Saturday, December 26, 2015

Readers aren't Trained Monkeys AND future plans for this circus!

Kindle Unlimited, how sexy you look in that gaudy red topcoat. So now, Mr. Ringmaster, shall we dance?

*Note: I apologize to the monkeys.


Now, before the defenders freak out, I want to make one thing clear. I have NO ISSUE with the authors that choose to go exclusive with Amazon. The Kindle Unlimited program has some appeal, more so with the increased exposure. Some authors literally HAVE to go all in just to keep their morgage paid.

And I'm not just saying that. 

If you're interested, there's an interesting post by co-founder of Smashwords, Mark Coker, about his predictions for 2016.


There's a lot of interesting information in there, but more for authors than for readers.

What stuck with me that may interest readers--because it interested me AS a reader--is this:

"Amazon is training Kindle customers to view even 99 cent ebooks as too expensive when other books can be read for what feels like free. Amazon’s success with Kindle Unlimited, which now offers over 1 million books almost exclusively supplied by indie authors is going to gut the market for single copy sales at Amazon. It'll be death by a thousand small cuts."

This is frightening for authors, but I'm not sure what's worse. The idea that the monopoly will be won simply because authors are struggling not to drown in an ever changing market and Amazon seems to hold all the life-rafts, or that many authors will simply give up.

Why should that bother anyone? Well, the shift in the novel world that began with the surge of indies brought all of us some of our favorite new authors. Many of those voices will be lost.

They are being told the work they do has no real value.

But not by the readers. Not yet.

Granted, there's the odd reader that will approach an author and ask why their books aren't cheaper. When the next special will be. When their books will be in KU so they can be accessed for free with the subscription. I've heard this from MANY authors. I've experienced it myself. It's not fun.

However, for the most part, passionate readers are willing to pay for the books they want to read. Some, like me, will buy those books for kobo, and kindle (I had the first version of kobo and it drove me insane!) and then buy the same book in print. The very idea of not having these books to read again and again? Nope. Not even going there.

My precious....

Now, to be clear, I have a few books in Kindle Unlimited because it's a smart business move. These books were gathering dust in their little corners, so I offered them up like sacrificial lambs, all dramatic and all, choking back my sobs as I laid them on the alter...


They were like toys no one was playing with. So I put them in a daycare and now they're getting some love. 

And, while they're being played with, maybe some readers will see that I've got other toys. Toys they want to play with.

Maybe it's not a great analogy. I don't know. What I do know is I have some material available for KU subscribers, but I won't have all my books there. I have a book that's been free for a very long time. All little tastes that I hope will connect me with those who might enjoy my books.

The very things I look for when I'm shopping around for books.

Amazon has made it harder to find authors that aren't exclusively with them, but I still believe readers who love great books will find them.

I don't have KU and I'm not interested in getting it, but what I do know about it is this. No matter how many books it has, it's missing some of my favorites. And it won't have some of the future books I'm eagerly anticipating.

And it won't have all of mine.

My new series, Winter's Wrath, won't be on special. I'm hoping to release at least two books in the series this year. I'll be releasing the next Cobras book. At full price. The last Deadly Captive book? Also at the price I think it's worth.

No more, no less.

I've paid almost 10$ for ebooks from authors I absolutely adore. Most who are with pubs and have no control over the price. I used to buy hardcover books I needed to have the day they released because OMG, I had been waiting a year and a few more months for the paperback? HELL NO!!!


As a reader, I'm a bit of a nut. A proud nut, but I get that not all readers can, or will, spend that kind of money.

Indie authors have helped make books more affordable, but there's a push in the direction of devaluing the stories they've put so much work into, and many are digging in their heels. As they should.

One day, they might invent a robot that can write books. And they might write interesting stories that people will buy. Which will be another hit on authors, but to me, it's no different than the indie model which means anyone can publish a book.



I've seen books that are clearly out there with little effort, written because someone believed they could make a quick buck. A sample will make that obvious real fast.

And I've fallen in love with books that I stumbled over by catching a Facebook post with a teaser, or a catchy line on twitter. But most often from other readers who spread the word.

Readers have ALWAYS had the power when it comes to sharing the passion for reading. They can't be trained to lose that passion.

Connecting might be harder, but we'll keep finding ways to spread the word. One of the things I hope to do is have more guest posts here. I already share recommendations in my newsletter, and I will continue to do so.

I also welcome my readers to let me know about books they can't stop thinking about! I want to read those books and I want to join you in telling everyone about them!

We don't need a publisher, or a vender, to give us a platform.

We will build our own.




Wednesday, December 9, 2015

You're going to HELL... and RELEASE DAY! Evil's Embrace (Celestial Pets #1)



Yes, I know, that was uncalled for. But I totally meant in the book! ;)

FINALLY, Evil's Embrace has released as a whole, with a twisted climax and conclusion you didn't see coming.

