New Release ~ Love Charms – A Paranormal Romance Boxed Set


Love Charms, a collaboration between ten bestselling paranormal romance authors, was released earlier this week. There’s some really great authors in there, some of which have been on the New York Times and USA Today bestsellers lists.

LC Boxed Set

10 scorching paranormal romances for ONLY 99 cents! LIMITED TIME ONLY! (REGULAR PRICE: $9.99)

Available at:
Amazon (US | UK) | B&N | Kobo | iBooks (Coming Soon!)


Escape into the world of paranormal romance, a magical journey featuring delicious demons, wanton witches, zealous zombies and more that promise you a hauntingly good time! Featuring spell-binding novels from popular New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble bestselling authors, including Ava Catori, Selena Kitt, Cerys du Lys, Deanna Roy and more, these enchanting books will be sure to charm, beguile and bewitch you!

Blinded by Magic, A Witch Romance by Ava Catori: Raven’s weakness is mortal men. She’s fallen hard for Derek. There’s just one problem, he doesn’t know she’s a witch. Can he accept her truth or will their relationship crumble?

Blind Date by Selena Kitt: Selena Kitt’s Blind Date ventures into the strange and surreal realm of magical realism in a hot Valentine’s Day romance that takes on the classic Greek myth of Eros and Psyche.

Breathless by Cerys du Lys: Sadie and Evan live in different worlds. Brought together by fate, and held there by hope, can they bridge the gap dividing humanity, or will long held fears and prejudice force them apart forever?

The Passion Cure by Deanna Roy: Jet is a Nix, an outcast enchantress with zero power. To conjure a love spell to save her family, she seduces a handsome enchanter who is willing to break the rules, and possibly, her heart.

Marked by Charisma M. Cole: Jade Murray is a witch that can communicate with the dead. After a summoning goes awry, two murders rock the human and supernatural world. One thing connects the gruesome acts: Jade.

The Warlord’s Concubine by J.E. & M. Keep: As a servant to the princess for much of her life, Mirella sees the conquest of the land as an opportunity to elevate herself.

A Demon and His Witch by Eve Langlais: Remy’s seen a lot during his tenure in Lucifer’s guard, but nothing can prepare him for the witch with the acerbic tongue–and voluptuous figure. Can he convince her to love him and not kill him?

Psychic Appeal by Michelle McCleod: Psychic Sofia Parker has fallen in love, a problem because her new relationship drives the lovesick ghost of her ex-boyfriend to come back from the dead…anyway he can.

Memoir of a Reluctant Shaman by Ty Nolan: When his love spell goes wrong, our hero is exiled to be fully initiated as a Shaman in this spicy tale of New Orleans Voodoo and Native American magic.

Vampire Lords of Blacknall Trinity by Shirl Anders: Only a creature of the night can save her. Lady Beth Winslow never stays home at night. She fears her stepbrother. Then a monster stalks her in the dark woods and she cannot tell beast from savior.
Love Charms Cover


For this collection, I offered up my book, Breathless.

Breathless is a lot different from anything I’ve ever written before. I loved writing it, but some parts of it were very difficult. I needed a way to portray the confusion that Sadie has to deal with in this new world she’s been forced into, but I wanted to also show a sense of redemption and love, too. Admittedly, Sadie and Evan come together fast once they meet, but I don’t think it’s unbelievable. The circumstances and situations they’ve been thrown into are kind of crazy, and you don’t have time to worry or overthink things, you know? You either trust someone or you don’t, and you don’t have a chance to second guess yourself later. It either works out, or it doesn’t. I really liked that sort of “black and white” mentality going on. The other thing I liked is that not every character in the story follows along with that mindset, either.

Everything in Breathless is heightened in a way. The characters need to figure things out fast, or deal with the consequences. Granted, these aren’t always bad consequences, but every single thing that they do will have a reaction at some point in time. Literally everything. If they step outside and go for a walk in the morning, that could have dire consequences. If they fall in love, it could change their lives forever. In Breathless, the idea of dating someone, then breaking up with them… it just doesn’t exist. The world is too complex for something like that.

I wanted to capture that aspect of it, of the “survivor” and people’s will to survive. I wanted desperation and desolation, but I wanted hope and fighting against the odds, too. I wanted to write the sort of story that I think characters like Sadie and Evan deserve, and so that’s what I set out to do. I really like how it turned out, and I hope you’ll enjoy it, also!

Valentine’s Day and New Adult Romance


Loving couple in romantic city
Valentine’s Day is soon! I really love Valentine’s Day and I think it’s one of the more exciting holidays. It’s special in a lot of ways, you know? It can be romantic, but it’s not necessarily just about romance.

Valentine’s Day, to me, is about special moments. What I really love about it is that it’s not just one special moment, but kind of a combination of all of them. I feel like Valentine’s Day tries to recapture everyone’s “firsts” and lets us relive them for one day of the year. Because of this, it reminds me a lot of new adult romance, too.

One of the best things about new adult romance is that it’s something everyone can relate to. Whether you’re younger and currently going through being a new adult, or if you’re older and have already gone through it, it’s an experience that everyone will have at some point in time. It’s like a first kiss, you know? You always remember your first kiss, no matter where it was or who it was with. Hopefully your first kiss was really nice, but sometimes they aren’t. There’s lots of other romantic firsts, too, so don’t disregard those, either!

So, saying all of that, I feel like Valentine’s Day and new adult romance are a natural complement to each other. New adult romance lets us re-imagine our own coming of age. We can remember the feelings of being a new adult, whether it happened yesterday or a lot more yesterdays ago. We can remember being in good or bad relationships. We remember our first loves, our first kisses, our first time being intimate with someone in other ways, too. Maybe it’s the first time we invited someone to stay the night at our apartment, or the first night someone invited us to do the same. The first time we were invited for coffee, or to a certain restaurant.

