Category Archives: Other

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.

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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!

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!

Feeling Good


Hello!

So, I’ve done a lot of website updates recently, in terms of infrastructure. Now, infrastructure is probably boring to most people, unless they’re the one who did the changes to the infrastructure, but just know that a lot of it is done and available. A part of that is the neat little “Book Categories” thing on the left side somewhere over there (<—-).

Unfortunately I don't have much in those categories yet, but those are what I wanted to set up initially in order to just um… set stuff up? Most of my books/website posts will fit in those categories, and if not, I can add more.

Now, what's different about these categories, is that they aren't going to lead you to books, per se. It's not like Amazon or anywhere else where you click them to get a listing of books, you know? That'd be neat, and I do plan on having some things like that, but if you want to browse for books, you can do it on Amazon or B&N or wherever pretty easily. (Just for completionist's sake, I'll add iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords, ARe, Sony's Bookstore, a bunch of libraries, Diesel… Audible? I think there might be more, but I don't know all of the tiny ones).

Anyways! The categories over there will lead you to posts about books in those categories. Or just posts about stuff that could fit into those categories. It should be fun to explore. Want to read some things about paranormal romance? Just head on over to that tab I have and, voila! You've got it.

I like this set up because I can add things that I think should be added, too. With that last one, you'll notice that I have "Zombies" listed under paranormal romance. Now, generally speaking, you might say that's an odd choice. And, yes, I agree with you. It is. The thing is, though, I wrote one because I wanted to. At the time, Warm Bodies had just come out, and people thought it was so interesting and neat. I thought it was interesting and neat, too, so I decided to see if I could take a different twist with zombies and try to make them more romantic. It's weird, sure. I won't deny that. I think I did alright with it, though. I've gotten some good feedback about it, at least.

(Quick field trip side note)
For random reference, because people ask this a lot, my version of zombies aren't dead. There are lots of versions of zombies, and some are dead people who came back to life, while others just suddenly became zombies because of some kind of disease or virus or plague or what have you. Some are a mix, like The Walking Dead, which is sort of virus that brings people back after they die. Mine is just a virus, so the "zombies" aren't dead, but they're somewhat bewildered/cold/all of that. There's a pretty good reason for it, and it's hinted at in the Soulless series, but I didn't want to come right out and say what it is exactly. I don't know if I ever will or not, either. I do plan to write a sequel book/series eventually, but it's on the back burner for a little while until I finish up some other things. I just don't want to get the story bogged down by some paranormal science fiction information and all of that, you know? I guess I could do a side story style quickie e-book for those who might want to know all of the details, though.
(Field trip is done!)

Being able to make my own sub-categories within pre-arranged, standard categories gives me a lot of leeway in those regards. As another example, Amazon didn't used to have sub-categories to paranormal (or not many), so vampires, werewolves, witches, demons, all of those… were just stuck under Paranormal Romance. They still don't have much in the way of historical romance, so like… Victorian era is mixed in with Regency, with Medieval, and with Colonial/Civil War/the 80s/everything.

How do I plan on filling these up? Glad you asked! (If you didn't ask, let's pretend you did)

I read recently about this thing that some people do in order to warm up for writing. It makes sense to me, too. I type very fast, because I've been doing it for um… forever. A very long time. I first took typing classes in my Freshman year of high school (1997 or 1998, I think). I've been typing ever since, and have owned a computer for most of that time, so I've gotten kind of good at it, I guess. I can usually manage about 80+ words a minute (sometimes closer to 100 if I'm on a role and warmed up). Creative writing is a bit different because you're not just directly transcribing, and you can only type as fast as your thoughts are, but usually I can still manage pretty good. That's a bit more mentally tiring, but it's not too bad.

So the thing I read is to basically write ~750 words as a warm up, and then get on to the rest of your writing. I used to kind of do that, but I'd use the big writing as a warm up and the main thing. I don't know if doing a separate warm up will be better or not, but 750 words doesn't take that long to write (according to WordPress website editing thing, this post is currently 907 words long, but I think they're a bit off sometimes).