And it's already got some AMAZING reviews! 

Books to Curl Up With: Review of Evil's Embrace (Celestial Pets #1)

This book has been with me for a long time and I hesitated to share it with you, because while many of you loved the sadistic vampire, Cyrus, delving into the realm of angels and demons is a little different.



But I love this story, and while it's not about my kinky hockey players, it shares the same depth, with a story you can lose yourself into and escape the real world.

Escaping to hell is a dubious pleasure, but the Devil is actually a pretty fun guy. If you stay on his good side. ;)



There's so much I could say about this book. About the legends of angels and demons I explored to give a 'realistic' edge to the story, about how I actually picked up the bible for the first time in years to touch up on some verses (which I didn't include in the book, but played an important part).

I'd rather let the story speak for itself. And since it's .99 for another day or so, you can grab it if you're curious. 

Sin a little. You'll love it! <g>

Created pure and innocent, the newborn angel Fae’s only crime is loving the mortal realm too much. She wants to see, to touch, to taste...and to know. All of which leads to her fall from grace when she meets the demon brothers who give her all she desires.
Cravis and Travis toy with the young angel out of boredom, but losing her awakens something inside them that they didn’t know they could still feel. While Travis begins to learn how precious a life can be, Cravis struggles with the fear of how fragile love is, not sure if he can go through it being taken from him once again.

The demons will claim the angel, but many dangers threaten the Fallen. Hunted by the Virtues and lusted after by the damned, Fae may be protected as a cherished pet. But she will soon learn she’s worth so much more. 

Again, ONLY .99 FOR THE NEXT 2 DAYS.

Grab it here and keep reading for a sexy excerpt from the book. :)


Excerpt:

Regret filled Cravis’s eyes, as though he wished he’d kept his suspicions to himself. He cupped her cheek in his hand. “You have much to offer, my love. I would give anything to understand how you still believe there is good out there.” At an irritated throat clearing from below, he offered her a rueful smile. He bent down to flick his tongue over her nipple, chuckling when she bowed her back. “We can discuss it further when we don’t have an audience.”

She grabbed his shoulders before he could lay her down. “Say it again first.”

He latched on to her wrists, lifting them over her head as he pinned her to the floor. “Keep your hands there, pet. If you move them, I’ll have to punish you.”

The command ruined the tenderness she’d felt for him, but she held her tongue as he shifted down her body, pressing her thighs apart. She forgot to be annoyed as he used his teeth to tease her soft folds, and she gasped as he bit down a little harder, his teeth sharpening enough to pierce her flesh. He was careful, but the threat of pain kept her still, bringing an edge of danger that had her heart racing. Braving for the sting made even the lightest brush of his tongue that much more intense.

Deeper. Oh God, she needed to feel him deeper. She moaned as he flattened his tongue and pressed in. Her bones had gone liquid, and she didn’t even realize she’d reached down to put her hand on his head until he shifted away and laid a solid smack on her inner thigh.

She yelped, and then scowled at him.

His eyes shone with amusement. “I warned you, pet. Keep your hands where I put them.”

Aroused beyond reason, she stretched her arms over her head. Cravis put his hands under her ass and lifted her to his mouth, pressing his tongue in, leaving her helpless to do anything but brace her feet on his shoulders. Pleasure coiled within, driving her further and further into pure rapture.

He stopped once more. Then bit her inner thigh.

She cried out, desperate to find release. She’d expected him to want to finish quickly, but instead he seemed determined to torture her for their audience. He closed his lips around her clit, sucking and grazing his teeth on the tiny nub, causing all the blood to pulse straight down.

Another bite and she screamed, so lost in sensation her vision blurred and she teetered on the precipice of a violent orgasm.

Releasing her, Cravis took a moment to undo his pants. Still on his knees, sitting back on his feet, he lifted her over him, lowering her slowly. His muscular thighs opened her wide, and even on top, she had no control over their pace. He thrust up into her, breathing hard as she whimpered with need.

“Just a little longer, pet. Wait for me.” He kissed her throat, both their bodies sliding together, slick with sweat. “Such a good girl.”


Comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Evil's Embrace (Celestial Pet's #1) 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Why, oh why? And what the HELL am I doing?


Those of you who follow me on Facebook and/or twitter have probably noticed that I published a new book last week and have another coming out at the beginning of December. Neither is a Cobra book. Neither is the last Deadly Captive book.

One is actually a little taboo. Really, it’s the type of book authors should avoid. Absolutely icky. I’m not sure what I was thinking.

I wrote a stepbrother book.



Actually, I know exactly what I was thinking. This is a fun story I’d started writing when I first began sharing my work on Literotica. I had a great response from readers and it helped me gain the confidence to dip my toe into writing erotic romance. If I could write something so forbidden and click ‘publish’ online without the slightest bit of shame, I felt free to explore any subject my muse showed an interest in.