New adult romance is about figuring out how to deal with all of these firsts. It’s about the experience, but also about the journey, you know? Valentine’s Day is all about remembering all of those. Maybe your first kiss was a really long time ago, but… what about your first kiss on Valentine’s Day this year? What’s that going to be like? I hope it’s special and I hope you’ll think of it as a different sort of first. And while you’re at it, why not relive all those firsts all over again? They don’t have to be perfect, because I don’t think a “first” anything is perfect, but they’re fun. Firsts are memorable and special.

And… the really nice thing about Valentine’s Day is that you can spend it with someone. Or… you don’t have to.

I admit that it can be a lot of fun if you have plans. Wake up early and get that first kiss of the day in. Depending on how frisky you and your partner are feeling, maybe you want to get a couple of other sexy firsts out of the way, too, haha. (Maybe a couple times? I won’t judge. There’s a whole lot of time between waking up, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, and having breakfast, so if you need something to occupy yourselves, well…). Valentine’s Day is on a Friday this year, so unfortunately that means a lot of people have to work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue your fun. Maybe a sexy email or text message here and there? Anticipation! That can be a ton of fun. Do you remember the first time you were really excited–I mean, really excited–for what was to come later?

Maybe you’ve got plans to go to a fancy dinner at a restaurant, or maybe you’d like to make a nice homemade dinner instead. Do you go to a movie, or watch one at home? What do you do at the movies? If your home, you’ve got a little more leeway, but if you’re out, there are definitely covert ways to have some playful fun while watching a movie. I’m not talking anything crazy here! A hand on a leg. Cuddling close. A light caress. You’ve got a lot of options. And after that, once you’re home (or if you’re already home), well… you’ve got a lot of options. You can do what you like, maybe you can relive some firsts, or you can have some more real firsts.

If you don’t have someone, I think that’s fine, too. Do you remember in grade school when everyone would make Valentine’s cards for everyone else? Give out candy, sometimes? Those cute little heart message candies? Or other candies. You could make your own easily enough, bake something nice, melt chocolate and buy some molds. Whatever you like!

If you don’t have someone, Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to have some fun by doing something you might not usually do. Do you want to grab the attention of a really attractive man at work? Or maybe you see him on your way to work every day? Maybe you don’t even have someone in mind, but you want to be prepared just in case you see someone you wouldn’t mind spending time with in the future (because you never know, you know?). You can, on Valentine’s Day, give him a Valentine’s card and some candy. I mean, you can give everyone a card and candy if you want, and maybe that helps it be a little more secretive. But, of course, you give the special man the special candy. Fill it up with “I love you” hearts! He won’t catch on, I swear. Everyone else gets the goofy candy hearts, but every single one he gets says “I love you,” and… maybe he’ll catch on and go further with it. You could be having a lunch break tryst in the copy room for all I know. I don’t know if I’d suggest that, but if you want to, Valentine’s Day sounds like a great time for it.

You could spend your day with friends, too. Go to special Valentine’s Day events, at a bar or a restaurant. I imagine there’s some fun one’s for singles, too, like speed dating or something. Actually, random side note, but I think that’d be really neat. What if you can go to a restaurant in your area as a single man or woman, and they’ll pair you with someone to have dinner with? If you like each other, you can exchange numbers, and if you don’t, then you can just eat and be on your way. That could be fun.

Anyways!

I hope everyone has a ton of fun this Valentine’s Day, no matter what you do. Remember what it was like for your first time, your first kiss, your first everything, and try to have those experiences again. Fall in love for the first time another time. Live and be happy and smile! A lot of new adult romance deals with difficulties and problems, but not everything is hard, you know? Love in general can be really difficult, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s just different and it’s special because of that. It’s memorable and beautiful.

Do you have any Valentine’s Day plans this year? I’d love to hear about them! Whatever you do, make sure to be happy and have a nice time.

NaNoWriMo!


NaNoWriMo has started! Woo hoo!

For those who don’t know what that is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month (which is this month/November). The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month, which equals about 1,667 words a day, give or take a bit depending on if you have a good day or a bad day, I guess. I usually have good days, but I can’t write every day since I have to do some other things in regards to writing, too, so it evens out. I probably get close to 60,000 words a month, generally speaking.

Anyways! For those of you who are signed up to receive my weekly newsletter, you may have seen that I’m going to do a fun event for NaNoWriMo. I’ll be tracking my writing and aiming for the 50,000 word goal, for one. But, the fun part is that I’ll be letting everyone see just what exactly I write, too.

So, the main purpose of me writing this right now is to tell you that that’ll be up and available now. You can find the secret page where you can view my writing as I do it (or see what else I’m doing) on my Freebies page here (which is up at the top there somewhere, if you click that).

And… the Freebies page is password protected, but if you’re signed up for my mailing list, you’ll have the password there. If you aren’t signed up, then you can sign up on the right sidebar over there at the top ( —–> ) and you can get the password once I send out my next newsletter.

Just as a quick reminder, everything I put on the secret NaNoWriMo page will be unpolished/before editing. Usually I write relatively clean first drafts, but this is just for a fun event, you know? I’ll be spending time editing/fixing everything up before I publish the stories, so if you want to see the difference, you can read the NaNoWriMo secret page version, then grab a copy of the published store version to see what a difference it is.

That’s about it for now. I just wanted to let everyone know that I’ve started, that they can find the page under the Freebies section on my site, and you’ll need to be a newsletter subscriber in order to see this neat and exclusive content. I hope you like it!