Basically, I'll do some warm ups (this is my first), and talk about things going on. I might do these every day, or every so often, but I do want to update my website more, so I'd like to get in the habit of doing these things anyways. I'll categorize them with those neat categories on the side, which are currently a bit barren, so if you ever want to come by and find something neat that I have hidden away, or if you want to spend awhile browsing through things, you can. I like interactive websites like that, and that's kind of what I want to make mine into. I like updating people with information, but that doesn't really give anyone a reason to play around with the website too much, you know?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on it! I tend to ramble a bit sometimes when I get excited about things, but I think that kind of rambling is interesting (I like when people ramble like that, at least), because it's usually something they're passionate about, you know?

What Romance means to me (Insatiable Reads Blog Hop)


Hello! This might be your first time to my website, and if so, I just wanted to say thanks for stopping by. I know you’re probably here for a chance to win some prizes, so I’ll put that info right at the top after this introduction. I hope you’ll consider checking out the rest of the post and some of my books, too, though.

Anyways!

Blog Hop Grand Prizes (2):
A Kindle Fire
A $50 Amazon.com Gift Certificate

My Blog’s Prize (1):
A $10 Gift Certificate to either Amazon, B&N, iTunes, or All Romance eBooks (Your choice).

To enter to win a prize, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. The more participating blogs that you leave comments at, the more chances you have to win (and each blog has their own special prizes, too, so that’s ~150+ chances to win something!). The giveaway will end on 7/21 at 11:59pm EST. For more info, check out http://www.insatiablereads.com/

Not sure what other blogs are participating? Go here:

Isn’t that blue monster guy face cute? I think he’s cute. He looks so happy.

Now that that’s all set and I think you have a good idea of what to do to enter, let’s get on to the post!

I’m going to go at this kind of like one of those school assignments. You know the ones, right? What does mean to you? Well, seeing as a write erotic romance and erotica with some romantic themes, I thought it’d be fun to do that.

Romance is a really interesting genre, because it can include so many different ideas and concepts. Even erotica is similar, where it’s a general theme, with so many various sub-genres that it’s a little scary sometimes. How do you know what you’re getting or what to look for? It’s hard! (Sometimes literally. Those heroic men, oh my. *fans self*)

One thing you should find in most romances is a happy ending. I know some people might disagree and think that you don’t necessarily need one, but I think you definitely do. It doesn’t have to be the happiest ending, but it’s got to be pretty happy. This one’s kind of a given, though.

And what else? Um… well, that’s about it, actually.

Some people say that you can’t have the main lovers partake in sexual relationships with anyone else, but I’m not entirely sure if I agree there. Why? Because sometimes it adds something necessary to the plot and it makes the story a lot more real. If the heroine(h) and the hero(H) are having some rocky times, adding a little sexual tension with some other characters can enhance that a lot.

It also hurts. What do I mean by that? It makes the fantasy a little more and less at the same time. We want to see the h and the H get together, but… now the h is sleeping with another man. Is this a permanent thing? Is the story over? We’re supposed to have a happy ending, right? We need that, and I just told you we’re going to get it, but…

Sometimes a story is happier when there’s some trouble involved. Sometimes it takes making mistakes to realize what your true feelings are. It’s difficult, and sometimes it hurts to see people make mistakes like that, especially in romance books where we desperately want the h and the H to get together and be happy. If they don’t make mistakes, then the happiness isn’t as great, though. That’s what I think.

That’s not to say that the h or the H need to make the same mistakes all the time, because that’d get boring, too, but the whole point of mistakes like this is to make the reward at the end so much better. Kind of like some mental BDSM sort of thing, maybe? A little bit of pain can increase sensitivity and sensation and make the pleasure so much better.

And, honestly? I think that’s what romance means to me in a lot of ways. It’s about experimenting, maybe stumbling, and then finding that one person who accepts you and your mistakes and loves you anyways. They’re there for you, and while it might have involved some hurt in order to get to where you are in the end, it’s worth it because it made the happiness a lot better.

