Friday, September 30, 2011

Two New Stories Coming Up!

I've already mentioned Training Will, which I have now re-named Personal Assistance, as I thought that was more appropriate.  Here is the final cover:

And here is the thumbnail:

And here is the cover for my latest story, Do Not Disturb:

And here it is in thumbnail:

It will probably be the first one out, hopefully by this weekend (I know, I keep saying that).  I'm going to try to get Personal Assistance out this weekend too, but since this is my first time actually uploading, and there are five sites I'll be uploading it to, it will depend on how hard it ends up being.  As soon as the stories go live, I'll post here with the blurbs and links.

After I get these two out, I'll try to get  Sexting and Personal Display of Arousal out by next weekend, and then start on some new shorter stories.  It should be an exciting week!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Test Cover for "Training Will" (temporary post)

Below is my test cover for "Training Will," another short story I am working on.  This post will be a temporary one, just to get some opinions on the cover.  PLEASE NOTE:  This is just a mock-up.  I have not purchased the stock photo yet.  So the pic I used was a small, low-resolution one, which is why it is small and may appear fuzzy, and has a watermark on it.  Once I decide I want the picture for sure, I will take down this mock cover post and purchase the original stock photo, and do the cover properly. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cover for "Public Display of Arousal"

This is the cover of my latest story, which I will be uploading by the end of the weekend.  If all goes on schedule with no formatting problems or Amazon delays, Public Display of Arousal should be available by Wednesday, September 7.  [ I guess I'm still working on it.  ;-)  It's still coming, but I have another story due out before that one.]

And here it is in thumbnail:

Public Display of Arousal is a "vanilla" erotica story, no kink, just steamy seduction and a sex scene that will curl your toes!  It's about a woman who decides to give her husband an anniversary dinner he'll never forget.  There's more to the story, but that's it in a nutshell--I'll have the final draft cover and the blurb posted as soon as the story is uploaded.  It will be a longer story or possibly novelette length.

For those who are wondering, Sexting (which is an erotic romance novella) is still coming.  I'll get to work finishing that as soon as this story is done.  It will be out sometime this month, hopefully within a week of publishing Public.  I was just so motivated by Public that I had to finish it first.

I'm so excited about publishing my first story. I can't wait!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New and Improved Cover for "Sexting" Short Story

Here is the new (and hopefully final) version of the cover for "Sexting."  I did away with the man hands (they were too close-up anyway) and went with female hands, and a better pic for the phone.

And here's a thumbnail:

It was hard picking a picture, because what is a guy going to send a pic of, when sexting to a girl?  Abs, butt, or his genitalia. Well, genitalia won't be allowed on a cover for some venues, and that wouldn't be appropriate for the type of book this is.  Butt?  Questionable, and still not what I'm going for.  Abs?  Okay, but not sexy enough for sexting.  Abs, with the guy starting to pull down his pants?  Probably as good as it's going to get.

If you look close, you can see some pubes.  Hee hee.  Too much? Okay, maybe it's a bit much.  I'll be changing that part.

I think it looks great, otherwise.  Hopefully I'm not deluding myself!

So Sad

Originally published on my old blog on September 16, 2010.

I didn’t win the first chapter contest. No comments even made about my submission. I thought I'd at least get an "I'd like to see more from you in the future" or "you have potential."  But no.  Nothing.

Please excuse me while I cry…

Okay, I’m done. *sniff*

I also didn’t win the little “Great Homophone Switch” contest at Redlines and Deadlines. I knew I wasn’t going to be the best…someone else had a few that were freakin' hilarious. But I thought I’d be maybe second best. Not even mentioned. *sigh*

I don’t think my fragile ego can take two losses in one day. ;-) Oh well, on to my WIP.

Entered My First Contest

Originally posted on my old blog on August 2, 2010. 

If you hear a clacking sound, that is my teeth chattering. I took the plunge, and entered my first contest. Yikes!

Kelli Collins, an Ellora’s Cave editor, hosted a First Chapter contest. Only Twitterers were eligible. The deadline was July 31. So now all I have to do is wait. And wait. And wait.

For six weeks! Aaaaaargh!

I’m hoping that she’s just giving herself a cushion, and that she’s such an excellent editor and super-fast reader that she’ll have the results in two weeks or less. Or maybe that she is so stunned by my prose that she announces the winner early…me!! Hey, a girl can dream!