Newsletter Delayed (Sorry!)


Sorry about the late notice on this one, for those who were looking forward to receiving my weekly newsletter today.

The website that I use to manage my newsletter stuff and have it sent out to everyone is going to be doing updates and maintenance on their servers shortly. This means that any scheduled newsletters may potentially have issues and be sent out late, or not sent out, or what have you. I’m not really sure, actually, as this is the first time they’ve done maintenance/updates while I’ve used them.

This isn’t cause for alarm or anything, just general everyday stuff. I have no idea what kind of everyday general stuff is involved, but I’m sure they have a handle on it. It’s just the mailing servers, I think (so like email related things, nothing crazy).

Anyways! The newsletter for this week is going to be a little delayed because of that. I’m hoping/planning to send it out on Thursday once all of this is finished.

Want a sneak peek ahead of time? These are a few of the things I’ll be including in this week’s newsletter!

-New cover art for Spark of Hope: The Monster Within (with Bolt of Trust, Breath of Bliss, Drop of Doubt, Ember of Ecstasy, and Rise of Spirit to follow!) Rise of Spirit will actually be done with the new cover art style for the series right from the get go.

-Rise of Spirit will be released soon after the unfortunate delays from me being sick, and I’ll be doing a promo price of $0.99 for the first few days of it being on sale.

-A bunch of stuff about Hunted, and me becoming an Amazon Top 100 Best Selling Fantasy and Fantasy Romance author. This is really exciting, since it’s not just Hunted that’s a best selling book (it is currently, which is also exciting), but me as an author getting on a special author list. This is neat because really, I owe it to everyone who has purchased one of my books and enjoyed it. I really try to write things that I think you’ll all like, so when something like this happens, it makes me excited to know that I’m heading in the right direction.

-Random reference, but, to date, I’ve been an Amazon Top 100 Best Selling Author in Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, and Romantic Suspense. Hunted and The Billionaire’s Ultimatum have been the two novels that you’ve all enjoyed the most and that helped me get on those lists, so if you haven’t checked them out yet, then why not give them a shot?

-The paperback version of The Billionaire’s Ultimatum will be going up in price soon in preparation for wider distribution to places like B&N, etc. If you want to get it at a decent discount, grab it before then. Once the price increases, you’ll be able to order it on BN.com and in your local B&N bookstore, though (they should be able to ship it right to the store for you, so you can go pick it up locally if you’d like). The price won’t be too much more, but I’ll put the specifics in the newsletter when it goes out.

-And some exciting pre-info about an event I’m going to be doing in November! (Hint: It has to do with NaNoWriMo, and it should be fun)

That’s it! Sorry again for the delay, but keep an eye out for the newsletter as it should be available within the new few days!

Hunted: Audiobook?


So… I’m not actually sure how this is going to go, but I figured I’d try it. I just put up a listing for a request for a narrator for the full-length version of Hunted: An Erotic Retelling of Beauty and the Beast yesterday, and I’m hoping to maybe get that done by Christmas.

The thing with that is that uh… well, I never planned on doing an audiobook version of this one, per se. I mean, the idea was always in my mind and of course I was open to it. If a random narrator approached me about doing it, then I definitely would have said yes. That doesn’t really happen too often, from what I know, but I’d honestly probably be open to a lot of things like that.

For random reference, I like to do royalty shares with my audiobook narrators, since I think it’s more fair to everyone. The problem there is that a royalty share can be a good or a bad thing, you know? If the story doesn’t sell very well, then they’re kind of out some time and effort, which is sad. If the story sells well, they can make a good amount of money, though. On the flip side to that, if I paid them per finished hour (this is also relatively standard), then they could technically make more money if the story sells well, or a lot less of the story sells poorly.

As of now, most of my audiobooks have at least broken even, just about. I don’t know if anyone really cares about the business side of that, but the narrators and I have a 7 year agreement, too, so basically like… they’re all pretty much going to get paid more than the industry average, but it might take awhile for them to get it? So far they’ve broken even, or are very close to breaking even, and my first audiobooks ever were released this year, so it should work out for them in the long run. That’s kind of how this business is on all fronts, though. Not always, and sometimes a story sells really well right from the get-go, but not always.

Anyways! The point of all of that? I like doing audiobooks because it helps the narrators, gives them legitimate credits for their voice-over work, and kind of sets them up for more, you know? They can use the audiobook as a stepping stone to a better foot in the narration industry, or for acting, or whatever. I honestly think all of the narrators that have worked for me could do really well with this, either strictly voices or acting, or whatever. They have talent and drive to succeed.

So… saying that, I wasn’t going to do an audiobook version of Hunted at first, because I didn’t actually think it would sell amazingly well. I didn’t think it’d sell poorly or anything, and I thought it’d be a good book. Honestly, I like it a lot, myself, and I think it’s pretty sexy. It’s different and fun, with a bit of darkness to it, and more than its fair share of eroticism. That’s uh… well, that’s kind of the thing, I guess. I don’t want to make anyone feel awkward narrating it? Haha.

I don’t know why I think anyone would feel awkward with it, though. I’m pretty upfront about what it is and what to expect, so if they’re interested, then I think they should be given the chance to give it a try. And if I think it’ll be a decent seller and good for their career, then I don’t mind offering the opportunity to them, either, you know? I’ve been given some chances in life when I thought I could do something that others might think was too difficult or too strange, and I think those are the best types of chances sometimes. Just to get things out there and try something different, but also something good and useful, right?

So… well, Hunted is doing well. The e-book version is doing very well, and the paperback is doing pretty good, too. Paperbacks are honestly a harder sell, since, as an indie author, I can’t really get them into physical bookstores at the moment. That’s just an industry thing, and the big traditional publishers mostly have a stranglehold on that. E-books are a lot different, though, and I think I have a good understanding of that side of things.