Romance is about perfection, but it’s not about being perfect. It’s about the characters realizing their flaws and then realizing that they like each other, flaws and all, and they’ll help each other move past that to become a better person. Together. Separate, life can be really difficult, but when you’re together with someone, sometimes you can grasp at a little bit of perfection.

What do you think? Do you agree, or do you think there’s something else to it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

If you’d like to check out some of my romance-themed books, here are some of my suggestions. I adore plot, but as a warning my sex scenes are explicit, some more so than others.

Princess Miri: An Erotic Coming of Age Monster Romance Novel (Medieval Fantasy Erotic Romance, involves taboo themes)

The Billionaire’s Ultimatum: His Absolute Need (Contemporary Erotic Romance, with BDSM and forbidden love themes)

His Absolute Obsession: The Billionaire’s Paradigm (Contemporary Erotic Romance, the first in a completed series of novellas/novels, with BDSM and obsession themes, the standalone sequel to The Billionaire’s Ultimatum)

One Year Personal Review


I’ve been deliberating over actually writing this or not. I decided to go for it, because I don’t think it can hurt, and I think some of you would be interested in reading it.

Before embarking on my journey of self-publishing, I used to work in some not so fun places. Lots of customer service and all of that. Just plain, basic things, and nothing very entertaining, but I didn’t mind it. I didn’t really like it, though, and I’ve always wanted to write, so on July 10th, 2012, I published my first e-book. I think I did it on Smashwords first, then I put it up on the other places after, so those places didn’t have it until July 11th, but I like to think of my “official” indie author anniversary as July 10th. It’s a pretty nice day, generally speaking.

So, anyways! I’m sure everyone’s done them, but a lot of places I’ve worked at like to do those yearly reviews, you know? I never liked those, and I’m sort of argumentative about them. I once marked down that I thought I went above and beyond in regards to dress code, because I try to look nice, right? Except, no, I was told that it’s impossible to go above and beyond on dress code. If you come to work appropriately dressed, then that’s it. Why did they have little check marks for anything besides “acceptable” then? I have no idea, and I asked that, but no one gave me a good answer. Just because. That’s just kind of silly, but I digress…

Now, as an indie author, I’m going to evaluate myself. If you’ve been following me for awhile, feel free to chime in, too. Let me know if you agree or disagree. I’d be happy to hear it!

First off, I initially planned to just write erotica shorts. My very first stories were Princess Miri, Moonlight Secret, Burning Need, Princess Miri’s Wet Sticky Mess, all written within the span of a couple weeks. I kind of cheated there, because I’d written the Princess Miri and Moonlight Secret stories a long long time ago, but I fixed them up and changed some things, and *POOF*, published!

Out of all those, I honestly didn’t know what exactly I was doing besides with the Princess Miri stories. I love all my stories, don’t get me wrong, but Moonlight Secret and Burning Need were kind of difficult for me. I think they’re good stories, and lots of people have enjoyed them, but I probably won’t be writing much more in the same vein as those.

Mostly, what I noticed within a few weeks was that I liked to write longer things. Hunted by the Beast and Dominant Dreams came up soon after those first ones, and both of those are noticeably longer. They aren’t long by any means, but I got to delve into more of what I liked.

And, basically, what I really like is plot. I think plot is kind of sexy, you know? I don’t know if that makes a lot of sense. Some people like to just read stories with an idea, but I can’t do that very well. A decent, popular example is something like… let’s say, the barely legal babysitter and the single father (or maybe not single? Scandalous!). It’s just the idea that arouses people, which is perfectly fine, but I can’t really get into reading or writing that too much. Something like that is more writing towards kinks or fetishes.

I won’t lie, I do it sometimes. Generally I add some plot in there, too, though. To a lot of people, that’s weird, but it’s just how I like to write. I think I provide something different and entertaining for anyone who wants a little more with their story.

