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!
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.
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.
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.
Why do you write in so many different genres and styles?
Hello! Happy Monday!
I don’t know if anyone is actually curious about this, but I feel like it’s an interesting topic, and one that you don’t see a lot of writers talk about or do. Mainly, why do I write in so many different genres and styles?
Well, honestly, I don’t think they’re all that different, but here’s what I’ve got so far. Monster stuff is a big one, and then contemporary romance is the next. I recently finished my paranormal romance series(Soulless, Heartless, Hopeless), which was fun. I’ve also got some fairytale stuff, too. Historical, romantic comedy, noir detective mystery, urban fantasy, and a few more things that probably fit into one of the above but are a bit different, too.
All of these have erotic content, though, so I guess that’s the thread that binds them? I don’t know if that’s a good reason and I don’t really accept it, myself, but it’s there.
Anyways! I write them because I like that. That sounds kind of like a cop out answer, I guess, but it’s just fun to me. I enjoy exploring new genres and taking my own spin on them. I think that’s what this boils down to, really.
If I’m being perfectly honest, I prefer medieval fantasy-style stuff. Or I used to prefer it, anyways. I don’t think that’s a good mindset to get into with this kind of thing. I mean, hey, if I just wrote medieval fantasy all the time, I’d have a lot of that, and that’d be great, but… then what? I know authors who do this and have read more than my fair share of books from authors who basically never branched out from any one genre. It honestly gets stale and you can tell in their writing.
One random example–and I’m only using her as one because I honestly really love her writing, so it was kind of a love/hate thing, but I’ve got tons of respect for her–is Elizabeth Haydon. The first three stories in her Symphony of Ages series were WONDERFUL. I absolutely adored them and I would suggest them to everyone and read them over and over again(and I think I have). They’re kind of fantasy romance with adventure and action and all of that. After the first three, though, it started going downhill. I believe I enjoyed the 4th, but the 5th was kind of lacking, and I can’t say I enjoyed the 6th at all.
After she “finished” that series(because honestly it just kind of stopped, and I’m not sure it ever really fully concluded anything), she started up a YA series set in the same world. I haven’t read those, but I think that’s an interesting thing to do. Mostly, the other books were VERY adult, with sex and violence and all of those kinds of adult things. I have no idea how her YA fantasy books are, but I’m sure they’re nice because she has a wonderful style and tells a good story.
That’s really the thing, though. She got herself stuck in the Symphony of Ages books and I think it showed. By the end of the 6 book series, I don’t think she was as into it as the first three books. It feels like she wrote more because she felt like she NEEDED to write more, and not because she wanted to. Sometimes this can work out, but I think a lot of times it leads to burn out and disappointment.
I’d still read her books if she continued with the series, but I’m not sure if that’s a good idea on her part.
In the same kind of genre, Jacqueline Carey does an excellent job of writing the same but switching it up, too. Her Kushiel’s Legacy books start with three wonderful books, then continue on with three more great ones(my favorites of hers actually), and there’s three more after that. They’re all in the same world, but each set of three switches the main character, and so provides a new and interesting fresh look at her world of Terre d’Ange. Though, to be honest, I’m not sure the last three worked out so well with that, but they -were- interesting, just not really my favorites. Or, I’ve only read the first on of there(the seventh overall), so maybe I’ll change my mind when I get to the last two? I don’t know.
And even still, she has other books that are great, too. Her more traditional epic fantasy books kind of fit with the Kushiel’s ones, and then she completely throws you for a loop with some urban fantasy/paranormal stuff later on. I think this is great and a good idea.
So that’s where I stand, really. For my own writing, I want to write interesting things and continue writing them. If I’m really into an idea, I think I’ll tell a better story than otherwise. I want you, as a reader, to love what I’m writing as much as I do. I do “force” myself to write things, also, but I try not to push it too far. I try to explore new genres and test out ideas because I want to. It’s more of a “forcing myself to do this because I want to” instead of a “forcing myself to do this and I hate it,” which I think is a key difference.
And, honestly? I think it’s turned out well. I never liked contemporary stuff much before, so I rarely wrote it, but I wanted to try one. My best friend isn’t really into reading anything fantasy and she sticks to just contemporary stuff when she reads(which isn’t a ton, but she does read a few books a year), so I wanted to do it for that reason, too. I wanted to write something that she would want to read, so I wrote my Billionaire’s Ultimatum series.
I didn’t really like it at first, truthfully. I didn’t like it because it was HARD for me. But, on that same note, I think it became a much better story because of that. It made me think and decide on different things and try out new ideas and a new style of writing. I never liked first person point of view much before writing that, either, but I thought I’d try that out, also.