For reference, Hunted is currently #16 in the entire All Romance eBooks store. They even sent me a neat little image thing for this site, which I’ll throw up on the sidebar soon! It might be there by the time you read this.

It’s also doing exceptional on Amazon, with a max ranking so far in the low ~1200s. This has translated into being on these best sellers lists there:
#4 Paranormal Romance > Angels
#6 Paranormal Romance > Ghosts
#6 Fantasy > Fairy Tales
#6 Paranormal Romance > Demons & Devils
#10 Paranormal Romance > Witches & Wizards
#11 World Literature > Mythology
#28 Paranormal Romance > Werewolves & Shifters

That’s just in the US. It’s ranking pretty well in Fantasy > Fairy Tales and Fiction > Fairy Tales, plus Myths & Fairy Tales in the UK, as well.

So… anyways, it’s doing well! Which is fun and great, and I really appreciate everyone’s support in this one and I’m glad to hear that a lot of people have liked it so far. I’m always kind of nervous about these things, you know? Like… I want things to do well, and I try my best to make them good and something that people will like and want to read, but I guess I’m sort of a pessimistically optimistic person. Like… it would be really nice if everyone loved everything I wrote, but I know that’s not how things work, and different things work for different people, so I just hope that at least some people will like some of the things I write?

I don’t know if that makes sense. Don’t take any of this as being especially pessimistic, because I’m not. I get really excited about things, to the point of being maybe too excited, but I try to have realistic expectations, too. The two things sort of clash sometimes.

I’m rambling a bit now, but the point of this whole thing is that I’m hopefully going to make an audiobook of Hunted, and I think this will be a great opportunity for the narrator. I like helping people out and in a creative entertainment sort of place, like with fiction books and everything, it can be really hard to get a foot in the door, you know? It takes a lot of time and effort sometimes. I’ve spent a lot of my own time and effort on all of this, so I’m hoping to share it a little by providing someone the opportunity to use some of my time and effort to help themselves out and to further their creative endeavors.

I will let you know if I find anyone! I’m still kind of picky when it comes to narrators, and I have a certain sort of voice in mind for this one, but I like to leave my options open, too. Sometimes people can surprise you, you know? I like when that happens, since it’s a lot of fun.

(This is a weird sort of post, but these are just some of the things I think about sometimes, so I thought I’d share for those who were interested in that kind of thing. I hope you liked it! What are your thoughts on audiobooks? They’re a lot different and they take a little getting used to, but I really like them)

A New Freebie!


Hello!

I mentioned in my newsletter this week that I was going to put up a new free story in the freebie section soon, and… well, hey! It’s there now. This is a sweeter one, and some of you may have read it already, but for those who haven’t, I hope you’ll check it out and see if you like it. I won’t spoil what it is, because it’s kind of like a present, I guess? You know, like… it’s fun to find out what it is after you open it (after you go to the freebie page), and then you can either get really excited or bemoan receiving a fruit cake for Christmas (or whatever holiday, I guess. I kind of like fruit cake, though, so maybe that’s not a great example).

Anyways! It’s there, so go check it out.

For those who can’t figure out how to get on the freebie page (because I haven’t figured out how to put good directions for it yet. Sorry!), you’ll need to sign up for my newsletter, which you can do on the side over there somewhere (—->). I send out newsletters on a weekly basis, and include the password to access my freebies from there. You also get fun information about stuff! What kind of stuff? Well, it varies a bit. I’ll mention my new releases and how I’m doing on specific stories, or what’s coming soon, all of that. I like to talk about other random things, too, like what I’m reading, or what I think of book things. And, I include fun little tips and tricks about sexy things (or things I think are sexy, at least. They aren’t always strictly tips, I suppose).

So… yes! Newsletters go out on Tuesdays, generally, and I’ve got two freebies available as of now, so… if you haven’t signed up yet, what are you waiting for?

To Plot (or not)


I’m really bad at plotting out my stories. This should not be confused with being bad at thinking of things to write. I think that’s probably the problem I have with all of this, though.

I don’t really have any problems thinking of things to write. Sometimes I don’t know the exact thing I want to write, but if something is an issue, I’ll leave it for a bit and come back to it. Usually my issues there arise with connecting things, and figuring out the details. Not with the actual plot, but just how to connect one thing to another so that it has purpose, you know?

I can’t really give any good examples of this in my books without spoiling things completely. I’m going to use the Fifty Shades series, since I think that’s well known enough that it won’t really spoil anything (and if it does, I’m sorry!).

In the Fifty Shades books, come to find out, Christian is attracted to brown haired girls that remind him of his mother. Now… that’s kind of creepy, but oh well, that’s how it is. To be fair, they say that people are attracted like that anyways, I guess? Like, if you’re a woman, you look for someone who has similar traits to your father? I guess it’d be the opposite for a man, too. I don’t really know how that works.

Anyways! This ends up explaining why Christian is incredibly attracted to Anastasia, who is otherwise seen as somewhat plain and ordinary. We don’t really get it at first, but then all of a sudden it makes some sense. It’s still kind of creepy, but we’re invested enough in the story to be alright with it to some extent. Or, I was, at least. Christian’s mother is the reason for a lot of other things, too, and if you’ve read the books then it’ll make sense.

So that’s kind of what I do. Like… I might have had part of it planned out for later, at least in my head, and then the beginning works fine, and I connect the dots to bring the beginning to the end in some meaningful way. Before I write, I might know that I want Christian to be incredibly attracted to Ana, and I might know that he had unresolved issues with his mother, but then as I was writing, I’d think, “Oh, hey! What if his mother’s looks remind him of Ana, which is where the initial allure came in?” And I’d go with that. I didn’t really plan that to begin with, but it makes sense and it adds depth to the story, you know?