That’s basically when it began. After feeling things out and getting more accustomed to what I preferred and how I preferred to write it, I went on to continue the Princess Miri series, Hunted by the Beast, and I started The Billionaire’s Ultimatum. These were all great choices for me. I did write some standalones in there, and to be honest you can read most all of my stories as a standalone if you like, but the plot was what drove me onwards, and I think people like that, too. The characters can build upon themselves and their world and explore it more, you know?

Miri started out as a bratty princess who was targeted by the daughter of one of her father’s vassels, but she became something else entirely. I mean, sure, she’s still kind of bratty, but I like Miri. I think Miri’s a really fun character. Thump grew, too. Then Allysin came into the picture, and we got to learn a little more about the castle from her perspective. Fleur evolved into… well, we won’t talk about Fleur (she’s kind of a bitch). The King, the citizens, Roy, all of it.

I do that with all of my stories now, and I’m trending towards longer, which I think a lot of people prefer. I want you to know the characters and feel more intimately about them. When Miri clears out the dungeons and takes them over for her and Thump to use, and then she treats it like a very private place where they can hide together, be alone, talk and learn and explore their sexuality safely, I want you to kind of realize how Miri feels, you know? She’s a princess, and sort of a brat or a bitch, but she’s a human, too, and she’s not immune to weakness. She just doesn’t have anyone and she’s not sure how to relate to anyone, and so Thump being hers and exploring with her and letting her have her moments of being a spoiled princess while also being the dominant monster troll that he is, well…

I find that a lot sexier. Miri’s emotions and need and desires, and her shortcomings and fears and worries; it makes the entire scene more intense to me. It’s sexy and erotic, but it’s also something more, too. That’s how I feel about that, at least. You can’t get that in a quick barely legal babysitter story, you know? You can get the sexy and erotic part, but you can’t get the “more” that I personally want to go along with it.

I could give examples of this sort of thing throughout all of my stories, but if you’ve read them it’s probably easy to see, too.

In addition to all of that, I’ve started working more towards adding paperbacks, novelizing my serials, and working on audiobooks. The paperbacks and serials-to-novels are somewhat obvious, but one thing I’ve noticed is that I need to have a good schedule of this. I have a “Publishing Schedule” tab on my website, but I need to fix it up a bit. My general plan when I started, and what I want to do now, is to have a new novel for you all every ~2 months or so. The paperback first, then the e-book after. I have a lot of reasons for why I do it in that order, but they’re kind of boring marketing stuff, so I won’t go into that. What this generally will mean is that ~6 months after the start of a series, the novel version should come out soon after. That won’t always be exactly the case, but I should be able to stick pretty closely to that schedule for the foreseeable future.

Audiobooks are interesting and difficult, but in a good way. The thing with those is that I really want to find narrators that bring the characters to life, you know? Sometimes I go searching for the perfect narrator, and other times I’ll put a story up and let people send in their auditions. The audiobooks I have so far are good, but some of the auditions really miss the point. They aren’t bad by any means, and these are professional narrators, but I can tell when someone’s not really into the story and only wants to make money.

I want to provide you with an amazing experience, and so I will only produce audiobooks with narrators who can put the necessary emotion into the scenes. You’ll find a lot of audiobooks that lack this, and some of those audiobooks are alright. If you just want to “hear” the story, they’re perfectly great and I’ve got nothing against that. For what I do, because I want to provide you “more” in the e-book and paperback versions, I want to find narrators that will help you experience the story, too. Overall, I just want to give you more, because that’s what I would want.

And so! That’s about it. That’s where we’re at so far. I appreciate everyone coming on this journey with me, too. As an indie author, I think that the reader/writer relationship is a bit closer than with a big publishing house’s authors. I try to be a little closer, and like my stories I want to give a little “more” than what you’d get otherwise. I just want to let you know about what’s up and I like to provide you with as much as I can. I’m writing more, working on more, and will continue to try and discover ways where I can improve this in the future.

Also, my business attire is impeccable lately. Far above and beyond! (I like to write at night a lot while wearing pajamas. Shh, don’t tell anyone!)