Don’t get me wrong, I get why some people are completely disgusted by the very IDEA of a Stepbrother romance. One of the many reasons is if you have a stepbrother who is a revolting person who’s made your life miserable. It’s hard not to project that a bit and any sexiness is eliminated.



For me, I don’t read these kinds of books imaging any character as related to me in any way. I’ve had people ask me before if my characters are inspired by real people. My answer is always no.

Yes, life can inspire art, and I’m sure I’ve seen a hockey player smile a certain way, or a play on the ice during a game, that’s resonated with something one of my guys will do. Every person is made up of a sum of their experiences, but how those experiences shape them is unique.

Which is also why I don’t see any of the characters as being ME. If I let my beliefs, and values, and experiences limit my characters, the stories would be pretty boring. Ya, I’ve done some cool stuff in my life, but not enough to fill an 180k novel, never mind a series of books.

So when I write something extremely taboo, I’m letting these people in my head tell their story. To them, it’s not disgusting. Their desire makes it believable to cast aside all the rules of what’s socially acceptable and explore lust and love.

And I think these characters earned their happily ever after. :)

http://amzn.com/B0189ILYFO
Blurb: One night, one horrible choice, throws the balance off in their lives forever.

Stephanie manages to hold things together until Colin returns, but he’s a soldier and who knows how long he’ll stick around? Long enough to help her ease Ashley back into the world after she wakes from her two year coma?

They might be a little messed up, but Stephanie, Colin, and Ashley have something between them that has gotten them through the most difficult time in their life. A love no one can touch.

And no one can know about.

Now for the book I'm really excited to finally be sharing with you...
 

Some of you may have read the first installments, but I really wasn't comfortable putting out a book in a serial format. I wanted to give it a try, and I'm so grateful for the feedback I got. 

Grateful enough that for the pre-order, I've put the book on special for .99.


http://www.amazon.com/Celestial-Pets-Embrace-Bianca-Sommerland-ebook/dp/B017WDMHYO/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Created pure and innocent, the newborn angel Fae’s only crime is loving the mortal realm too much. She wants to see, to touch, to taste...and to know. All of which leads to her fall from grace when she meets the demon brothers who give her all she desires.

Cravis and Travis toy with the young angel out of boredom, but losing her awakens something inside them that they didn’t know they could still feel. While Travis begins to learn how precious a life can be, Cravis struggles with the fear of how fragile love is, not sure if he can go through it being taken from him once again.

The demons will claim the angel, but many dangers threaten the Fallen. Hunted by the Virtues and lusted after by the damned, Fae may be protected as a cherished pet. But she will soon learn she’s worth so much more.

On the 10th of December, I'll be choosing FIVE readers who purchased a pre-order copy of Evil's Embrace to recieve a signed copy of the book in print. I could go on and on telling you how awesome this book is, but for .99? I'll let you find out for yourself! <g>

That said, if you want in on the contest, just stop by here: https://www.facebook.com/201933239834387/photos/a.703147309712975.1073741825.201933239834387/1176370982390603/?type=3&theater

Good luck! 

 I'd love to hear from you all, so feel free to comment with your thoughts on stepbrother books, or anything else that's on your mind! I hope everyone had a great weekend and that the week flies by. As for me, I've got more news coming soon. About books. Lots and lots of books! <g>

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Readers in Boxes-All you Need is Love

The whole issue of a MF author being plagiarized by a MM author has brought forth some interesting topics. A Washington Post article used the deplorable situation to take a jab at the romance genre as a whole. Others have been sharing their outrage and demanding to know how theft like this can be prevented.

I shared my thoughts about this yesterday, but another topic that was mentioned has been bugging me. Everyone has their opinion, and I don't mean this as a critisism, but I have to wonder how 'clever' it really was to assume there's not much crossover between gay and straight romance.

Maybe it's because I've been writing menage romance for so long, I don't usually see the divide. Ya, I've had readers who devour stories with a strong heroine meeting the man who can stand by her side, that pick up one of my books and say 'Wow. I never thought I'd be into two guys falling in love, but now I want more!' Those comments always make me smile, because really, there are so many amazing love stories out thee. And like in reality, they aren't restricted by gender or anything else.




But everyone has their preference, and there's nothing wrong with having a taste for sweet romance that follows the traditional view of a relationship.

Hell, I used to read mostly horror, sci-fi, and historical romance. My favorite historicals could all be classified today as dub-con. 'Bodice rippers' because the young heroine certainly wasn't unlacing the thing for a rival Lord or the viking that had captured her.

I had some dark fantasies. I'm sure you're all very surprised to hear that! ;)

Regardless, as a prolific reader, I was--and AM--always looking for a new genre to fall in love with. I finally realized it wasn't a particular genre I was looking for, but a great story that would pull me in and refuse to let me look away. It would keep me up at night and give me all the feels.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I believe that any story that has great character development, a strong plot, and engaging writing will draw in all sorts of different readers. I have men and women from all over the world writing to me constantly about their new love of hockey, which they'd never been interested in before.