I don’t know if E.L. James did that or not, but if I were writing Fifty Shades, that’s what I’d do.

Some people think that’s a weird way to write, but I like it. I think it’s more fun and interesting sometimes. I’ve tried doing a general plot outline for what I want to write, and I can see the use in it because it gives you some structure for where to go and all of that, but… every time I’ve done it, I don’t actually stick to it.

Ember of Ecstasy is a good example. I was trying out the plotting thing again, for no real reason I could think of. I hadn’t written in The Monster Within series for awhile, so I thought it might help. Before I started, I reread all the other ones to get myself caught up somewhat, so I didn’t really need a plot outline or anything, but I figured I’d do it anyways.

It wasn’t bad, but… I kind of ignored half of the things I wrote because I thought of better things to write as I was going, and then it ended entirely different than what I expected.

In the newest one, which I’m tentatively calling Rise of Spirit, I even started it somewhat differently than I planned. Solace is in a forest, right? If you haven’t read it, this isn’t really a spoiler, and if you have then you’ll know why she’s in a forest. So I was going to write this, and do that, and all of these things, and…

“Hey,” I said to myself. Myself perked up and looked at me curiously. “What if there’s a spider?”

“A spider?”

“Yes, a spider. But a big one. A giant spider, and there’s a web.”

“A giant web, of course.”

“Yes, right. And…”

“Hey! What if the spider can talk? It’s fantasy, right? And there’s demons and seraphs and goblins and stuff. So maybe there’s a talking spider?”

And now, as you might have guessed, Rise of Spirit has a talking spider. I don’t really know where that came from. It just sort of happened. That’s about how my plotting usually goes, too. I have too many ideas sometimes, which is a good and a bad thing. Occasionally I need to get rid of some ideas, because too many ideas is just confusing, you know? But sometimes I get to add in the random talking spider and then make it important somehow (so then it’s not random, because just having a random talking spider is kind of weird. No one would like that).

So if you ever wondered where I get my ideas or how I do my plotting, I couldn’t really tell you. It comes to me somehow, and I just write it down. I think a lot and I’m kind of a strange person, so that might help. If you think a lot and you’re strange, maybe you have the same problems? They aren’t the worse problems to have, I’d say. Rather amusing ones, actually.

Oyster


Hello!

I’ve been excessively ill as of late, so I haven’t really gotten to do as much as I would have liked. This is a bit unfortunate, but there’s not much I could do about it. I’ve mostly been huddled up in a sweatshirt and pajama pants, feeling achy and cold. Not too fun. I’m working on carrying on now, though. I don’t usually get sick too often, and not for multiple days when I do, so it kind of bothers me, but I know to take it easy or I’ll just keep staying sick.

Anyways! Besides sickness, a lot of things are happening in the e-book world, of which I figured I’d chime in and talk about. The bigger one as of now is Oyster Books and their Oyster reading app, which will be available for the iPhone supposedly sometime by the end of the month. I don’t know their exact begin date, so it could be more like the beginning of October, I guess, but it’ll be here soon.

For those who don’t know, Oyster is going to be a buffet-style e-book subscription service where you can read as many books as you like for only $9.95 a month. It’s similar to Amazon Prime in some ways, and not really in others. Mostly the borrowing. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you get to borrow one book a month that’s in the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library (KOLL for short). Most of the books in the KOLL are from indie authors or Amazon imprints from what I know, though I believe a few are from traditional publishers.

Now, random side trip here, but the KOLL is good and bad in some ways. First, you can only borrow one book, and it costs like… $80 a year or so (or $40 if you can get the student discount, which is a great deal). If you consider anywhere from $1 to $5 being a good price for most e-books (that’s what I consider a good price, at least), then you’re looking at anywhere from $12 to $60 worth of free books over the course of your subscription. This sounds weird at first, because you’re paying $80, but… you also get a ton of free streaming video through Amazon’s video thing (I totally forget what it’s called, I don’t use it), and you also get free 2-day shipping on a ton of Amazon products (I love this!). If 2 days isn’t fast enough, you can upgrade it to 1 day for $3.99.

So Amazon Prime isn’t just for book borrowing. Also, the only way you can borrow books is if you own a Kindle device. I have Amazon Prime, but I don’t own a Kindle, so that’s kind of sad, but I order a lot of stuff because I’m weird, and the free 2-day shipping is great, even if the UPS and Fed Ex delivery men probably don’t like me by now (I order a lot of small and dumb things).

This isn’t about Amazon Prime, it’s about Oyster and their e-book subscription thing, but I thought you should know what the only other real competitor is as of now (that I know of) and what they offer. Amazon Prime gives you less books in your subscription, but you get more other things, which is neat.

Oyster is just books, and you get as many books as you want. You aren’t going to get the same books as what’s on Amazon, though. You aren’t going to get those, because for the most part, for a book to be in the KOLL, the author has to agree to an exclusivity clause stating that they can’t make their book available in digital format anywhere except Amazon for 90 days (after which they can lose their KOLL “membership” or renew it for another 90 days). So Oyster just won’t have the same books as Amazon does ever, or at least not at the same time. That’s not a positive or negative, it’s just how it is.

Now… Oyster also offers you unlimited books for only $9.95, but… as an author, I have issues with this. Or, rephrasing that, I might have issues with this. Amazon Prime pays authors for borrowed books, and they pay at a really competitive rate. If you borrow one of my books for free (I have a couple that you can if you want), I get pretty much the same amount as if you’d bought the book. So you get it for free (for awhile, at least. You have to “give it back” eventually, but you can read it for free), and I get paid the same. That’s pretty neat, huh? I think so!

