Sunday, November 27, 2011

NaNo and Contest Updates

Oh, it's good to be home. This Thanksgiving weekend, as many others spent with family, happened at the in-laws. There, WiFi is but a dream, and I must rely upon dial-up to stay in touch with the rest of the world. You heard me - it's not exactly the Third World, but it's very rural. Some of us may consider it a dream to go off the grid - trust me, I know I would. There are times I wish I could cut off the wires and wireless and get back to nature. The holiday season is very busy for an author, though, and I've done quite a bit of catching up since I've been home.

First off, let me congratulate the following recent contest winners:
  • Super Coupon Girl won the ARe gift card drawing.
  • Emmett won the five Phaze Books downloads from the 5th anniversary party for Elisa Rolle's blog.
  • C.W. won the Kindle Fire from the Black Friday blog hop, plus two downloads from me.
  • J.M. won a free download from my backlist from the TRS Thanksgiving party.
Is that everybody? I hope so.

So, on to NaNoWrimo. Having the extended downtime for the holiday gave me plenty of time to write. Limited Internet access = less time to fool around online, so I am happy to say I got a fair amount of work done on my three major works in progress. I'll remind you once again: I did not sign up for the official NaNoWriMo project this year, as I wished only to track my progress writing 50K words, not necessarily for one novel. I find this is an exercise I would like to take into December as I continue to work on books I want to finish before next year. We'll see.

So here is the last week's tally:

Pure Bliss: This is the follow up to Sheer Bliss, my new paranormal series. The target count for this work is 20K, roughly the same length as the first work, with the intention to write one or two more stories for a later omnibus print. I started this after finishing one of my projects.

Week One Total - N/A
Week Two Total - N/A
Week Three Total - 3060 words
Week Four Total - 2592 words

Act Daring: This is my latest Dareville WIP - an M/M set in the Dareville universe but not necessarily in the time frame of the Big 4 books (Truth or Dare through Dare to Dream). I'll have more details later, but I will note that I had well over 25K of this book written when I started NaNo. It is my intention to see this to completion as a full-length novel, which would be the first since Boone.

Week One Total - 8298 words
Week Two Total - 7640 words
Week Three Total - 4617 words
Week Four Total - 9157 words

Project Blues Brothers: This work will be carried over to December's NaNo. With the other projects so far along, I will finish at least one of them before moving forward on this one.

Rock Til You Drop: This is the follow-up to another non-Leigh novel, Dead Barchetta. My sleuth Lerxst Johnston is getting into trouble again.

Week One Total - 2652 words
Week Two Total - 6145 words
Week Three Total - 4365 words
Week Four Total - 5375 words

GRAND TOTAL - 60172 WORDS over all projects

WEEK ONE: 14397 WORDS
WEEK TWO: 15733 WORDS
WEEK THREE: 13818 WORDS
WEEK FOUR: 17124 WORDS

Friday, November 25, 2011

TGI Black Friday

Greetings, blog hoppers, if you have come here from another author doing the Black Friday blog hop! If you're starting here, check the code following this post to hit up the next terrific hop-stop. Comment below for a chance a $10 gift card from ARe!

So the official holiday shopping season begins today, though I've seen quite a few doorbuster sales happening in the last few weeks. My husband speculates that because retail sales were down in October, some stores are trying to get a head start on the winter quarter. This makes perfect sense - as a business you want to put your best foot forward and profit when you can. So you know, however, you will not see me camping out in front of Best Buy, no matter how badly I want the new Kindle Fire or other grown-up toys. I need only play Santa for a few children this year, and I already have a plan in place.

Holiday shopping is too much of a contact sport for me, and given these recent weeks and months of "occupy" protests that target corporations and government, I would like to the take the advise of those who suggest the best way to make a statement is to support independent businesses. These are the entrepreneurs, the mom-and-pop pioneers, people who offer needful things. It is tempting to do my shopping on a one-stop website, but I feel a good way to help the country's economy is to patronize those who help make this a great place to live. So, the little ones on my list will benefit from gifts purchased from smaller businesses that shape the backbone of our country.

