I didn’t know if I’d have time for this originally, but then I got hit with some inspiration after someone showed me a neat picture that was perfect for an Elise and Lucent Christmas story, so…
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
This is just a fun Christmas story I wanted to write with Elise and Lucent. It’s a little sweet, a little sexy, and a little something more, too. You can download a copy for your Kindle, Nook, iPad, Kobo Reader, or you can also just read it online. It’s about ~40 paperback pages long or so.
In addition to that, I kind of went overboard with the cover and made an animated version, haha. I thought it’d be fun. It’s nothing too crazy, but I think it ended up looking pretty neat. Also, please feel free to share this post with anyone you think might like it! It’s my Christmas gift to you, but you’re welcome to gift it to others, as well.
This story goes along with The Billionaire’s Paradigm, so it makes a bit more sense if you’ve read that. It’s kind of a throwback to what happened in the library that fateful weekend. I hope you enjoy it! ❤
~*~ Sneak Peek Preview ~*~
Snow fell in fluffy white flakes outside, covering the empty streets in a heavy winter frosting…
I stood inside, near the door, looking out and remembering the time I’d been in almost this exact same position nearly a year ago. I was in the library then, standing behind the counter, warm and watching the gentle flakes of snow drifting down into the street. It was Friday afternoon then, and the library had been almost entirely empty. No one had wanted to go out in the storm, and for good reason.
We were in a record-breaking blizzard at the time. Over seventy-eight inches of snow. I didn’t find out until after, but most of the city had been snowed in, trapped because of the weather. The power had gone out almost everywhere, though the library had fared much better because of the emergency electric grid it was on. It was lucky, I thought. I was lucky. Not just because of that, but because of what happened.
Lucent came up behind me, wrapping his arms around my stomach. Instinctively, I leaned back against him and nuzzled my head into his chest. He leaned forward somewhat, his cheek close to mine, his lips near my ear, soft, almost kissing me.
“Hello,” he said. “Am I interrupting anything?”
I laughed, and Lucent grinned. I felt the tug of his cheek near to my ear. He squeezed me even tighter, holding me close.
“That’s not what you said,” I told him.
“No,” he agreed. “You weren’t napping, though.”
“Should I?” I asked. “Can we do that?”
I twisted in his arms until we were face to face and I was looking up at him. He smiled down at me and nodded slightly. “That’s what you wanted, isn’t it, Miss Tanner?”
“I know, but… you don’t think it’s silly, do you? You don’t think I’m being too weird?”
He shook his head, no. “Those are fond memories for me, too,” he said. “Also, it’s almost Christmas. This is the time of year when we’re supposed to honor and cherish our true feelings.”
“My true feelings are that I love you,” I said with a small smile. “But I think it would be fun to do a sort of recreation of when we were in the library, that’s all. I think it might be nice.”
“We’re going to start at the beginning then?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said. “Um, sort of? This isn’t exactly a library, you know.”
He shook his head, letting out a low chuckle. “No, not quite. It’s snowing, too, but not nearly as bad as it did back then.”
“Alright, well, um… wait! Wait, before we begin, did you order food yet or were we going to cook something here?”
“I ordered something,” Lucent said.
My ears perked up and I stared at him, rapt. “What did you get?”
“Curious little one, are you?” Lucent said with a grin.
“Lucent, you can’t start yet!” I said, laughing and pushing him lightly.
He’d said almost exactly that to me those many months ago in the library. Wrapped his arms around me again, he pulled me close to him.
“Is it good, though?” I asked. “Did you order something nice?”
“Of course I did,” he said, as if the idea of ordering something not nice had never occurred to him. I supposed that made sense, too, but I still kind of wanted to know what he got.
“We have about an hour,” he added. “The snow isn’t too bad, but it’s going to take them a little longer than usual to get here.”
“An hour,” I said. “Alright, that’s good. That will work. I’ll um… I’m going. Into that room. The one with the bookshelves.” I glanced towards the couch in the main room of the log cabin, a sudden idea coming to me. “I’m taking these!” I added, slipping out of his arms and towards the couch, excited. I grabbed the blanket and two overstuffed couch pillows, piling them in my arms.
Lucent smiled. “I’ll give you a few moments, Miss Tanner.”
“I only need about a minute,” I said. “Then come in, alright?”
“Hurry, then,” Lucent said, staring after me as I rushed away.
Before I ran into the adjacent room, I peeked at him out of the corner of my eye. He smiled after me, his eyes twinkling, interested and intent. This was going to be fun, I thought. It was what I wanted to do, and I thought it’d be a lot of fun.
I awoke, or I thought I did, and I saw a man…
Lucent stood in front of me. He wasn’t wearing the same dark, crisp suit with the black shoes and his grey tie that he’d been wearing that evening when he found me in the library nearly a year ago. No, he wore simpler clothes now. A plain, dark grey sweater, with a nice pair of dress pants. His shoes would have looked similar if he had them on, but neither of us wore any at the moment. He had on black socks, though.
Before he came in, I plopped the couch pillows next to each other, and then lay on top of them. I cuddled under the blankets, keeping one eye shut while I kept the other carefully trained on the doorway, waiting. When I saw Lucent come in, I snapped both my eyes closed and waited for him to step closer. As soon as he did, as soon as I no longer heard his quiet footsteps coming towards me, I yawned and blinked open my eyes, pretending to have just awoken from a nice nap.
Lucent cleared his throat. “Hello,” he said. “Am I interrupting your nap?”
I yawned and stretched my arms up over my head. I didn’t have a book this time, just a blanket. I pushed the blanket aside and stretched my arms even higher, arching my back and pushing out my breasts to give Lucent a show.