Whether it's a sport, a profession, or a lifestyle, I think good books will always find readers. And if you're looking for sexy, and have an open mind, the options are limitless.


The point isn't to convince anyone who DOESN'T read gay romance to start reading it. I'm just not a fan of assumptions, and in this case, the assumptions made by an 'author' who figured there weren't many readers that go from MF to MM, ended up being her undoing.

Also, let's stop drawing lines in the sand between the genres. Whatever you love to write or read, we're all fans of books. From the great big fat ones to the skinny ones, with real or digital pages, they're all a doorway to experiences you might have missed out on if you hadn't cracked open the cover. 

Enjoy. And I'll see you on the other side. Probably all tired out from killing dragons and having multiple orgies. ;)


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

PLAGIARISM in its most HEARTLESS form.

If you haven't heard about what's going on, I'll include some links, but here's the gist of what went down. An "author", Laura Harner, decided to copy entire novels, change them from MF to MM, and then sell them as her own.

Obviously she just copied the general concepts and then wrote her own books, right? Nope. That would indicate some kind of integrity. She wasn't inspired by these authors.

She STOLE from them.

The fact that I know, love, and respect Becky McGraw has no bearing on how disgusted and angry I am. That I've read and enjoyed so many of Opal Carew's books doesn't make me more inclined to shout about this from the highest platforms I can reach. It is my love of books, both as an author, and a reader, that makes this whole situation so damn repulsive.

EVERY single reader that picked up one of her books has been cheated. The authors she stole from--and there may be more, so I urge you to look through the books this person still has on Amazon--have been violated. This isn't a case of one community of romance writers against another. This involves us all.

I'm a little shocked that the story has been so slow in gaining public attention, but finally word is getting out. I choose to believe people wanted all the fact before they started gathering pitchforks and heaving people up on giant stakes. Which is always a good idea. This sets a precedent, and depending on how it's handled, accusations could start flying left and right.

One example that set a precedent before this is 50 Shades of Grey, which started out as Twilight fan fiction. I won't get into a debate about where that falls on the fine line between plagiarism and 'inspiration'. Many will say it was changed enough to be in the clear and Stephanie Meyer didn't pursue it. So basically, like it or not, case closed.

However, in this case, there's no doubt.

In fact, there's an admission from the thief herself:

Responding to the Guardian in a statement, Harner said she realised she had “made mistakes”. “I own them, and I will deal with the consequences. In transforming two M/F romance stories into an M/M genre, it appears that I may have crossed the line and violated my own code of ethics,” she wrote.

“For those who know me best, you know that responsibility for my actions begins and ends with me. I will also add there are some personal and professional issues I’ve had to deal with in the last year that have stretched me in ways that haven’t always been good for me. I write about certain concerns related to military service for a reason; however, I am not offering that as an excuse. I just think whenever someone acts so out of character, it’s helpful to ask why.”
Full Article Here: Prolific Romantic Fiction Writer Exposed As A Plagiarist

My immediate thought on reading that? BULLSHIT. 

Pure bullshit. I've said this before and I will say it again. We all live through our own hell and that is never a reason to use or abuse anyone else. The response shows how calculated and heartless this person can be. She made money off of someone else's hard work. And she wants us to ask 'Why?'

I encourage you to look up Becky McGraw and Opal Carew and show your support by buying their books if you're so inclined. There will be other ways to support them and I'll be sharing that as soon as I have more information.

As for Becky, I have to say she is handling this with so much class, I admire her even more than I already did.

When asked for her comment, this is what she had to say: 



"At least her excuses were more creative than her writing."

http://beckymcgraw.com/

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PEGSX1I/ref=as_li_ss_tl?*Version*=1&*entries*=0&linkCode=sl1&tag=becmcgboo-20&linkId=OPK5BEQUF3EMXK5R
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014V7PGEM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B014V7PGEM&linkCode=as2&tag=opacar-20&linkId=AJTHT6TBOCOX5CHG


                                                               http://www.opalcarew.com/


Links to original articles by Jenny Trout:

Don’t Do This Ever (an advice column for writers): Plagiarism Warning edition

Another book plagiarized by Laura Harner


Monday, October 19, 2015

New Dartmouth Cobras Hoodies for the coming chill! And a quick update...

I'm gonna keep this brief, but since I've got a lot on my plate. Most importantly, WRITING! <g>

Also, visiting some of you awesome people at the Midwestern Book Lover's Conference. Please come see me if you're in the area! 

First, here's a new design for the Cobra lovers out there. I've had a lot of requests, so I hope you like it! It's getting chilly, so who better than to cuddle up with than our boys? ;)



For books, the FULL Celestial Pets book will be out around the beginning of next month. I'm so grateful that you guys have been patient with me, so I'll have it at a VERY low price for the first few weeks. Good news is, this marks a fresh flow with the muse, so I should be releasing books more frequently. 