The story I submitted is a paranormal novella that involves a wife, a husband, and a very sexy dream. Can’t give you any more details for now, sorry. :-P I’m really excited, because the winner gets a full critique, and there’s the possibility that the manuscript could get picked up by EC.

The downside is that I kind of assumed this contest was to attract new ms subs. From newbies like me. Buuuuut, not so much. There were no rules like that, and judging by some of Kelli’s tweets, at least one entrant is not only a multi-published author, not only someone published with multiple digital publishers, but someone who also has a book with a traditional NY PUBLISHER!!!! Aaaaack!

Yeah, I was feeling pretty confident up until I found that out. Now I’m trying to fight the mentality that six weeks is a long time to wait to find out that you’re a LOSER! *sob*

But enough of that. I’m going to think positive. Besides, even if someone else has a better first chapter than mine, I could still get asked to send a full, and end up with a contract! And that’s even better than winning.

Learn to Write Erotica, Fast!

Originaly posted on July 19, 2010.

I have to share my number one tip for those who want to learn how to write erotica.  You could spend weeks on end reading “how to write” books and visiting every website you can find about reading, writing, editing, and publishing erotica (and I highly recommend that you do).  But if you want to get a quick-and-dirty education in writing erotica, then Dark Erotica is the place for you.

Not only has author Morgan Hawke generously shared much of her writing advice for free on her blog (which is good marketing–take notes), but she also has a comprehensive Cheater’s Guide to Writing Erotic Romance.

In it, and on her blog, she gives practical advice on plotting, character development, dialogue, mistakes to avoid, and even information on the publishing industry.  The list of helpful information is endless.  She’s obviously done a lot of research on writing over the years, and has condensed it down into the necessary essentials that every author needs to know.  While I won’t say that it replaces reading the many books that exist on writing, it definitely provides an aspiring writer with everything she needs to get started.

I have found it invaluable in writing my current manuscript.  Before that, I was a “pantser”, someone who “flies by the seat of their pants”–just starts in writing with only an idea of where they are going, rather than plotting it all out in advance.  While this may work out for some writers, for me, it left too many holes in my plot, a lot of frustration, and a lot of unfinished stories.

Although I was familiar with the plot arc and other important elements of writing from my school days, much of the information I had been taught was basic (not to mention long forgotten).  With a family to care for, I don’t have the time or resources to invest in stacks of dry tomes on punctuation, etc., before I can even begin to write.  These books are essential for any writer, but for someone like me, they are best attacked one at a time, as time and money permit.

In the meantime, buy Morgan Hawke’s book and cut to the chase, finding out all the essentials you need to make characters come to life, create an interesting plot, and craft tight prose.  If you’re new to the erotica genre, she will give you some pointers, helping you avoid “purple prose” and warning you what NOT to do, which is extremely important when it comes to submitting your manuscripts.  I have been able to plot out my manuscript, develop my characters, and get a good first draft done, all in lightning-quick pace, and with (I believe) a higher quality of writing than before.  My daily word count is off the charts.

I believe I bought my ebook copy at Fictionwise, where it is for sale much cheaper than Amazon, and I was able to copy and paste the document into a WAV file program, which translated the text into a WAV file that I could listen to on my iPod. [Note: It's been a while since I bought it, so if I'm mistaken and the Fictionwise version doesn't allow copying, please don't send me hate mail!]

Many parts of her book are available on Hawke’s blog, which is how I used her information before I found the book cheap on Fictionwise.  But it is so much handier to have the full book, in an organized format, and it’s absolutely worth the six bucks. (Which is why I’m posting this review…I almost feel like I owe her more money!)

I haven’t read any of her books yet, because her sub-genres aren’t the type I would typically read.  But I did read a few excerpts, including The Flight of the Titania, which I thought was excellent.  So she really knows her stuff.  Unfortunately as of this writing, that book has been listed as “coming soon” for quite a while, so there’s no way of knowing how much longer until it is published.

[ETA:  I have bought two more books on writing erotica since writing this post, and they are not nearly as interesting to read.   I'm still trying to slog my way through them, and I'll review them when I do. But Morgan Hawke's book seems to be WAY more useful, so far.]

"Lathing" Your Man

I’m not usually one to share funny stuff I find on the internet, but this is the funniest thing I have EVER seen on a blog!