Oyster won’t announce their payment to authors yet, which is kind of a huge red flag. Smashwords, my potential distributor for them, also won’t be announcing the payment structure until 3 days before Oyster goes live. I write because I love to write, but one of the only ways I can continue to do this and provide quality material is if I’m paid for it, you know? I would seriously like nothing more than to live in some Bohemian society where everyone can do the things they like, and no one has to pay for anything, and we can all be creative and do whatever, but… my landlord prefers that I pay him my rent and the electric company doesn’t like it if I don’t pay them for the electricity they send me, and so on and so forth.

So I try to price my books as cheaply as possible, and sometimes I even give them away for free, but this is my career, so I can’t do that Bohemian lifestyle romanticized thing, you know?

I don’t know if that’s what Oyster wants me to do. I couldn’t tell you what they want me to do, because they won’t even tell me. They would like my books, and a lot of other people’s books, but they won’t tell us what they’ll give us in return for having our books available to their subscribers, which is kind of scary. It’s like going for a job interview, and the hiring manager says he definitely wants to hire you, but he won’t tell you what he’s going to pay you for working. Do you do it anyways, and then hope for the best? Or do you decline and go somewhere else?

It’s not exactly that, but it kind of is, too.

It’s not my favorite situation to be in, to be completely honest. I would love to offer you all my books on a subscription service basis. I know some of you could probably read a ton of them and get a great deal from it. I would be happy to do this if Oyster is offering competitive payments to authors, but I’m not sure if this is the case. If they were, why are they hiding it now? There’s really no reason to, from what I can tell. Or, there’s no reason to hide something unless you have something to hide, and… in this case I don’t want that something hidden from me.

Because of this, I don’t think Oyster is going to be very good. I know this is premature and I know a lot of people might be excited for it (because, honestly? It sounds really exciting), but I just wanted to go at it from another point of view as a “content provider.”

I love when people read my books. I give books away quite a lot, and I offer sales on books, too. I have paperbacks that are discounted, e-books that are discounted, permanently at $0.99, or some are even free. I have freebies I give away to you all if you’re a newsletter subscriber, too.

The thing there is that -I- and giving them away, and thus I’m not making anything from it, and that’s my choice. I do it because I like to, and I know that not everyone can afford to buy everything they like all the time, so I try to make it a little easier for you to buy the things you want if one of those things is something I have. I like doing that.

I don’t like giving someone something and then them turning around and selling it for a profit without providing me with anything, and I’m afraid that’s essentially what Oyster is going to become. It’s extremely unlikely they can stick with the same terms as Amazon has, and with an all-you-can-read subscription service, it’s unlikely they can do even half that. (To be completely honest, I’d go for half that, personally, at least for some things) So… for all I know right now (which is nothing, because they won’t tell me, or you, or anyone, really), they want me to provide them with free content so that they can charge for it and make a profit off of it.

I don’t like that and I don’t agree with that. It’s not a really nice thing to do, first off, and second it’s somewhat manipulative and rude (which are not nice things, so it’s like triply not nice, I suppose). It may turn out that they’re NOT doing this, in which case I’ll admit that I was wrong, but they literally just won’t tell anyone, so…

If you want some great deals, and free content, and all of that, I’d personally suggest you just sign up for my newsletter. My newsletter is 100% free, and if you like my sales and what I have to offer, I can basically guarantee you that you’ll get around ~$12+ worth of savings -at least-. And then my freebies (that you can download whenever, and keep forever), would add more savings to that. And I’m planning some holiday sales, and other sales… you’re looking at a pretty good deal. Free or drastically discounted e-books for… free. No subscription necessary, really (or, well, my newsletter is kind of a subscription, but it’s a fun one, and different than other stuff).

Also, honestly? I know not everyone likes buying e-books at Amazon, but Amazon Prime is a great deal. You can even get a free 30-day trial, which is kind of amazing. (Oyster doesn’t have any trial, from what I know, though they haven’t fully released yet, so I don’t know the full details)

This was way longer than I expected, but I just wanted to inform you all of Oyster and why I might not be participating (and why other authors you enjoy might not, either). You’ll still be able to find most of my books at the same places you always have, though. I currently have two shorter titles enrolled for the KOLL, so if you’re an Amazon (Prime) type of person you can buy (borrow them for free) there, plus I will be offering them for free on a rolling 90 day schedule (5 days at a time) whenever I can.

Random side note to that, but I’m actually hoping to eventually have enough of those so that I can have one story free on Amazon for 5 days at a time on a permanent basis (so one is free for 5 days, then another is free for 5 days, and then another… and so on and so forth), to provide you all with an even better deal. Anyone can read Amazon books with their Kindle app, PC reader, or on the Kindle Cloud servers on your computer, so even if you prefer to shop at B&N most times, you can grab them on the free days and check them out if you want.

Besides Oyster, would you like an e-book subscription service? I think it could be neat in theory, to be honest. I love my Netflix account. I also watch shows on Hulu a lot, but I don’t pay for Hulu+(or Plus, whatever they call it) so I get ads (like commercials), but I don’t mind them. I used to pay for Pandora for music, but they got rid of the monthly limit and added ads instead, so I just do that now. I know not everyone likes ads, but I don’t mind them if I get the content for free. I actually kind of like it. Hulu pays its content providers a pretty good amount per ad (I believe they split the profits 50:50, but don’t quote me on that), and it’s a really fair deal, so by watching the ads I honestly feel like I’m really helping the producers of the show (and then I get to watch the show for free, too!). Kind of a win/win/win there (Hulu wins, too, because they put the shows up, you know?).