Can eBooks figure into this? Definitely! I try to direct readers to All Romance and OmniLit whenever possible - and their inventories grow daily. The OmniBucks make great promo prizes for authors, and if you somebody getting a reader this year you definitely want to stuff a few stockings.

Don't forget, too, you can shop directly from most ePubs. The authors tend to receive more royalties this way. If you prefer print, ask your local bookstore to order titles for you if they aren't readily available.

If you do plan to go out today to shop, stay hydrated and don't forget your helmet!



Monday, November 21, 2011

Come to the Black Friday Blog Hop

On Black Friday myself and 22 other authors will be joining together for an AWESOME blog hop! The theme? Why, holiday shopping tips & deals, of course!

AND we’ve got a deal for you! One random commenter (can be on any of the blogs) will win a Kindle Fire, along with the prizes below! That’s the easiest kind of shopping I can think of…

Prizes:

- Cassandra Carr: copy of either of her two current releases, Talk to Me or Head Games
- Kristabel Reed: back list copy of one of her stories and then on her own blog a $10 GC plus a copy of her newest release, Risque, a Regency Menage Tale
- Lucy Felthouse: back list copy of any of her single-title books
- Cari Quinn: back list copy of one of her books
- Leigh Elwood: two back list copies of her books
- Natasha Blackthorne: copies of her two Regency era novellas: Grey’s Lady and Waltz of Seduction
- Amber Kallyn: e-copy of Dragos 1
- Camryn Rhys: Kindle copies of The Barn Dance and Off the Record – Foodie Erotic Romances
- Lissa Matthews: two of her back list books
- Misa Buckley: an e-copy of Ironhaven and To Reach the Dawn
- Lacey Wolfe: a copy of Ambers Muse
- Courtney Sheets: a $25 GC to Ravenous Romance and a copy of Kona Warrior – PDF
- Sara Brookes: an e-copy of one of my back list books
- Cynthia Arsuaga: a copy of an e-book, and on her own blog five book charm book tethers
- Louisa Bacio: .pdf copy of my first book in The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf series, and on her own blog a $10 certificate to Ravenous Romance, and each commenter will also be entered to win a Goody Bag of new Orleans treats
- Malia Mallory: one copy each of The ABC’s of Erotica and Santa’s Back Door Baby
- Cynthia Eden: a copy of Angel of Darkness (either print or digital)
- Carrie Ann Ryan: a free ecopy of An Alpha's Path

WHAT a list of prizes!!! Be sure to come back on Friday for the blog and hop links!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

NaNo Week 3 Recap

We are headed into the home stretch here. I am amazed by my personal output this month. I won't say that everything I've written is gold, but it's there. I predict Editing Month is going to be very busy.

My goal is to reach 50K before Thanksgiving. Come the holidays, I turn into a useless, food vacuum and I fear I won't have time to be creative. Of course, never say never - I could get lucky and the grandparents will watch the little one.

Anyway, here is where we stand for Week 3.

Pure Bliss: This is the follow up to Sheer Bliss, my new paranormal series. The target count for this work is 20K, roughly the same length as the first work, with the intention to write one or two more stories for a later omnibus print. I started this after finishing one of my projects.

Week One Total - N/A
Week Two Total - N/A
Week Three Total - 3060 words

Act Daring: This is my latest Dareville WIP - an M/M set in the Dareville universe but not necessarily in the time frame of the Big 4 books (Truth or Dare through Dare to Dream). I'll have more details later, but I will note that I had well over 25K of this book written when I started NaNo. It is my intention to see this to completion as a full-length novel, which would be the first since Boone.

Week One Total - 8298 words
Week Two Total - 7640 words
Week Three Total - 4617 words

Project Blues Brothers: This is a work I am co-writing with my father. Dad is 75 and loves mysteries; he gave me the idea for one of my non-Leigh works, and he's wanted to write one of his own. He is currently working on the bones of the story while I flesh it out. This is a mystery involving the murder of a priest who operates a homeless shelter.

Week One Total - 1012 words
Week Two Total - 0 words (didn't have time to work on this one)
Week Three Total - 0 words (this is a collaboration, and Dad's been traveling)

Rock Til You Drop: This is the follow-up to another non-Leigh novel, Dead Barchetta. My sleuth Lerxst Johnston is getting into trouble again.