As for my post the other day about my daughter's school, I will be writing a full update post for that as soon as I get all the information and sort out my thoughts. But for now, I will say this. It's important that our schools have the resources, and the training, available to deal with situations like this. Whether it's bullying, violence, threats or the well-being of their students, they are in a position to do a lot of good. Or a lot of damage.

Nothing compares to the love and care of an involved parent. And the changes we have the power to make. <3

I hope you're all doing well and thanks for stopping by!

Hugs,
Bianca 

Friday, October 16, 2015

This happened at my daughter's school. And it's NOT ok.

This just happened, and I apologize to anyone who doesn't want to know personal things about my life. But I am hurt and horrified and I'm not waiting until this happens again.

My daughter's school has a no-tolerance policy for bullying. Yet, this is the response today. And it's wrong in so many ways. So I wanted to address the one person my daughter should have been able to trust:


Mr. X from my daughter's school. So far I am struggling to understand what happened, but all I know is you are the one my daughter spoke to after being told she should kill herself.
After being told SHE SHOULD KILL HERSELF.

With everything happening, with all the awareness going on in schools, there are so many ways you could have replied. But all you did was tell her not to worry about rumors and to ignore the kids who verbally attacked her.

I am now waiting for the school's response, but I'd like to ask you something.

Are you aware this child lost her grandmother to suicide last year? Are you aware of the impact of suicide? The school was made aware when this happened. Were you not told?

And even if you weren't, that's no excuse. Even a kid who's living a great life at home should NEVER have to go through this. The response should be immediate. Your students should be taught this is not acceptable.

It's NOT acceptable and I will do everything in my power to make that damn clear. I'm stunned and heartbroken and angry. I thought our schools were better than this.
But they're not, are they? You have proved how blind people can be and that will end now. My daughter, fortunately, has parents who will fight for her. It scares me to think what would happen to a child who doesn't. Who hears those words and the only support they have is someone like you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Re-release of SOLID EDUCATION-Expanded! Check out this hot excerpt!


http://amzn.com/B015EPMZCG

Took a little while, but here's our boys, Gage and Derek, with an awesome new epilogue which may very well lead to future books with them and our favorite pup, Matty!

I hope you enjoy the new addition as much as I did! And if you haven't read this yet, you're in for a treat! <g>

Blurb: Gage Tackett comes off as a bad boy—detached and maybe a little dangerous. Definitely not Vet Sciences Professor Derek Paulson’s type. Which he tells himself, repeatedly, every time the other man attends his class.

Until the day he looks over to see Gage’s seat is empty.

When Gage arrives at Derek’s veterinary clinic with a frostbitten stray dog, the lines of their teacher/student relationship are blurred. Derek realizes his most difficult student has a few things to teach him.

Things he’s more than willing to learn.

“One of my favorites of this collection. It contained well developed characters and a tender storyline. The power struggle and the flirting between these two was HOT. Loved Matty and I was so happy that it ended as it did.” PrismBookAlliance "Celebrating Diversity Through Literature"

Contains first chapter from A Restored Man by Jaime Reese.

Excerpt:

 
Slapping the book in front of him closed, Gage flashed Derek the smile he’d been practicing since he’d popped his first cherry. One that got strange men in bars all over the world to follow him to his hotel room with no blood left pumping to their brains.

“I get it. Thank you, Professor Paulson.” He rested his forearms on the table. “Ask me anything.”

Derek’s lips parted. He cleared his throat as his cheeks went red. “Ah…all right. I printed out a worksheet at the clinic for you. Answer the questions and we’ll see how you do.”

“What do I get for the right answer?” Gage asked, using his most innocent tone, one which was blatantly transparent.

“Behave yourself, Gage.”

“I’m trying, sir.”

“Try harder.” Derek pulled a few sheets of paper from his briefcase and set them in front of Gage. He pointed to the first question. “This should be easy.”

Gage took one of the pens off the table and uncapped it. Held it over the paper and gave Derek a sideways glance. “You never told me what I get.”

Throat working as he swallowed, Derek shifted closer to Gage and placed his hand on Gage’s knee. He looked around the practically deserted library and gave Gage a stiff smile. “Assuming you get a single one right? You will be rewarded.”

“Oh, yeah?” Okay, maybe this hadn’t been such a good idea after all. Gage couldn’t think with Derek’s hand on his leg. Fuck, he could hardly breathe. He read the question over three times before the words even made sense. He jotted down the first coherent answer that came to him.

“Not bad, but please show me you know how to use a comma.” Derek shifted his hand a few inches up Gage’s thigh. “Continue.”