I think I might like something like that, if it was possible. Like… if you could read e-books for free, but they had ads in them? And the author got paid for those ads? I envision it somewhat like watching TV and seeing commercials. I mean, I might skip the commercials, but sometimes I don’t mind commercials. Sometimes I really like commercials if they’re interesting, too. Is that weird? I don’t know.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Kings and Outcasts


Since I’m working on The Monster Within at the moment, I figured I’d take some time today to talk about Solace and Bastion (and maybe Faith or others. We’ll see how it goes). I’ll be trying to keep things as spoiler free as possible, but if you’d like to make absolute certain that you don’t have anything spoiled, then you might want to consider skipping this one. I’d mostly like to discuss concepts and my ideas, so it should be relatively safe, though.

Anyways!

Solace is an outcast in the town of Glenwood, for (currently) reasons unknown. There are some reasons, and they’re pretty good ones once the story gets to it, but for now they’re secretive. I’ve dropped a couple of hints in Ember of Ecstasy, and there’s more to come soon, too.

The thing I find interesting about the whole thing is that Solace doesn’t know why everyone hates her, though. I really enjoy this concept and theme, because I think it’s easy to relate to that in a lot of ways. Why does anyone hate anything? I have some reasons for why I dislike things, and then I have reasons for why I hate things. I try to reserve really good reasons for the things I hate, but I don’t know if everyone does the same. As to the things I dislike? Sometimes I honestly couldn’t tell you why I do or don’t like something. It’s just personal preference and opinion based on bias and preconceived notions a lot of time.

Solace deals with it, though. She deals with it even though literally almost everyone in Glenwood hates her. She never questions it, nor gets upset, she just tries to become better. I like that about her. I can see where some people might think she’s a weak character or a bad one, because of all these bad things that happen to her, but she doesn’t let it get her down. I think there’s a huge difference there, you know? A character who has bad things happen and then just drops into depression is maybe “real” but not very fun? One who has bad things happen and then strives to overcome them, become better (even if there might not be a better), and just continues to live and try despite the odds being against them… well, I like characters like that.

Solace might seem weak or bad or a bunch of things at times, but honestly I think she might be one of the strongest characters in the story. She continues to try when she has no reason to, and I envy that somewhat and would like to replicate it in my own life.

As to Bastion, he’s in somewhat the same position, except backwards. As the Demon King, no one really hates him. I don’t think they can afford to, as there’s bound to be consequences. At least openly, you know? I mean, the occasional disagreement or dislike is probably fine, but open revolt? There’s got to be a huge reason to resort to something like that, and then the consequences could be huge, too.

The thing is, Bastion isn’t a mean person or a tyrannical Demon King or anything like that. He’s relatively nice, all things considered. He and Solace got off to an odd and rough start, but I think that’s understandable. I mean, she’s a human who was sent as basically a sacrificial bride for the ruler of the monstrous host in Runehaven. In her mind, he’s a monster. In his mind, he’s being sent some woman in order to maintain the peace, and he’s expected to marry her, but where is the love?

(Random side note field trip)
Arranged marriages are interesting in those regards. It’s one of those things that isn’t really applicable to a lot of countries nowadays. On a random side note to that, while I have no reference at hand, I’ve heard that arranged marriages that occur in India (I don’t know if they still do, but these were older statistics I was reading) actually have a high percentage chance of working well, and the two people who become married eventually come to enjoy it. I’ve always curiously wondered if it has something to do with the whole Kama Sutra love-making lesson and teaching thing, at least in part. The Kama Sutra isn’t that entirely, but I really like how it teaches and advocates pleasure in intimate unions, you know? I think other places should teach people these things, because to be completely honest a lot of people are oblivious about sex and how to make their partner happy, which is sad.
(Field trip is done!)

And… they’re trying, you know? Bastion and Solace are, perhaps, not compatible at all. They don’t know much about each other, nor do they know if they can even love each other. They aren’t sure if they have a future, or what their future is, or anything like that. They’d like to try, though. Together. Bastion finds that he enjoys Solace and the fact that she’s curious and unsure. I think he might see some of himself in her in those regards. As the Demon King, he’s not really allowed to be unsure, and the fact that Solace is, and is open about it, kind of complements him in a way. Bastion is strong and caring and treats her fairly when no one’s ever treated her that way in her entire life, which is interesting to her, but also leaves her feeling wary and cautious. Is it a lie? A ruse? Demons have a reputation for being less than respectable, at least according to the human books she’s read, and so you can’t really blame her for her initial wariness.

They work together, though. I think they go good together, too. They aren’t the same, not by a longshot, but the similarities that they have are a great base for a potential relationship, and the differences they have complement each other well, in my opinion. There’s a high chance for love there, blossoming and burgeoning.

Except there’s that whole issue of a human inevitably dying when she gives birth to a demon’s child…

Something Different


I wanted to write this post yesterday, but I thought it best to wait. Sometimes I get really excited about things and don’t think much on the specifics. It’s gotten me in trouble before, somewhat, where I think I can just jump right into something, do something, and… nope! Sometimes you just can’t do that, you know? So I thought I should just think a bit first, figure everything out and the logistics behind it, then go from there.

Anyways! Saying that, I basically ended up with the same conclusion that I had before, so I guess I didn’t really need to wait all that much, haha.

I write erotic things. I like erotic things. I think sex is fun to write about and talk about from a logical point of view. I’m kind of a strange person in those regards. In my personal life, I don’t really feel very comfortable with “sexy” conversations, but I’d be more than happy to have a conversation about sex. I don’t know how that works exactly, but let’s just go with it.