Week One Total - 2652 words
Week Two Total - 6145 words
Week Three Total - 4365 words

Untitled WIP: I've been noodling with an erotic short that may not go more than 7K. Still undecided on what to do with this quickie. UPDATE - COMPLETED

Week One Total - 1850 words
Week Two Total - 1948 words
Week Three Total - 1776 words


GRAND TOTAL - 43948 WORDS

WEEK ONE: 14397 WORDS
WEEK TWO: 15733 WORDS
WEEK THREE: 13818 WORDS

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cover Love

While we're waiting out NaNoWriMo, I do have some good news. I'm happy to present some cover love for my upcoming release with All Romance eBooks. Odd is part of their Perfect Strangers series.


Greg Hargrove has a ticket to the hottest party in town: Drew Bradley's annual Odd Ball. Dressed for the theme as one half of a popular sitcom duo, Greg doesn't expect to meet his match and engage in a secret night of passion while the festivities rage on. When handsome Rick Wade falls on his radar, however, Greg decides to partake of more explicit party favors. Is Rick more than a one-night stand, though, or can Greg look forward to many passion-filled reruns?

Odd is coming in February, timed with ARe's Valentine's promotions. Hope you enjoy it!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An Open Letter to My Bullies

Over the last several months, I've watched a number of those "It Gets Better" videos and read testimonies from people who had endured bullying as children and teens, and have been tempted to offer up my own experiences. Something always holds me back, though -- mainly it's the mindset that I in some way brought the bullying on myself. I exposed a weakness to somebody (actually, two people) that was exploited and twisted for the amusement of others.

Lately, I keep reading news alerts about kids who are killing themselves, and I have to wonder if these anti-bullying campaigns are effective. We can hold candlelight vigils, and Lady Gaga can invoke the names of victims in her concerts, but kids are still dying by their own hands. It's sickening.

Today I read a news story where a ten-year-old killed herself. Ten years old! When I was ten years old I was watching Happy Days and reading The Treasure Trap over and over again. Suicide was the farthest thing from my mind, even during the peak periods of bullying and related crap I had to endure. A friend tells me kids are downright vicious now, and it honestly scares me. I have a girl in elementary school, and girls are especially catty if you don't wear the right clothing, listen to the right music, or start experimenting at an early age. Will my child feel pressured to have a name brand stitched to the back of her jeans so a group of people she will not interact with in adulthood will approve of her? Apparently so.

In elementary school, there were two girls who particularly stood out as being just horrible to me. I attended a Catholic school, so at least I didn't have to worry about dressing for anybody's approval - the uniforms set us on an even keel. Still, I had to put up with Bully A whose disdain of me began when - of all the petty things - she reached for a paper towel I had grabbed in the girls' restroom during break.

You read that correctly. We bickered over a square of rough, brown paper and that turned her against me. She would spend the next five years making my life hell.

Bully B was an especially sad person, I would later learn. Her parents were divorced, and her father was not in the picture at all. She was a latchkey child - her mother was a Navy nurse who worked crazy hours. Tomboyish and athletic - sports were probably the only thing going for her because she wasn't particularly book smart (neither, for that matter, was Bully A). Bully B's desire was to be popular and liked, and to achieve this she needed to put somebody down to make herself look better in the eyes of others. Lucky me, I got the part.

My last year of Catholic school, Grade 8, improved somewhat when Bully B's mother was transferred to Philly. I never saw her again. Bully A went to a different junior high, but attended my high school. Because I was on the honors track, I rarely saw her, and by that time I just didn't give a shit about her. Eventually, I learned, she dropped out of high school - she also apparently lived in a trouble home. I don't know if she ever went back for a GED or equivalent, and while I occasionally think of these two people I try not to care what happened to her.