A few more questions answered and Gage was breathing hard, jaw clenched so he could retain enough control to hold his pen steady. Derek’s hand was at the top of his thigh, and his fingertips brushed the base of Gage’s cock through his jeans. His brain had given up, and all he could think of was how much he wanted Derek to touch him. And not just because he’d passed the test. Just because he couldn’t hold back anymore.

“I can’t…fuck, let’s go back to your place, Derek.” Gage knew he was trashing all the progress he’d made. He was making it clear exactly what he needed from Derek. Right now. But he couldn’t help it. His restraint was shot.

Derek stood and made a sharp motion toward the stairs leading to the second floor of the library. “The microform room contains the fiche reader I used when I took chemistry. Few use the old technology, but I believe there are times when going back to the basics can be useful.”

“But I…fuck, man, I’m serious.” He could tell Derek didn’t get it. There was absolutely nothing in this library that could help him now. If Derek wanted to fool the few people who might see them together, they had to get out of here.

But Derek took hold of his wrist and met his eyes, not giving an inch. “Trust me.”

There was no one on the second floor, which wasn’t surprising since there were only a handful of people in the library. The door to the microform room was tucked away between a row of old law books. Inside there were wall-to-wall file cabinets and a large desk in the center of the room with several old-fashioned machines Gage assumed were used to read the ancient technology. He would do anything he could to understand his chemistry assignments, but this was a bit much. What could he possibly learn here that he couldn’t learn in a book or, even better, online?

 Hearing the door close and the lock click, Gage turned, chewing on one side of his tongue as Derek moved closer. The amusement in Derek’s eyes as Gage glanced over at the door and then back to him was unsettling. What the fuck was the man playing at?

“What happened to being discreet?” Gage put his hand on Derek’s chest, stopping him before he did something stupid like kiss him. Derek might be the fucking king of self-control, but Gage wasn’t.

Gently pushing Gage’s hand down to his side, Derek pressed against him until he backed into a file cabinet. He chuckled when Gage avoided his kiss yet again and settled on kissing his throat. “There’s no one here, Gage. No chance that we can be seen. It’s rare that anyone uses the fiche readers.”

“But what if someone saw us come in? What if—?” Gage closed his eyes and dropped his head back as Derek undid his jeans. His hand slid over Gage’s rock-hard dick and he laughed again. He didn’t seem the least bit concerned, but Gage would give him one last chance to reconsider while his brain was still somewhat functioning. He gritted his teeth and met Derek’s eyes. “You could get fired. Lose you tenure—”

“I don’t have tenure, Gage. I’m an adjunct professor, and I told you I’m finishing the year, and then I’m done.” Derek stroked him absently, his gaze never leaving Gage’s face. “We will be careful.”

“This isn’t careful.”

“Do you want me to stop?” A slow smile spread across Derek’s lips as Gage shook his head. “Good. Now close your eyes again. You’ve been a very good student, and I think you deserve more than a pass.”

Gage snorted, then groaned as Derek knelt in front of him. “This some kinky teacher/student fantasy of yours, Professor Paulson?”

“Not quite.” Derek rubbed his scruffy cheek against the length of Gage’s cock. “If it was, you’d be the one on your knees.”

There was no good comeback to that. Not that one was needed as Derek’s hot, wet mouth surrounded him. The slick pressure of Derek’s tongue against the underside of his cock made Gage’s knees buckle. He rested his elbows on the file cabinet for support and surrendered to the mind-numbing pleasure. Derek’s hands on his hips as he swallowed around him gave him the urge to thrust in, but Derek simply tightened his grip. Leaving no doubt as to who was in control.

Buy links:
Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo

Thursday, September 10, 2015

How to PROMOTE your book without looking like a USED CAR SALESMAN: PART ONE


This might not be necessary, but I figured I should mention what some authors are doing that make them come off as used car salesmen, telemarketers, or those companies that send out enough junk mail to create a life-sized, paper mache dragon in the span of a month.

Not that I've made one, but I totally could! ;)

There's a few examples I can use, so I'll try to be fair. I mean, no author is so obsessed with pimping that they begin every conversation with 'Well, in my book.' or 'You should check out my book because...'

I'd totally suggest you make finding these rare, sweet walking billboards a drinking game, but I truly value your liver.

Which sounded a lot creepier than it was meant to! lol

Anyway, picture this. Your phone rings. You ignore it, and then you get one message. Than another and another and another and...WTF? Pressing play, you all of a sudden have messages from different people in a group talking about SHAM PLOW. It's the greatest product in the world, so they're all chatting up a storm. There's message after message and your phone is warning you that your inbox is full.
Now, obviously you can have yourself put on a no call list and never ever be bothered by telemarketers, right?

Maybe, but some will still get through. Thankfully, they can't actually have you connected to mass group chats that you're not aware of until they've already gotten annoying.

But with a social media site like Facebook, it's quite possible.

And some authors have decided to use that ability to not only 'cold call' every single online friend they have with book promo, they consistently drag those same friends to events or groups with 'invites'.