It is a post by SB Sarah at Smart Bitches Trashy Books about the difference between the words “lave” and “lathe” in your erotica stories.

I won’t ruin it for you, but I will give you a sneak peek:


ROFL!  You must read it.  This had me laughing so hard my sides hurt.  When reading the post, please keep this image in mind…

Hint: This is NOT a sex toy! Ouch.     

Sexy Excerpt!

Originally posted on my old blog on July 16, 2010, re-posted here with some edits. 

This is an excerpt of a story I started a while back. It's more erotica, there's really no romance in it. It’s still on the back burner while I’m finishing other projects, but I probably will release it as a short story or novella in the near future. I’d love any feedback anyone feels like sharing. (But remember, it’s a draft, so please be kind!) 

The floor rushed up to meet her face, and a blinding pain exploded across her nose and cheekbone. She lay stunned for a moment, breathing hard as the spots dancing before her eyes began to recede, and the sharp pain throughout her face was replaced by a throbbing ache. Then she heard it again. A pounding sound.

The insistent knocking grew louder as Beth Wilson scrambled to get up off the floor, kicking the offending toys out of her path as she went. When would those kids learn to pick up their toys? When she fell broke her leg? Wouldn’t that be ironic? Then they’d have to pick up their own toys–she wouldn’t be able to do it for them.

More knocking. Harder. Louder.

The sound reverberated in her head, and it felt as if a class of tiny ten-year-olds had taken up residence in there, tap dancing across the inside of her skull with their tiny metal-lined shoes.

She grumbled “He’s early, and he wants to knock with an attitude because I’m not waiting at the door?”

Beth paused at the large mirror that hung near the door, inspecting the damage. Her nose looked a bit red, and her hair looked just lovely in that skewed ponytail…but worse yet was her clothes. She’d gained a bit of weight over the last year, filling out her white shorts a bit too well, the neckline of her worn tank top pulled down a bit by the weight of her ample breasts. Not a look she’d choose to sport in public, but she certainly didn’t have time to change now.

Who cares what some stranger I’ll never see again thinks of my morning attire? Especially some moron who–

Beth opened the door with an irritated jerk, just as the man was preparing another assault on it.

His hand froze, mid-air, curled in a fist. “Whoa,” he stepped back, startled. “I’m sorry, I was beginning to think no one was home.” His eyes dropped to her breasts, then reverted quickly to her face.

Normally Beth would have been annoyed at his lack of discretion, but she was too busy trying not to let her mouth drop open. Lean muscles strained the fabric of the rolled up sleeves of his olive uniform shirt. His sandy brown hair was cut short in the back, but the front fell into his sexy brown eyes. A slight stubble gave him a hint of a “bad boy” edge.

“Come in.” Her anger at his brutish knocking dissipated as she stepped back to allow him inside. He was even brawnier than she’d first thought, and though he turned sideways as he squeezed past, he was unable to avoid brushing against her breasts. She felt the blood rushing to her cheeks as she closed the door.  

Now I know why women have that old clich├ęd fantasy about the cable guy! Except her satellite installer was hotter than any cable guy she’d ever seen.  Her gaze drifted down to his sculpted ass, cradled in tight olive pants.

The man stopped mid-way into the living room, and turned, tool box in hand. “Should I get started in the bedroom?”

Startled, Beth tore her eyes away from checking out his backside (which was now his frontside since he’d turned around) and looked up at him, her eyes wide. “Wh…what?”

“I don’t see a t.v. in here. Unless you have a theater room, I’m assuming it’s in the bedroom.” He smiled, the corners of his eyes crinkling, and felt sure he knew what she’d been doing.

Her face flamed, and she wanted to crawl into a hole and die. “Uh…yes, it’s in my bedroom. And in the den! There’s one in the den, too.” She was talking too fast, stumbling over her words. She kicked a few more toys out of her way and walked down the hall, conscious of the brawny man following just a few steps behind.

Upon entering her bedroom, she realized she hadn’t tidied up yet, and quickly pulled the covers up over the bed, smoothing them.
The installer walked over to the open armoire that housed the t.v. and DVD player.

“So you’re moving up from cable, finally?”

Standing, she watched him bend over and inspect the wiring behind the armoire. Something stirred within her, and she felt her pulse quicken. It had been a long time. Too long.