Yes, thirty years later I'm still thinking of these two people, to whom I gave absolutely no reason to inspire scorn. I was nice initially to both of them, but as I have always been introverted I suppose they saw that as a weakness to put in their pockets for later use. As I grew older, I'd learn things about Bully B that influenced my decision to not say anything before:
  • She was dishonorably discharged from the military for conduct unbecoming.
  • She was living in New Orleans when Katrina hit - I don't know how she fared financially.
One might assume she hasn't fared well in life. I don't know what's going on with her now. For all I know she recovered nicely, invented a social network, and sold it to Google for a billion dollars. More power to her if true. I didn't say anything before because I didn't want it to appear like I wanted to dance on her grave.

In truth, though, part of me does. I feel bad about myself for that.

They say the best revenge is living well. I would love to come on this blog and tell my bullies how well I am living, that I am rich and driving a BMW and traveling around the world. It's not all true, the economy has affected us all, but at this point in my life I cannot complain too much. If I did have a moment to see either one of them again, though, I would say this:
  • I am doing what I want to do.
  • I live near the beach, just as I've always wanted.
  • I have a wonderful husband and an incredible daughter.
  • I got to meet one of my favorite authors of all time, and one of my favorite musicians.
  • I achieved my dream of having a book published, before I turned 30.
  • I have great friends.
  • Don't bother with Facebook friend requests.
  • Goodbye.
As a parent, bullying scares the shit out of me. I will always have concern for my girl and what she endures in school, but more than that I am frightened for myself, and how I might react should I learn somebody has bullied my child. More than that, what do I do if my girl turns out to be the bully?

I don't consider myself a helicopter parent, but there are times I want to rush to the airport, figuratively speaking. Bullying, however, isn't conducive to a wait and see situation - we've waited and watched enough kids die. We need to do something more.

NaNo Playlist and 25% Rebate on Phaze Books, Now through 11/30

Now through November 30, you get an instant 25% rebate on all of my Phaze Books titles listed at All Romance eBooks. You can visit my author listing at ARe and see which books are marked down. There are quite a few books in the Phaze catalog, so if you have waited for a certain title to go on sale this is your chance!

While you shop (heh), I'll be working on NaNo tonight. I am well past 30K now, with 44K written on my latest WIP! I have altered this week's playlist a bit, getting more into recent music. More recent than the 70s, anyway:

Dare - Gorillaz (fitting)
Feel Good Inc - Gorillaz
Clint Eastwood - Gorillaz
Hypnotize - The Notorious B.I.G.
Start the Commotion - The Wiseguys
Vicious - Lou Reed
Eminence Front - The Who
Shambala - Three Dog Night
Fly By Night (album) - Rush

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Guest Blog: Jane Wenham-Jones

Me Wants Food welcome Jane Wenham-Jones to the blog. Today, Jane talks about a subject close to all authors' hearts: finding time to write! Scroll below for links to buy her latest book.

Jane Wenham-Jones is a novelist, journalist and presenter and the author of the Wannabe Books - two how-to manuals on getting published and becoming well-known. Below is an extract from Wannabe a Writer?, available on Amazon or through all good bookshops. For more on Jane see http://www.janewenham-jones.com.

How to write when there’s no time:

1) Think about getting up an hour earlier when everyone else is asleep. When I’m getting to the end of a book (which always takes longer than planned) I sometimes rise at four a.m to guarantee three hours of non-interruption and have stayed up all night on occasion. I do not, however, recommend you consider any of these options if you have very small children because you must be totally exhausted already. Wendy Holden says, when looking back at her early writing days of doing just that, “compared to having two children under three…. it seems like a holiday now.”

2) Think about going to bed later and write while everyone else is asleep. NB if you like a drink in the evenings you might find you don’t understand any of it in the morning but at least your word count will be up.

3) Be alert for all chances to write. Get yourself a nice notebook and carry it around with you, jotting down thoughts and snatches of dialogue, sentences that spring to mind or how you are feeling at a particular time, whenever you get the chance. In the dentist’s waiting-room, for example, outside the school gates or when you have to stand around in a queue. Remind yourself that there’s nothing like being prevented from writing to make you really productive when you finally get the chance.

4) Join a local writing group so someone else is forced to look after the kids and you have a guaranteed evening a week to focus on your desire to write. Meet others who share your difficulties and can give you support.

5) Pretend you’ve joined a writing group and go and write in the pub.