“Quiet little one, are you?” he asked, staring at my breasts. “What if I were looking for a book?”
“I…” I paused, trying to remember what I’d said back then when he’d asked me these very same questions. “Um… I hardly think it necessary…” Oh, and I’d yawned! I yawned quick, hoping to hide my hesitation and uncertainty.
“To deal,” Lucent said, finishing my sentence for me, “with figments of your imagination.”
I pouted at him, crossing my hands over my chest. “Lucent, you stole my line.”
“What if I am a figment of your imagination right now?” he asked me, grinning, coy. I didn’t like that look; or, I liked it a lot. He had a plan, and I thought it meant he was up to something.
“What if you are?” I asked. “What would you do?”
“Do you want to know what I was thinking that day, Miss Tanner?”
The way he said it, the way he kept looking at me so intently… I gulped hard, then swallowed even harder.
Lucent pulled the blanket away, sweeping it off to the side. He knelt down, joining me on the pillows. One of his knees pushed between my thighs, claiming space between my body. The rest of his body… well…
He leaned forward, closer to me. I started to lean back and away from him, curious and wanting to watch this sudden turn of events. I didn’t have far to go, though. There was nothing behind me to keep me from falling, and I inadvertently found myself doing exactly that. I fell backwards, my back and my head bouncing atop the overstuffed couch pillow beneath me.
Lucent loomed over me, staring at me, watching me.
“I refrained, because I didn’t want to frighten you at the time, Miss Tanner. Obviously it would have been more than untoward and inappropriate, as well, but the sight of your breasts propped up by that book nearly sent me into a frenzy,” Lucent said.
“It did?” I asked him. “I remember I was nervous, because I hadn’t realized it at first, but then… then you were real.”
“You were wearing a skirt, too. Do you remember what happened?” he asked.
I did. I wasn’t wearing this exact skirt, but I had a skirt on right now that was close enough to the one from before. I wore a dressy blouse, too. No shoes, and no pantyhose this time, though. I had stockings that went halfway up my thigh instead, and then panties further up.
I reached down and pulled my skirt up a little, reliving that time in the library. I’d fallen asleep on a bean bag chair and hadn’t fully realized my surroundings at the time, but Lucent must have.
My skirt hiked up, a book held close to my stomach, pushing up my breasts, and him standing over me, watching me, gazing at me with…
With what? I didn’t know before. I knew now. I wondered what I would have thought about it back then. Would we have… what? Nothing good, I thought. Things like that didn’t happen, not really. Or, they took a little more time. Lucent couldn’t very well have forced himself onto me right then and there, you know? And, I knew him now; he wouldn’t have done that, regardless. No matter what he said, and no matter how he acted, Lucent was always careful with me. He cared about me. He didn’t want to hurt me.
Or, he didn’t want to hurt me a lot. He’d gladly spank me, tie me up, make me beg, and do other wonderfully unspeakable things to me, but… well, I liked those things.
“You were watching me,” I told him as he stared at me with that intense and steady gaze of his. “You were always watching me, and so I know you must have been watching me then. You made me upset later, though. You said you didn’t want to look at me, and that was when I wanted you to look at me.”
“I was always looking at you, Miss Tanner,” Lucent said. “Always.”
“Where?” I asked. “Where were you looking then? What were you thinking when you found me in the library?”
“When I first found you, I immediately noticed your skirt,” he said. “It was up to about here, as you may have already realized.”
His fingers caressed up my stockings, towards the barest inkling of my upper thigh hidden beneath my skirt. He wrapped his fingers around my thigh, gripping me tight.
“I wanted to see more,” he said. “You really have no idea, Miss Tanner. You were wearing pantyhose, but I wanted to see the rest of you beneath that skirt of yours. It took all of my willpower to keep myself from staring between your legs.”
“If I remember correctly, you stared at my breasts instead,” I said, laughing. “I don’t think that’s much better, Lucent.”
“They were beautiful, too,” he said. “Propped up, plump, and luscious. I licked my lips when I saw you like that. It was over all too soon, though. Once you realized what position you were in, you jumped up and returned the state of your dress back to normal.”
“Yes,” I said, grinning at him, coy. “I think that’s what people usually do.”
“I know,” Lucent said. “In my mind, it went more like this, though.”
“Like–” I didn’t have a chance to ask him how it went; Lucent was already upon me…
(Read the rest by downloading your free copy or reading the online version)
This is a beautiful story in all aspects. The prose is just delightful and was a pleasure to read. I know that maybe that’s not as important to some, but I’ve always had a thing for really poetic sounding sentences, and basically everything in Me, Cinderella? is like that. Kind of like high quality chocolate for the literary mind, as opposed to a generic Hershey bar.
The actual story itself is fascinating, too. To be perfectly honest, I’m not the best with math, but I really enjoyed the mathematics added into the plot. It’s different, you know? It gave the whole thing a somewhat exotic feel for me, like I was spying into some new and foreign world.
The plot starts strong and goes on to finish wonderfully, too. To be honest, some of it was a little off to me at first, but I enjoyed it still. The instant attraction between Brynn and Eliot seemed sort of strange, but it was just that – a flitter of intrigue, before moving on to become something so much more and full of depth and excitement.
I’m somewhat at a loss for words as to how to explain how beautiful this story. The whole thing really comes together. It’s not just the plot, or the characters, or the structure of the sentences and the power of the words used, but all of it combined, and I really feel like Me, Cinderella? is something special. There are a lot of good books out there, and even some great ones, but this one is beautiful.
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)
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?
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.
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…
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!
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.
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)
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!