Now? I like contemporary. I think The Billionaire’s Ultimatum is a fun story and I’ve received a lot of good feedback on it, so I think I probably did a good job writing it, too. I didn’t like how hard it was for me to write it at first, but I got better with practice and I really loved the idea of the story itself, so I kept up with it. It’s different, it tested me, and overall it was fun and a good experience.
The same with the Soulless series, too. The same with most of my stuff, honestly. The only thing I can’t really get too into is the gay shifter story I wrote, because it was just kind of difficult to really get a handle on the idea, but I think it turned out well. I’d like to write another gay male story in the future, or at least maybe bi-curious or something.
Anyways! I write in these different genres and styles because I like them and I want to try them. I don’t think any of my stuff is so far out there that you’ll be absolutely appalled if you see it in my catalogue along with something you’ve liked, either. I mean, some of it seems pretty far out there, but it’s still me writing it. I have standards and a general style and I promise to try to never disappoint any of my readers with sub-par, worthless junk.
Sometimes you just want to try something new, you know? Sometimes it’s easier to get eased into that new thing, though. If you like my writing, you’ll know generally how I write, and so it’s a nicer process trying something different as opposed to having to find a completely different author that you’re unsure about, and then reading their stuff, too. I know how much of a turn-off that can end up being, where you want to try, say, a science fiction book or something, but you end up finding the one that’s super confusing and weird and you have no idea what’s going on. Then you think you hate science fiction! And, honestly, I’m not actually a huge fan of science fiction, but I absolute love some of it.
It’s good to try new things sometimes. And maybe to take slow, baby steps, so you don’t get overwhelmed.
That’s the reason I do what I do, at least.
It’s Normal to Doubt Yourself (Weekly Sale)
I think everyone goes through phases of doubting themselves. You never really know, right? Are you doing the right thing? Could you do something better? What if you’re wrong?
Maybe it’s a depressing topic, but I think it’s an interesting one, too. That’s also the mindset I used when I started writing the Monster Within series.
Drop of Doubt is the 4th story in the series, and it’s also the one I decided to put on sale this week. I know it might seem a little odd to have the 4th story of a series on sale, but I have a reason for that, too. The 1st is permanently set at $0.99, the 2nd and 3rd are $2.99, and the 4th is currently $0.99 until the end of the week. Overall, if you want to grab all 4, it’s only going to cost you around $8. All four parts are close to ~220 paperback book pages in length, which is longer than a lot of romance novels nowadays. You’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
Saying that, the Monster Within series isn’t finished yet. There’s more to come for Solace and Bastion and their story is one that’s really close to me in a personal sort of way. Yes, they’re just characters, but I’ve put a lot of my heart into them and some of the themes I wanted to explore are ones I’ve had to deal with on a personal level. There’s a very large amount of emotion put into these stories.
They are fantasy stories with demons, goblins, ogres, wisps, angels, elementals and all of that. I understand that’s not everyone’s thing, but I tried to make it nice and accessible. I didn’t go too overboard with the magic stuff. If I had to compare it to something, I’d say it’s similar in vein to Brent Weeks’ Night Angel Trilogy(though not quite, but they do explore some similar themes and ideas now that I think about it). Brent Weeks is a great author, too. I really respect him and I love his writing. He doesn’t really write romance, but if you enjoy interesting fantasy stories with a bit of spice sometimes(not often, but sometimes), then you should check him out, too.
The Monster Within series is about doubt and hope, learning to trust, finding a glimpse of happiness and holding onto it as tight as you can. It’s about finding that one person who accepts you for who you are, no matter what, and is willing to learn and explore the world with you. I really think it’s a wonderful story.
I’m tearing up a little here because of how emotional this story makes me. I have a lot of doubts sometimes(a drop or more), and sometimes I doubt what I write. I doubt if anyone will enjoy something and I doubt if I’ve written well enough. I want to do better, always, and maybe it seems like a silly thing to admit here on this blog post, because, who cares, but there’s a point to it.
Drop of Doubt(and the Monster Within series as a whole) is somewhat of an autobiography of sorts. Not –actually– since I’m nothing too similar to any of the characters, but the emotion behind them is real.
Which, I think, is interesting! Many writers are afraid to put too much into their writing. They don’t think they can, or they are scared, or whatever. I don’t know the reason. It’s hard, though, it really is. But if you want to read that kind of thing, which I think is interesting and I think a lot of others might find interesting, too, these stories are definitely for you.
The fantasy, monsters, and all of that are a part of them, but the real story is about emotions.
Drop of Doubt is a Fantasy Erotic Romance novella and will be available for $0.99 until February 22nd, 2013 at these select retailers!