While I like sex and writing it and all of that, it’s not the only thing I like, of course. That’d be kind of weird if it were, I’d say. I like a lot of other things, too. To be honest, in general, I like writing. I think that’s one of the only constants in my life, for a long while now. I get really into it, and whenever I stop doing it for a day or two, I get kind of nervous to get back to it. I don’t like to not write and if there’s ever a time where I can’t write, I get antsy to get back to it.

I started writing a long long time ago. I don’t remember exactly when, but I’ve always loved writing. I never realized it exactly until later, but I think deep down I just always did. I mistook it for other things, somewhat. I knew I wanted to tell stories, but I didn’t link that with writing for awhile.

I started writing more seriously (much more seriously) after reading On Writing by Stephen King. I don’t really know what it was about that book that did it for me, but everything just sort of clicked in place after I read it. There are a few things that I really enjoyed about that book and that I’ll always remember.

First and foremost was that he never thought of writing as a job or a chore or anything like that. I don’t remember the exact specifics, but Mr. King likened writing to taking a nap. It’s a nice, relaxing thing that he enjoys doing. That shifted something for me, and afterwards I thought of writing differently. I liked it. I knew I liked it. And then why was I treating it like an arduous task? I don’t know.

Another was the concept of just writing. Sounds dumb, but you need to write, right? Yes. He suggested just going at it, doing 2,000 words a day, which he considered a good pace of things. I don’t exactly know if I agree with that now, as I think in general 2,000 isn’t too much, but in the beginning it was my milestone. I wrote 2,000 words a day, almost every single day, for a long time after reading that book. I don’t write 2,000 words a day now sometimes, but I try to do more when I can. I have editing and other writing tasks to take care of, which puts a damper into that, but it works out for the best. I think on my best day I wrote something like 9,000, though, so maybe it makes up for it? I write more than 2,000 a day now, when I can get straight to writing without worrying about other stuff, so it evens out.

And finally was something that I think a lot of writers struggle with. Again, I don’t remember the exact wording, but in the book he mentions that if you wrote something, and then sold it, and with the money you paid your electric bill, he considers you a talented writer. That last one is difficult for a lot of writers sometimes. We get stressed a lot. I think it’s an occupational hazard. Is our writing good enough? Do people like it? I still feel a sort of sense of relief when people tell me they like my writing, and my heart clenches a little when someone says they didn’t think it was good enough. I want people to have their opinions, regardless, and I want people to be able to freely say if they like or dislike something, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt a little bit, you know? We put our hearts and souls into writing something, worrying that we’re just some talentless hack, and…

But, well, Stephen King considers me a talented writer, even though we’ve never met, and I appreciate that. I’ve paid multiple electric bills with my writing money, and I hope to pay all the rest of my future electric bills with it, too.

I mentioned up above that I wrote 2,000 words a day for a long while. That was something like 2 years worth of writing. I guess I consider it my “dues” in a way. I never published any of that. Unfortunately I didn’t edit much of any of that, either. It’s not bad writing, and in fact I think the stories I wrote are wonderful, but they need some work in the editing department.

The other “unfortunate” part is that nothing that I wrote was really erotic. There were some sex scenes, sure, but not a lot and not really often. Mostly flirting and stuff like that. It was more standard YA in a lot of ways, with a fantasy hint. Some of it was with older characters, but even that was closer to what New Adult is now, though without a lot of the elements that are popular in current New Adult things.

I’d really like to do something with that writing, and I guess I’ve planned to all along, but I never knew exactly what to do with it. I don’t even know what my initial plans were, but I just wanted to write it. I wrote over a million words, and it’s just sitting on my computer, collecting digital dust.

My plan is to work through that slowly and release it. Back then, I had this huge issue with editing. I don’t really know how to explain it, except to say that editing really is work, and it takes a long time to get used to it. I tried a lot of things to get better at editing, and the only thing that really worked was just to do it, and do more of it. I’ve been doing it a lot for the past few years, preparing myself, and I have a good handle on it now. It takes time, but not nearly as much as it used to for me (mainly because it seems difficult and boring at times, but it’s not really, you know? I don’t know how to explain that very well. It’s more of an acquired taste that you -need- to acquire as a writer, so you just do).

I’m going to be branching out a little because of that. None of that writing belongs grouped together with my current writing, so I’m going to be starting a new pen name to do that. This isn’t really anything new and writers have been doing it for awhile (Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb is a great example that I can think of off the top of my head). If it were anything but YA stuff, I’d probably just go with it, but I don’t think YA belongs in the same catalogue as erotic things. Once I have my book(s) up, I’ll gladly let everyone know, though. I think some people who like erotica and erotic romance and all of that will also enjoy YA things, I just don’t think the YA crowd would/should know about the erotic stuff, you know?

I’m really excited about this, though. Excited and a bit nervous. Those original stories are kind of like my hidden secret, I guess. You know the type, where you don’t tell anyone, because you’re afraid of getting hurt? I want to share, and I want to tell that story and let people read it, but like I mentioned above, I’m scared of being considered a “talentless hack” still. A lot of me and my time was put into these stories (two years, and more by the time I’m done with them), and… I don’t know, if you spent two years doing something because you enjoyed it, and then you showed someone the fruits of your labor, and they said something mean about it, how would you feel? I guess that’s it, but it’s just something writers need to deal with, too.

So that’s where I’m at! This shouldn’t affect my other writing in any way. I’ll just be slowly going through my older writing and editing a little here and there. I actually really enjoy editing sometimes, and some days I’m like, “Ugh… I need to finish writing this thing I’m working on, because I really just want to spend a day editing…” And now I can! A lot!

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