What do you think? I’d love to hear your opinions. Whether as a new reader or someone who’s just started checking out my stuff, I think all opinions, feedback, questions, or comments are useful and valid, and I like to hear them!

On Ghostwriting and Jordin Williams


I usually do my best to try and avoid drama. In fact, I basically just ignore people who try to cause drama, or I separate myself from any excessively dramatic situations. I’m perfectly content with having the only real drama in my life be in the stories that I write, because that’s a fun kind of drama, you know? It’s not tiresome and it doesn’t get old.

My one main exception to this rule is when someone says something that’s harmful to others. If someone wants to be involved in drama on their own, that’s their prerogative, but don’t drag in hundreds (thousands, millions?) of people into your issues by making mean, false statements about other people. It’s not only rude, but it’s damaging.

If you’re unsure exactly what I’m talking about, here is the quick version. There was a “new” author named Jordin Williams who released a New Adult Romance book titled Amazingly Broken. This book did very well and got some great reviews right off the bat from a marketing program they had where they contacted a bunch of book bloggers to promote their book. At one point it was close to #50 in the Amazon Kindle Store, which is A LOT of copies sold a day.

This went on for approximately 6 days before someone realized that whole paragraphs (many, many, much more than one or two or “accidental” mistakes) were plagiarized from Easy by Tammara Webber and Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mcguire. Basically, what it seems like is that this Jordin Williams person cut/pasted segments from each book together, did some minor additions for cohesion, and “created” a new story that… was basically the same as those other two stories. Amazingly Broken wasn’t just similar, it was exactly the same as -at least- those two books. The cover is also the same as HM Ward’s The Arrangement 3 (with extremely minor changes), but that’s at least somewhat forgivable under regular circumstances, since many indie authors purchase the same photos from photographers. We pay for the rights to use these pictures, so it’s different. It doesn’t change the fact that the book was basically a copy/paste job of at least three different books.

So, that’s the story. Lots of people have talked about that, and you can find a ton of posts if you want to search around. I think the most prominent is at the Dear Author site where I first heard about it. This might actually be the first place to release this info, too, though I’m unsure of that.

Anyways!

The thing that bothers me the most about this are some of the Twitter comments that Jordin Williams tossed up in some attempt to mitigate her blame. One in particular essentially said, “Most/Lots of New Adult Romance authors don’t write their own books and hire ghostwriters.” Their defense towards extreme plagiarism before this was that they “hired a ghostwriter” to write their DEBUT NOVEL and didn’t realize the person they hired had done what they did.

First off, this makes no sense. A ghostwriter is basically someone who writes something for someone else for a price, and lets the other person take credit for their work. It’s kind of shady sometimes, but it’s useful in quite a few cases. The most common example is a celebrity’s book, since… honestly, most celebrities probably have an interesting story to tell, but they probably couldn’t write to save their lives. That’s fine, and we want to know their stories, so they chat with a ghostwriter, who takes their life story and writes it up into a book. That’s a perfectly great use of a ghostwriter.

Other places use a ghostwriter for big campaigns, which is also fine. I can’t give any good examples of this, but fantasy books for kids sometimes do this. Basically they want to have an entire “fantasy world” and keep it written by the same author name so that kids can find the books easier. So they have one or two (or more) authors who ghostwrite these books. That example is more like a pen name, but not quite, since some of those authors move on to do their own thing, or quits writing, or (hopefully not, but it happens) dies, and another takes their place. There’s nothing wrong with this, either.

This doesn’t happen for new authors (because why would it? There’s no audience, and there’s no point), and it’s almost guaranteed not to happen with indie authors, either. Indie authors, myself included, work so hard to tell a story, write it to the best of our abilities, edit it, get cover art done, formatting it for e-books, and so much more that people don’t even think about. To claim that a lot of us ignore all of that and have our books written by a ghostwriter is extremely disrespectful and rude. To me, it almost feels like Jordin Williams slapped all of my books out of my hands and told me that none of what I’ve been doing for almost a year now is real. All of the work I put in is a sham, and everyone should know it!

