but managed to make every short story cover true to its sub-genre.
Most of the short stories I’m working on publishing are around 5,000 words. Wet Down is longer at 15,000.
Is there any particular cover or title you love? A story you can’t wait to read? Do you think this is a good idea? I hope so, because I have more shorts to dust off and get ready to upload…
Any reader would probably wonder why I set my book AN UNUSUAL CHRISTMAS in a little known country such as Belarus.
During the mid-nineties, I often travelled to Russia and Belarus for business. I was quite impressed by the Russian culture and hospitality and decided to set my new book in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. With my heroine, Dr. Jillian Burton, you will discover a different civilization, visit interesting places, marvel at the Russian architecture, taste the exotic food, toast with vodka, wear the warm chapka, experience many of the local customs, and fall in love with a gallant Belarusian doctor.
Traveling to Minsk was a long and tiring twenty-four hour flight. Starting from Cincinnati, OH, I flew on Delta to New York with a couple of colleagues, spent three hours before boarding the big jet to Germany, and arrived in Frankfurt or Munich the next morning around seven. We hardly had two hours to change terminal. Carrying a couple of carryon luggage, we rushed from one terminal to another to catch the Lufthansa flight connection to Minsk that flew only three times a week. When we missed it, we were stuck for two days or rerouted to Moscow.
In Belarus, the government stops the heating between May 1st and October 31st. I went to Minsk for the first time in October 1994 and was greeted by a freezing rain and a brisk cold that seeped through my clothes. Do I have to mention that I was shivering outdoors and indoors? And I never drank as many cups of hot tea—shaye.
Our first official meeting attended by officers, chemists and doctors, took place in a government building called the Hall of Officers. After a series of speech, our Belarusian hosts invited us to celebrate the new contract with toasts of vodka that we were supposed to drink bottoms up while saying Na Dzhrovia. No orange juice or ice was added to dilute the 40% alcohol drink. My throat burned and my stomach caught fire. It took several trips for me to get used to the vodka and find it a practical way to stay warm. When I got sick, my Belarusian friends insisted on treating me with vodka, their universal remedy against cold, cough, stomach pain, and headaches!
The Belarusians are very hospitable people. We were invited for dinner in many homes. After the inevitable toasts of vodka, we ate the delicious stuffed cabbage, potato pancakes, black bread and sausage. The children impressed me with their impeccable manners and their fluent English. They often acted as interpreters for their parents.
In Minsk, I used a car with an excellent heating system and a chauffeur who spoke English. My rental car became a haven during the freezing months of winter and the only place where I felt warm and comfortable. Out of curiosity I took the underground train once. It was old and not very clean, a far cry from the magnificent trains of Moscow.
To go to Moscow, railroads were the most comfortable means of transportation. I traveled with, the overnight Red Train that left Minsk at midnight and arrived in Moscow the next morning. In the sleeping compartment with couchettes, we were provided with sheets, covers, wool blankets. Dinner was included in the fare and came with a bottle of vodka, of course.
Running away from Christmas celebrations and the demons of her past, Dr. Jillian has dedicated her life to saving third-world children. In Belarus, a baby girl, four little boys, and a handsome doctor may teach her the true meaning of Christmas.
USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk, received an Outstanding Achiever Award from Affaire de Coeur Magazine. Her name has often been posted on the Amazon.com 100 Most Popular Authors in Romance list. She’s a two time winner of Best Contemporary Romance of the Year from Readers Favorite; a winner of Best Romance Novel of the Year from Preditors & Editors Readers Poll; and an EPIC Award finalist. A tireless traveler, Mona lives in Florida and writes contemporary romance, medical romance, and romantic suspense, simmering with emotion and sprinkled with a good dose of humor. Her novels are set in the fascinating places she visited–or in Florida, her paradise on Earth.
Other Books by Mona Risk:
BABIES in the BARGAIN: “ER” and “Grey’s Anatomy” in the NICU. RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN: What’s a girl to do when she whispers another man’s name in her fiancé’s arms? NO MORE LIES: A lie that brings a smile or a truth drawing tears? HER RUSSIAN HERO: Clash of cultures and intrigues between an American scientist and the Major General of Belarus. HER GREEK ROMANCE: A sexy and humorous Romeo and Juliette Greek style, set in Mykonos Island.
NEIGHBORS AND MORE: Too close for comfort for condo owners in a Florida High Rise after a man drowns in a hot spa.
HER CHRISTMAS CRUISE: The perfect fiancé is a cheater and the fabulous Christmas wedding is off. But the would-be honeymoon cruise may fulfill the dreams of Julia and her unexpected companion. CHRISTMAS BABIES: It takes a health crisis and two adorable orphaned babies to bring Dr. Madelyn Ramsay to her senses and force her to look life and love in the face.
The other day I was listening to a conversation and was taken by the speech used. It got me thinking how dialect is not only inherent to where a person is from but to each person . How each person was raised, who they interacted with, what their parents and other people they were around showed them. When a person speaks they don’t think if what they are saying matches anyone else thinks or thought patterns. It is instinctually and that is what makes each and every one of us unique.
Words are powerful tools and using them makes each person who they are. People also use words based on what type of environment they are in. If you are speaking to someone in a professional capacity you wouldn’t use the same speech as you would in personal discussions. You adapt based on who you are speaking too but the underlying speech of who you are stays the same. Your cadence, word usage and what makes your speech unique to you is all part of what you do when speaking. I love having discussions with others and listening to how they speak.
Taige Crenshaw is a multi-published author with books available at Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Liquid Silver Books, Loose Id, and Totally Bound. Taige has been enthralled with the written word from time she picked up her first book. It wasn’t long before she started to make up her own tales of romance. With novels set in today, in alternate dimensions, or in the future she writes with adventure, fun sassy heroine’s, and sexy hero’s. Always hard at work creating new and exciting places Taige can be found curled up with a hot novel with exciting characters when she is not creating her own. Join her in the fun, frolic, interesting people and far reaches of the world in her novels. You can find out more about Taige at her website: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com or blog: http://www.taigecrenshaw.com/blog or on twitter: https://twitter.com/TaigeCrenshaw.
Firestorm Encounters – – What do you do when you find a man who sets your senses aflame but being with him could cause repercussions?
Buy here (https://www.totallybound.com/author/taige-crenshaw#books) at Totally Bound.