“Yes. The price increase last week was the last straw.” She fell silent, feeling awkward, but unable to take her eyes off his broad shoulders. The muscles in his back rippled beneath the green fabric as he twisted, getting down on one knee for a closer look. She walked up behind him. “Well, I’ll get out of your way…”

“Oh, you’re not–” he turned, then stopped, finding himself only inches from her breasts. For a split second he seemed lost, like a deer mesmerized by an oncoming car. Then he blinked and looked up quickly, appearing embarrassed.  “You’re not in the way…at all.”

At the husky sound of his voice, a warm tingle began to spread between her legs. In her mind she saw him grasp her around the waist, and put her to him, cupping one breast in his hand and flicking her nipple with his tongue, right through her clothing.

She took a deep breath, pushing the image aside, hoping he didn’t notice that her nipples had grown taut.

Beth took a step back, with a nervous smile. “I’ll just go…do some stuff…that I have to do. Out there.” She pointed towards the hallway, then backed up slowly, as he watched her. Forcing herself to walk out of the room (rather than running at top speed, as she wanted to), she went down the hall and into the living room.

She was trembling.  She couldn’t get the image of his mouth on her breast out of her mind. In fact, she wasn’t even sure she wanted to.
Inhaling deeply, she let out a slow breath and bent down to pick up the scattered toys, returning them to the wicker baskets she stowed under the coffee table.  

When you’re thinking about a roll in the hay with the satellite guy, it’s time to get back into the dating scene, she thought.  As she was on her knees, pushing the last of the baskets into place, she heard a sound behind her. Looking over her shoulder, she saw him standing there.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Two Choices for Cover Art for My Upcoming Erotic Romance!

Here are the two covers I came up with.  They are both identical except for the image on the cell phone.  One is a man, one is a woman.

The first cover is the one I made first.  I wanted to go with a man's torso, because it is an erotic romance aimed at women.  However, the only good image that I found of hands on a keyboard that I really liked was that one that I chose, which looked to me like a man's hands.  So I thought it might look weird having man's hands next to a cell phone with a man's picture on it.  So I chose a woman instead.

But after printing out the picture in 8x11" size, I realized the hands might actually be a woman's, but with short nails.  And I really want a man, because putting a picture of a woman's boobs on there makes it look like I'm trying to draw in male readers.  So I added a guy, and I think this is the one I'm going with. 

The red bars across the page were made with a flowery background because I wanted to soften the look and make the cover look more feminine.  That's also why I added the swirly "S". 

I hope they look as good as I think they look. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Erotic Romance!

Originally posted on my old blog on July 13, 2010, re-posted here with some edits.

New to the erotic romance genre?  It’s not p*rn, if that’s what you’re thinking.  If you’re a guy who likes to watch movies with big-haired, made-up plastic Barbie Doll women who act dumb and easier than the Staples “Easy Button”, this won’t be your cup of tea.

The majority of erotic romance readers are women, so the writing is geared towards intelligent women.  The characters are usually strong, intelligent women on some kind of romantic adventure, filled with multiple steamy, explicit love scenes.  (There are male/male stories, which are geared towards women readers, but that’s not my thing–I don’t read it, and I don’t write it.)  The sex is integral to the story, not just stuck in here and there–it actually moves the plot, and the story would be incomplete without it.

See my post on Kindleboards about the difference between Erotica and Erotic Romance.

My own stories may vary in genre, but will probably be a lot of historicals and contemporaries, and the projects I'm planning in the near future will be short:  anywhere from short stories to novellas.  They are hot, sexy, and adventurous, but not overly kinky.  All the stories will include one hero and one heroine, lots of sexual tension, hot love scenes that go up to and including very light bondage (possibly...just a little tying up to a headboard once in a while) but nothing beyond that (i.e. no menage, heavy bondage, etc.)

I would say they will appeal to a wider audience than some of the more risque’  erotica books out there.  My own books are definitely erotic romance, heavy on the romance.

At this time, I have one novel underway, with the hope of submitting it for publication this month.  I intend to post exerpts of the story online, but I suggest signing up to follow me, as they may not stay posted long…if I get a contract, the excerpt will likely be deleted.

[Edit:  I am now planning to indie publish my stories, as it has more benefits to me to go that route.]