It’s not, though. The work is real. I do all of this myself. I don’t hire out a ghostwriter to write my newest novel. First off, I’m kind of bossy and I micromanage a lot, and I really don’t think a ghostwriter would want to work with me (haha). They’d probably get tired of it fast. Besides that, though, I love writing. I love making the stories my own. I don’t copy/paste people’s ideas. Some of my books might seem similar to other books, and I might have found inspiration in something I’ve read, or watched on TV, or listened to on the radio, but every single word I write is purely my own, and I would NEVER want it any other way.

I think a lot of indie authors are like this, too. It’s honestly a lot of hard work, and some of us have been rejected by big publishers in the past. I’ve never sent a book manuscript into any of the big publishing houses for this reason, too. Lots of people in the world want to make you feel inadequate and bad, just because it’s their job. I doubt that any of the editors at Random House or anywhere have anything against me, but if they don’t think my books will sell hundreds of thousands of copies, then they don’t want to see them and to them, that’s not good enough.

I have books that have sold less than a hundred copies, and I have some that have sold hundreds of copies. I even have some special books that have sold thousands of copies. But, you know what? I like all of them, and someone, somewhere, has also enjoyed each and every one. A big publishing house might not care about a book that’s only sold 83 copies (just making up a number there), but the 83 people who bought that book enjoyed it, and I love that. I love that I’m able to do that.

I admit that I want to write books that more people enjoy, and I’d love to write books that thousands upon thousands of people buy, but I just love to write. I love the time and effort put into it, and it’s extremely enjoyable to me. I love everything about being an indie author, even if some of it’s difficult or confusing or it upsets me sometimes. It’s a good kind of upset most of the time, you know? It means it might be hard now, but I’m doing something right, and in the end it’ll be more satisfying.

Basically, Jordin Williams ignored all of that. They plagiarized some books and published it as their own, and if that’s what they felt like doing, I don’t want to be a part of the drama involved. But the fact that she came out and BASHED other authors, taking away all of their hard work and effort, all of the time they spent perfecting a story, hoping that readers would like it… just throwing it out the window and claiming that lots of us hire ghostwriters?

It’s rude and disrespectful and mean. Most of us don’t do that. Most of us love our stories as much as you love our stories, and we wouldn’t disrespect other authors or readers by trying to place the blame on someone else.

A Slight Delay – His Absolute Seduction


Hello! I planned to have the next Billionaire’s Paradigm novella out by this Friday or Saturday, but I’ve needed to push it back a little bit. I had the unfortunate accident of needing to deal with one of my cats who apparently has asthma and hasn’t been doing very well in the heat and new pollen and everything. It’s been kind of rainy here, too, so that hasn’t helped. I know my allergies always get worse with the rain, since I think it spreads around the pollen more and all of that. I’m no pollen/plant scientist, biologist, or whatever, so I don’t know how exactly this works, but I don’t think that matters too much.

Anyways! He was breathing very heavily and panting last night, and he’s been having coughing fits, so I’ve been keeping an eye on him, but… I ended up bringing him to an 24/7 emergency vet just in case. Fortunately it’s just asthma, so it’s not terrible, but I still need to give him some pregnisone pills every so often to make sure he’s doing alright for awhile. I put in the air conditioner and bought a HEPA filter to help out with anything that might screw him up, too.

He’s good now, though! Just a rough couple of days. I’ve been keeping an eye on him and had a vet visit planned, but it’s still been a little stressful, you know? I planned to finish up a lot of writing stuff last night, but then… emergency vet visit.

So I hope everyone’s alright with a slight delay to my newest release. To hold you over in the meantime, I will provide you with a cute picture of my cat being cute. His name is Coffeeshop and he’s a seal point Siamese(not purebred or anything, but generally that), with half a mustache. He’s very nice and loving, but now every time I bring anything next to him(even treats), he thinks I’m going to poison him. He doesn’t like pills, I guess.

Coffeeshop

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