Amazon | B&N | Kobo* | ARe | Smashwords (Use Coupon Code: QP65X )
*Kobo is lagging behind in price changes for some reason. I went ahead and requested they do it again, so hopefully it’ll be changed soon. If you prefer their shop, I apologize for the wait!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
(At the bottom of this post are some fun flash fiction pieces from some characters from my writing. Scroll down to the “Valentine’s Day Stories” section if you’d rather get right to those)
“A Note from Me” or “How to be Sexy and Satisfy People (in a happy way, don’t get dirty thoughts here)”
I hope everyone’s having a great Valentine’s Day so far, and hopefully it’ll be even nicer later in the afternoon and evening. I think even if you’re single, today is a fun day, and everyone should enjoy it.
So I have some things planned for everyone for this Valentine’s Day to make it more fun and exciting, no matter who you are.
First, some DOs and DON’Ts, brought to you by the Daily News (mostly because I don’t know anything about this and they have statistics which seem neat).
Apparently 85% of people say sex is the centerpiece of their Valentine’s Day. That’s quite a bit. I don’t know how that works for single people exactly, but don’t forget to practice safe-sex habits, people. Besides that, I won’t judge. Do what you like and have fun with it!
The Daily News article makes some really good points at the end, though. Don’t overindulge and don’t set your expectations too high. This is supposed to be fun! There’s no need to spend a fortune and it’s not -just- about sex. Talk and enjoy yourself and build up some excitement and anticipation. If it doesn’t work out exactly like you wanted? Well, that’s alright, because I bet it can be just as exciting if you just go with the flow.
I’d absolutely love if everyone’s relationships were as wonderful as some of the ones in erotica and erotic romance, but sometimes they need a bit more work than that, too. Why not talk about it with your boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/whatever you have and figure out a way to make it happen, if just for a day?
One thing that I think could be really sexy/fun is to have your partner(whatever their gender) read aloud from one of your favorite erotic books and really try to get into it. Even if it’s a bit silly, that’s alright. Maybe act it out after, or fulfill some fantasies through that? Are you a girl and think two guys falling head over heels for each other is really attractive? Ask your partner if he’d be willing to read some passages from a gay erotica story out loud and imagine it’s him playing the role of one of the characters.
It’s not going to be perfect, but it can still be fun, and that’s what this is all about.
If you’re single, there’s a lot you can do, too. Ask someone out on a date or stay home and make a special night of it for yourself, or whatever you like. What do you have to lose? Single men and women all like going on dates, even if they don’t lead to anything, and a Valentine’s Day date is especially nice because it makes people feel even happier about the date than regular. I don’t have any real statistics here, but I bet people are more willing to go out on a limb for this kind of thing on Valentine’s Day and accept an offer for a date.
Just, maybe, don’t go overboard there? If it leads to some bedroom antics afterwards, I’m not going to say you should or shouldn’t do that but just be careful. And if it doesn’t, that’s fine, too, because it’s still a fun and nice thing to do.
Also, hey! Epiphora. I love this blog and I think she does a really good job of being down-to-earth and telling it like it is, without getting too crass and without the TMI moments that a lot of stuff like this could have. Check her out here if you’re interested (Please be aware that this is a sex toy review site, so the content is best not viewed in places where this could be potentially awkward).
If you need something to supplement your Valentine’s Day in a pleasant way, she’s probably got a million ideas ready and waiting for you. If you want some erotica/erotic romance stories to help out, too, I’ve got plenty of those, myself. Between my stuff and her site, you should have all your bases covered! (Haha)
Anyways, I think that’s it. Just have fun today! Do you have any plans you want to share, or other ideas, too? I’d love to hear your comments below(just keep them PG-13ish if you do share. Sneaky secrets are more fun than blaring ones).
And, without further adieu!
“Valentine’s Day Stories” (None of these are canon, but just for fun)
These include potential spoilers if you haven’t read the stories! Continue at your own risk.
Miri was sitting in her room in the castle, absolutely bored. Thump had left with Allysin for whatever reason, and no one else came to amuse her, and this really bothered her. Today was… well, today was a day when no one should be bored(especially her!) and… except maybe Thump didn’t know? Did trolls have Valentine’s Day where they were from? She’d never asked, merely accepted it as a universal truth that everyone should know about it.
But he didn’t, apparently! Ugh! So she was the only one on Valentine’s Day stuck without a lover, was that it? What had Allysin needed to steal him away for, anyways? The cursed servant girl barely touched upon the subject and just skirted around it like it was some vague, unknowable thing. “Oh, yes, I need to borrow Thump to do a few things and then I’ll bring him back.”
Miri needed Thump to do a few things, too, and she needed him now. She could do a few things with herself by herself, but she just didn’t want to.