6) Swap childcare with a friend. If he or she writes too, so much the better but strike a pact in any case. Have her kids round to play while she does her embroidery or car maintenance, in return for her having yours while you bash out a short story.

7) Forget all that talk about the perils of too much TV and embrace the video machine as the greatest of childcare inventions. Tell the children you’re all going to watch a favourite film and once they’re absorbed, you can scribble things on your lap and make the right noises at the exciting bits.

8) Write during Sports days and school plays. The moment your own offspring leave track or stage, whip out your pen. Put it round the playground that you are a freelance journalist and nobody will think you rude. On the contrary, they will be delighted, assuming you are taking copious notes on the feats of their little darlings.

9) When your spouse asks what you’d like for your birthday, request a day to yourself. Earmark a weekend where they take the kids out and leave you in blissful solitude at your desk (NB this is unlikely to go down well on your wedding anniversary).

10) Establish the ground-rule that writing is just as important as Golf or Going Shopping for Shoes. Drum this into the kids too. Remember that being bored is character-forming. Let them get a feel for it.

Finally, comfort yourself with the thought that if you write ALL the time you won’t have anything to write about.

It is part of the process that you need to reflect and recharge, wander and ponder, see people, live life a little - otherwise you’ll have nothing to say.

Talking to the postman is a crucial part of a writer’s day’s work. And all airing cupboards need a tidy sometimes.

Practical, personal and honest advice on how to get published with contributions from over a hundred authors, agents, publishers and journalists. Hear from the professionals on how to sell your articles, write a synopsis, find an agent, get your novel accepted and much, much more. With insights, anecdotes and hot tips from Frederick Forsyth, Jilly Cooper, Ian Rankin, Katie Fforde, Jill Mansell, Adele Parks, Lesley Pearse, Michael Buerk, Carole Matthews, Erica James, Mil Millington, Miles Kington, Michael Bywater, Rosie Millard, Robert Crampton, Richard Morrison, Simon Trewin, Jonathan Lloyd, Teresa Chris and Jane Judd as well as publishers Harper Collins, Hodder Headline, Transworld, Orion and Simon & Schuster. A must-have handbook for anyone who's ever wanted to write or just wants to hear how others to do it... Where do you start? How do you finish? And will anyone ever publish it when you have? Drawing on her own experiences as a novelist and journalist, Writing Magazine's agony aunt Jane Wenham-Jones takes you through the minefield of the writing process, giving advice on everything from how to avoid Writers' Bottom to what to wear to your launch party. Wannabe a Writer? tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the book world - and a few things you didn't...


Wannabe a Writer Site

Buy links:

Amazon UK (paperback)

Amazon UK (Kindle)

Amazon US (paperback)

Amazon US (Kindle)

The Book Depository

Sunday, November 13, 2011

NaNo Week 2 Recap

Week Two of NaNoWriMo Lite, as I've come to call this experiment, is moving quite swimmingly. I couldn't tell you whether or not refraining from officially registering on the NaNo site has helped, but I do know that not necessarily focusing on one project takes away the pressure of trying to finish something in a month. I don't worry about meeting deadlines, because I have not set any. I like that I can approach this exercise on my own terms.

Anyway, here is the Week Two recap, along with what I've done so far overall:

Act Daring: This is my latest Dareville WIP - an M/M set in the Dareville universe but not necessarily in the time frame of the Big 4 books (Truth or Dare through Dare to Dream). I'll have more details later, but I will note that I had well over 25K of this book written when I started NaNo. It is my intention to see this to completion as a full-length novel, which would be the first since Boone.

Week One Total - 8298 words
Week Two Total - 7640 words

Project Blues Brothers: This is a work I am co-writing with my father. Dad is 75 and loves mysteries; he gave me the idea for one of my non-Leigh works, and he's wanted to write one of his own. He is currently working on the bones of the story while I flesh it out. This is a mystery involving the murder of a priest who operates a homeless shelter.

Week One Total - 1012 words
Week Two Total - 0 words (didn't have time to work on this one)

Rock Til You Drop: This is the follow-up to another non-Leigh novel, Dead Barchetta. My sleuth Lerxst Johnston is getting into trouble again.