I could get into how these 'invites' are worse than junk mail, but I don't wanna give a big ol' lecture about what not to do. Maybe it works for you and kudos. I never have and never will buy a book off a mass invite. Usually, I remove myself, and if I've seen the same name on the invite one too many times--this goes for groups, events, and GAMES; seriously, I'm so happy I figured out how to block those!--I'll just unfriend the person.

 But I'm not your audience, right? Who cares what I think?

Never EVER assume other authors aren't your audience. Just ask one how it feels when an enthusiastic greeting at an event turns into a 'Oh, so you're an author too?' followed by a rude dismissal.

Yes, that happens. Way too fucking often. Stop it, twatwaffles. You'll find other ways to make us hate you.

Since this post ended up a bit longer than expected, I'm going to be doing it in two posts. In the next post, I'll let you know what works for me when it comes to 'promo'.

I don't want to be the only one talking though, so I asked around for some book lovers to chime in on what gets them to check out your books.

Here's some readers who tell it like it is:

Dawn Edwards- I can be quite a cover whore. If it has an amazing cover it makes me one click.

Lyra French- I'm a blurb queen. If the blurb is poorly written, I'm out of there. And I do like an interesting cover. I read a book once (can't remember the title) and all it had on the cover was a smoking gun and a champagne glads with pearls in it. Totally read the blurb and bought the book.

Kimberly Morgan (editor @ Grammar Ninja)- Gotta have a good blurb! And if the blurb has spelling/grammar mistakes, it makes me wary about the book. Those things pull me right out of the story!

Mandy Marshall- To be honest there are three main ways I pick new authors to read. 1. Price, if it's cheap and sounds even somewhat interesting I will read it. 2. Book Convention, I read a book by every author who attends and have found lots of new favorites this way! 3. A friend recommendation will get me to look at a book.

Advice from some amazing, successful authors:


Heather Long (Author of The Wolves of Willow Bend)-The best things I've found to have readers check out your books is a compelling question to answer in your blurb and a story that evokes a lot of emotion. Frankly, write a good book, readers want to read it then they really want to read the next one. My thoughts on a blurb are very straightforward--I try to write them in a way that makes me WANT to write the book so I know the answer. And in turn, so the reader wants to know what happens too. It’s the same reason people want to see Captain America Civil War--we know it will be Tony versus Cap, but we want to know what happens. And how it happens.

Melanie Marchande (Author of His Secretary: Undone)- It's all about mindset. Read this book: http://www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychology.../dp/0345472322/ Positive energy. Believe you can. Whatever your goals are, there's nothing stopping you. It sounds cliched, and it's not the ONLY thing you need, of course - everybody will tell you that you have to work hard, pay attention to the market, etc etc, and they're certainly not wrong - but at the core of it all, if you don't really believe you can accomplish your most far-fetched goals, you DEFINITELY won't.

Read reviews, but take them with a grain of salt. Understand where your voice is needed and where it isn't. Understand that readers are entitled to their own space to express their opinions that you don't need to invade. Understand, also, that almost every review (yes, even the stupid ones) has SOMETHING useful you can take away and use and learn from.

Above all, LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR. If you don't, you will never get anywhere.


Susan Hayes (Author of 3013: The Series)- 1) This might be your dream job, but it’s still first and foremost a JOB. Set goals and deadlines and keep to them as much as you can. Learn as much as you can about the business side of the craft so that you can make informed decisions about your books, your contracts, and your promotional platform.

2) Social media is for being social. This means that if you want people to buy your book via that venue, you’re going to be selling yourself, not your story. You don’t have to rule every element of social media, but you will need to be present and you should make sure that every image, photo, post, and tweet conveys a positive message. Be professional. Be pleasant. Your goal is to be the sales associate everyone knows by name and seeks out the moment they hit the store, not the used car salesman everyone avoids making eye contact with.

3) Try to resist the urge to compare your career path to someone else’s. Your journey is unique to you. Someone will always be doing better. Someone will always be doing worse. Luck plays a role in this gig, so don’t let it frustrate you when you’re struggling, and on the flip side, don’t let a little good fortune make you think you’re bulletproof.

4) Reviews. Read them. Glean what lessons you can and then walk away. Don’t let the glowing ones go to your head, and don’t let the brutal ones destroy you. Under no circumstances ever respond or acknowledge a review, good or bad. Stay out of the dragon’s lair, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

Monday, August 31, 2015

The WORDS are there and you're NOT going anywhere. Take a DEEP breath.


There have been plenty of times I’ve needed to hear that. Plenty of times where those simple instructions seemed the hardest thing in the world. What’s a deep breath gonna do? When things are a mess, when it all goes to hell, why tell me to do what I gotta do anyway?



Well, because sometimes it’s the only thing you CAN do. It won’t make anything easier, but when you’re rushing around trying to fix everything, you end up breathing hard and fast and not in a good way. While you scramble around struggling to make the world make sense, you’re usually gasping for air.