Someone knocked at the door.
“Go away!” Miri screamed.
They didn’t listen to her and opened the door anyways. Ignoring them, Miri heard Allysin whispering something to Thump, and Thump quietly arguing and sounding rather bashful. That was her favorite thing about him, actually. He acted innocent sometimes, sort of, but then… well, later in bed he was anything but. Dominant and strong and willing to take control!
Except he wasn’t that now, and it struck her as curious, so foregoing her attempt at ignoring the both of them at the door, she glanced up. Allysin pushed the ten foot tall monster into the room and slammed the door behind her.
In the doorway, blushing, Thump held a pretty pair of white panties with the cutest little blue bows on the sides by the hips.
“Are those for me?” she asked. Oh, she hoped so, and really, who else would they be for?
“Allysin tell Thump give to Miri and say Happy Valentine’s,” Thump said, shy. “Here is!” He held them aloft in both hands, stretching them out for her to see them better. “Happy Valentine’s, Miri.”
“Come! Come here! Let me see them. Ooh… they’re cute! Did you pick these out yourself? Do…” She didn’t know why she felt so shy all of a sudden, but she did. “Do you want me to try them on right now?”
Thump smiled at her with his toothy, ugly grin, but in her mind it was the most handsome thing she’d ever seen. Eyes glimmering, mischievous, he said, “Yah.”
His Absolute Valentine’s Day: The Billionaire’s Ultimatum
I knew Asher needed to work, since it was Thursday, but I really wished he didn’t. It was Valentine’s Day–our first together–and I had kind of hoped we could spend the entire day together. Maybe a little unreasonable, but… no, I told myself. I couldn’t begrudge him for working, because he loved his job and I didn’t want to make him feel bad about it no matter what.
That didn’t help me right now, though. Sitting in his guest house, re-living old memories, nostalgia slipping in, I remembered everything we’d gone through. Worrying about this one thing seemed so silly and inconsequential when I thought of it like that and it made me laugh. Valentine’s Day, really?
We did have plans, but I didn’t know how I felt about them. Asher wanted to take me out to the restaurant we’d gone to the day after I met him, which was nice. I told him I didn’t need anything fancy, though; I just wanted to spend time with him. He nodded and smiled and laughed it off.
I half-suspected he had some secret plan, but neither he nor Jeremy would tell me what it was. If there even was one, I reminded myself. Sometimes I ended up expecting so much from Asher–though honestly, he never really disappointed me in those regards, either–but I knew I shouldn’t.
Well, it didn’t matter. It bothered me, but what was the use in that? Was I going to mope around the house all day, hiding away here instead of staying in the main house where I could find more people or things to occupy my time? No! I refused.
But I wanted to look upstairs once more. Awhile back, Asher asked Jeremy to buy me new clothes, and I’d kept some of them here in the closet in the master bedroom. There was one thing in particular that I’d hidden away on the outskirts of the closet because…
Just because. I couldn’t wear that! My gods, it made my cheeks red just thinking about it.
Except I could wear it now, since no one was around. Sneaking up the stairs, slipping into the bedroom, I opened the closet and pulled out the beautiful red corset. I’d never really worn a corset before, but I loved the look of this one. And, made by Frederick’s of Hollywood no less! My heart quickened imagining myself wearing it, laying in bed while I beckoned to Asher, seeing the expression on his face when he saw me there and then wondering what else he might do afterwards.
I nearly tore off my clothes in order to try on the corset. It wasn’t a real corset, not really. It looked and acted like one, but without all of the boning that trained your waist to look thinner. I thought my waist was fairly nice as it was, so I didn’t really need something like that, but the look of it… shoulderless, pushing up my chest, giving me a more accentuated hourglass figure…
I dressed, now wearing only the corset and a matching pair of red underwear. I skipped to the bathroom to inspect myself in the mirror, except…
Asher stood in the bedroom door, watching me. I stared at him, mouth wide open, aghast.
“Asher! I thought you wouldn’t be back until later?”
“I wanted to surprise you for Valentine’s Day,” he said with a grin. “Apparently you’ve got some surprises, too.”
I blushed and tried to cover myself with my arms, for all the good it did me. Asher strode over and grabbed my wrists lightly, pulling my hands up and over my head. Leaning forward, lips so deliciously close to mine, his breath hot and heavy and wonderful, he said, “I had plans to take a long weekend and bring you somewhere special, but we don’t need to leave for a couple hours…”
“We don’t?” I asked, feeling shaky, my voice fluttering.
“No,” he said. He picked me up by the waist and tossed me onto the bed, admiring me.
Right about them I was pretty sure I loved Valentine’s Day.
(More to come later, possibly! Check back soon!)