Week One Total - 2652 words
Week Two Total - 6145 words

Untitled WIP: I've been noodling with an erotic short that may not go more than 7K. Still undecided on what to do with this quickie.

Week One Total - 1850 words
Week Two Total - 1948 words


GRAND TOTAL - 30130 WORDS

WEEK ONE: 14397 WORDS
WEEK TWO: 15733 WORDS

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My NaNo Music List - Week 2


I listen to music when I write. I know many authors can't deal with the distraction, but if I don't have my earbuds in I get distracted by a thousand other things. Between a chatty husband and daughter seeking more and more of my time, it's the only way I can get into the zone.

Some of you may assume I merely crank up the Rush while writing, and I do sometimes. Lately, though, I've broadened the playlist. Here are just some of the songs I have rotating on the iTunes:

Leave It - Yes
It Can Happen - Yes
Changes - Yes
Love -> Building on Fire - Talking Heads
Take Me to the River - Talking Heads
Memories Can't Wait - Talking Heads
I Zimbra - Talking Heads
Swamp - Talking Heads
Life During Wartime - Talking Heads
Do You Feel Like We Do - Peter Frampton
Don't Eat the Yellow Snow - Frank Zappa
Nanook Rubs It - Frank Zappa
St. Alphonso's Pancake Breakfast - Frank Zappa
Apostrophe - Frank Zappa

Next week, more jazz hands.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

NaNo Week 1 Recap

So earlier this week I reported that I intended to try NaNoWriMo one more time, only I would adjust the rules to suit my writing habits. Typically, with the NaNo program you are supposed to write 50K words in November, concentrating on one project. The last three times I have tried that, however, I hit the wall about 5K words in. Then real life takes over, and I forget about the whole thing. This year, I have decided to write 50K words in November, period, regardless of the project. So far, this experiment is going well.

Let's break down my activity this first week. This word count does not include the writing I do for my day job - I'm sure I average 50K a month already just doing that work.

Week One


Act Daring: This is my latest Dareville WIP - an M/M set in the Dareville universe but not necessarily in the time frame of the Big 4 books (Truth or Dare through Dare to Dream). I'll have more details later, but I will note that I had well over 25K of this book written when I started NaNo. It is my intention to see this to completion as a full-length novel, which would be the first since Boone.

Week One Total - 8298 words


Project Blues Brothers: This is a work I am co-writing with my father. Dad is 75 and loves mysteries; he gave me the idea for one of my non-Leigh works, and he's wanted to write one of his own. He is currently working on the bones of the story while I flesh it out. This is a mystery involving the murder of a priest who operates a homeless shelter.

Week One Total - 1012 words


Rock Deadly: This is the follow-up to another non-Leigh novel, Dead Barchetta. My sleuth Lerxst Johnston is getting into trouble again.

Week One Total - 2652 words


Untitled WIP: I've been noodling with an erotic short that may not go more than 7K. Still undecided on what to do with this quickie.

Week One Total - 1850 words


GRAND TOTAL, WEEK ONE: 13812 WORDS


I'm a little over 1/5th of the way done. Not bad for me. I'm sticking to writing a minimum of 1,667 words a day, and just opening a project when the mood strikes. I write better at night, so I get the bulk of it done then. I may start a new project next week, we'll see.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Brother Can You Save a Dime?

I was informed by the boss of my day job that we should have more benefit options for next year. Actually, we will have benefit options for the first time. I have worked here several years, and while business prospered the place is still small. When I could, I made contributions to the existing IRA Accounts left over from two previous jobs. It is not unlike dealing with an online broker, because all transactions are done via the Internet, though it feels like I haven't saved much over the years.

Of course, I realize your retirement total depends on the state of the economy. You invest in mutual funds, you're doing it for the long haul, and I have been fortunate that I didn't take as large a hit as others I know who had larger pots. My husband, for example, hurt a bit, but we are slowly recovering. We've been tempted to try online trading to try to recover some of the losses, but we have other considerations right now. There is a chance we may be able to buy the condo we are renting, so we will need to set some money aside in the event we can make that happen.