Today’s post is a response to seeing a lot of people stressing out. For good reasons, but at time the negativity can really drag you under. Believe me, I know.

Rather than depress myself talking about HOW I know, I figured I’d address one of the issues I’ve seen coming up a lot lately, and that’s authors feeling the need to write enough to stay relevant.

Seeing this breaks my heart because, the way I see it, after you’ve put a book out there, after you’ve shared the artistry of your words and your stories, there’s no way you can become irrelevant. You’ve accomplished a certain immortality that few ever manage. Your words will live on forever.



Maybe that sounds like poetic nonsense, but for me, there’s something soothing about it. I could freak about pushing back deadlines and not writing enough. Gods know I get my share of hatemail over both. As I posted recently, I’ve had my moments where I could honestly say getting a job asking ‘Would you like fries with that?’ would be preferable to knowing I’m disappointing so many people because there’s no machine to make what I do go faster.

But that’s what makes art so precious. We hear again and again that our books aren’t our babies. That they’re a product and we have to learn to let them go and not take offense when critics tear them apart. Which is good advice, if only for our sanity.

For our creativity? For the words that never seem good enough? For the fragile muse who can be shut down by the most cruel critic?

And the cruelest critic, as we all know, is the artist themselves. If a hundred readers write angry letters about how long a book is taking, you can guarantee the author’s told themselves the same thing a thousand times. And wasn’t as polite as the most ignorant troll.

So what I suggest is this. Take a step back if you need to. Yes, this is still a job, and for those like me who live off our work, we can’t retreat too far. But we can get enough distance to make it just us and the words, if only a little while. To fall back in love with reading and writing and the passion that got us this far.


Enough distance to take a deep breath. And keep going.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

There Are No Gay Players In The NHL Series-The Strain on Gay Collegiate/Pro Hockey Players by V.L. Locey


Is there anything more crushing to the human spirit then to have to deny who you truly are? Imagine being an artist living in a culture where your peers frowned upon painting. Or, perhaps you love to write but society hated and scorned authors. Maybe you love floral arranging but your family detests flowers. Or, just maybe, you collect dolls but your church is vocally against doll collecting.

I suppose some of you will scoff at the comparisons above by saying that collecting porcelain dolls is very different from having sex with someone of the same gender. True, it is, but the hatred against those who are different is the same. Being ridiculed and ostracized because of whom you love is part of a debilitating cult of masculinity that so many athletes in this country are forced to deal with. It`s hard for adult gay and lesbian athletes. Try to picture the strain of being a young adult and having to face this kind of abuse.

It is a well-known fact that gay teens are three times more likely to
have suicidal thoughts and twice as likely to suffer from depression. Now, add in the burden of being part of a team playing a sport you love but being terrified of someone finding out that you're gay. There have been countless reports of hate crimes committed against LGBT youth by people their own age. Gay teens grow into gay men. It is time to stop letting homophobia rule the locker room. There is so much more that needs done. We can't stop pushing for acceptance now that marriage equality is the law of the land.

We need to start raising young boys with a new set of rules. We, the parents and coaches of the future NHL players, need to teach boys that being open-minded, tolerant, and loving is what really makes a man. Teaching love and acceptance starts young. Maybe someday, if we do a good job now, future players won't have to worry about coming out and the aftermath of shame and scorn that announcement will bring. Maybe, just maybe, future hockey players will be able to show up and just play.

Wouldn`t that be awesome?

Skate hard and love deeply,

V.L. Locey




*~*
Long Change

Collegiate superstar goalie Boone Crockett seems to have the world at his feet. He’s rich, handsome, attends an elite college and is a hot prospect for the pros. Pity all that is a front for a deeply closeted and troubled young man.
All Boone’s life plans are shattered when flamboyant ex-figure skater Preston Gordon, an orange-haired twink, shows up to audition for the team’s mascot position wearing sequins, scarves and toe picks. His moves on the ice send Boone into his own pirouette of frustrated and reluctant desire.
As senior year progresses Boone slides deeper and deeper into a dangerous depression, Preston’s sensual strength the only thing he has to hold on to. If Boone can’t keep from plunging through the thin ice he’s skating on, it could take a twink to make the big save.



*~*
Two Man Advantage

Victor Kalinski, all-star forward for the Boston Barracudas, is one of the biggest jerks in professional hockey. Before long his aggressive attitude gets him shipped off to play in the minor leagues.
Furious, he takes to the ice with equal amounts of skill and scathing sarcasm, which doesn’t win him any friends—except for good-natured alternate captain Daniel Arou. He won’t take any of Vic’s crap, and he won’t take no for an answer.
But Vic’s troublemaking is pulling his career one way while Dan’s talent is pushing his in the other. However much they scorch the sheets, they might soon be separated by more than Vic’s fear of being hurt.