In the meantime, the proposition of stock trading may have to wait for a while. I am also setting money into a 529 for the little one. Luckily we have a while before we pack her up to State U., or wherever, but by that time tuition could be ridiculous. Maybe mobile trading would help now that I have the means to do it.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Guest Blogger: Lucy Felthouse

Please welcome guest Lucy Felthouse to Me Want Food. Lucy has a new release with Ravenous Romance and I'm happy to share the excerpt she has generously given. If you are interested in a guest spot on the blog, feel free to contact me at kspatwriter at yahoo.

Brick Dust and Bedsprings - Lucy Felthouse

There are chores to be done, but it’s much more fun to stand at the window and watch the rippling muscles and sweaty torsos of the men paving her driveway- her window sill never got cleaned so thoroughly before!

But when sexy brothers Marcus and Jamie catch their customer looking, the action rapidly moves from the front of the house to the bedroom…

Buy links:

http://ravenousromance.com/ravenous-rendezvous/brick-dust-bedsprings.php

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00631J2BI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=lucyfelthouse-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=B00631J2BI

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00631J2BI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=lucyfelt-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399373&creativeASIN=B00631J2BI

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-brickdustbedsprings-627149-144.html

Lucy Felthouse is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story - so she did. It went down a storm and she's never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Noble Romance, Ravenous Romance, Summerhouse Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour and Seducing the Myth. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Excerpt

I heard the rumble of an engine, and craned my neck to look out of the window. Yes, they were here. My lips curved into a smile, and I scuttled out to meet them.

“Morning!” I chirped brightly. The two men turned from their van at the sound of my voice.

“Christ,” exclaimed the larger and older of the two, “I wasn’t expecting you to be up at this hour!” It was nine in the morning.

“You cheeky so and so. I’m not that lazy. Besides I had to get up to move the car. You’d have struggled to dig the drive up with my car on it, wouldn’t you?”

He winked cockily at me. “Mine’s a coffee, please. Two sugars, plenty of milk.”

“Yes, Marcus. God, what did your last slave die of? Jamie?” His brother looked up from the papers he was shuffling.

“Um, I’m alright for now actually.”

“Are you sure? I was only messing about!”

“Yeah, I’m fine, I’ll have one later.”

I sauntered back into the house and started making drinks. I’d already flicked the kettle on in anticipation of their arrival, and as I poured the milk into Marcus’ mug I chuckled to myself. I’d delib¬erately used a pink one, just to piss him off. It wasn’t exactly the most manly of mugs, as I’m sure you can imagine. Mind you, it would take more than that to rob Marcus of his masculinity. Mmm.

He wasn’t my usual type. I usually go for the more classic good-looking guy. You know, clean-shaven, nicely dressed, and all that. Marcus definitely didn’t fall into that category. He wasn’t ugly, by any means, but he’d never be on the cover of a magazine either. And you certainly wouldn’t take him home to meet your parents. But he still oozed sexiness out of every pore. Whether it was the fact that he was rough around the edges, I don’t know. Maybe I was looking for a bit of rough.

I handed him his coffee with a cheeky smile. After a question¬ing glance at the mug, he took a sip. He winced as the hot liquid scalded his tongue. He swallowed slowly. I watched his Adam’s apple contract and relax and felt my face start to heat up.

Against my better judgment I studied him: his broad chest, huge biceps, strong-looking thighs clad in denim. Christ. I felt my pussy twitch involuntarily and closed my eyes. When I opened them again, he was looking at me. Oops. A moment of charged silence, then he smiled, all the while staring at my chest. I glanced down, and wanted to die of embarrassment. My nipples were rock hard and straining against the thin cotton top I was wearing.

“Must be cold,” I blurted, not wanting him to know the effect he was having on me. Marcus looked at me, then glanced up at the burning sun. He raised his eyebrows.

“Right,” I mumbled, desperate to get away. “I’ve got chores to do indoors; gimme a shout if you want anything.”

“Anything?” he enquired.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Breaking Down Publisher Guidelines - What a Writer Needs to Know


As November is designated as National Novel Writing Month, I thought this would be a good time to go over with aspiring authors some things to look for when researching publishers. Popular opinion will vary on whether or not one should submit a "NaNo" novel to a publisher - critics tend to suggest that writers who participate in NaNoWriMo will write the book in November and start the agent/publisher search the very next month. I say, if you believe in your book it is worth testing the water to find another person who believes in the story. Definitely put the book through a rigorous editing process first, then make sure you query suitable publishers.

Reading Publisher Guidelines

It is important to note that the submissions page on a publisher's website is not the "suggestions" page. What you see on such a webpage needs to be followed to the letter if you expect an editor to take you seriously. I have worked as an acquisitions editor, and I do admit many books I have turned away on behalf of publishers simply did not meet the guidelines. The author may have presented strong writing and characters, but a romance novel sent to a house that only publishes science fiction and horror will likely not receive a contract...unless there are sci-fi or horror elements throughout the story.

If you are serious about finding a publisher for your book, regardless of how long you took to write it, pay attention to what the publishers want. Also, here are a few terms you might find in guidelines that you should know:

First Rights - When you complete a story or novel, you own all the rights associated with your work. The business of a publisher involves acquiring these rights for their imprints. When you offer the first rights to a publisher, you verify that your work has not been published anywhere else.

If you self-publish the work through Amazon KDP or Smashwords, or post the work on a publicly accessible website, you have exploited those first rights. A publisher may not be interested in such a work, since the book is available and may have lost sale value. There are instances, however, where a book's author enjoyed success through self-publishing that a publisher optioned reprint rights, but that is not a common occurrence.

Simultaneous Submissions - When you simultaneously submit a manuscript, you send it to more than one publisher in hopes somebody will bite. It is not uncommon for an author to query multiple publishers at once in hopes of generating interest, though not all publishers accept such submissions. When an editor invests time in reading and evaluating your book, and likes the work, he/she wants to know that the work is available. Some editors will also ask for an exclusive submission which guarantees they are the only ones reading the work.

As you research publishers, learn their stances on simultaneous submissions. If you risk sending to multiple houses against their rules, you could be caught between two potential contracts, and breaking one house's rules could work against you in the long run.

Subsidiary Rights - You may not find this information on a publisher's website, but if you research writing and publishing forums you may find information on what rights a publisher wants and for how long. Subsidiary rights refers to the different ways your work may be presented. This includes television and film adaptations, foreign language editions, audio book editions, and more recently eBook rights. Typically a publisher will contract your print and digital rights - anywhere for three to five years, or longer - and either assist in selling the rest or allow you to retain them. Depending on the house you work with, they may have subsidiary branches in place to assist you.

When you are ready to send your novel out to an agent or publisher, be aware of each house's guidelines. Study what the publishers want and don't want, and take the time to read what they offer readers. The best way to determine if your writing is a good fit is to know the books they sell.

Kathryn Lively

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Release and a NaNo Plan

First things first: I have a new release available today.

Midnight Passions

Fantasy/Paranormal, MFM Erotica
Buy now at Phaze.com!

Living as a single mom doesn't give Colleen much opportunity for romance, and when her only shot with Daryl goes sour, she reluctantly settles for a good book borrowed from her neighbor. What handsome John neglects to tell her, though, is that his library is filled with titles of magical quality - open the book and you're in the story!

When Colleen finds a book on John's shelf called "Midnight Passions," she realizes reading is fundamental ... for her sex life.

Please note: this story first appeared in Phaze Fantasies, Vol. 1, which is now out of print. If you never got around to getting that book, this story is definitely new to you, and I hope you enjoy it.

Secondly, a bit of NaNoWriMo news - I have decided to attempt another year. Of all the years I have tried this, I won twice. Granted, during some of these year I had a baby/toddler to look after, which made writing difficult. Also, I was running a publishing company, and that cut into my time. Now that I have some breathing room, I have decided to conquer this last albatross.

However, I'm approaching NaNo differently this time. I didn't sign up on the official site, so I'm working independently of that. I know that you get good support and a nifty badge when you're done over there, but as I do not intend to start a new book this month I don't feel it right to register. Since I came into NaNo 25K deep into a work in progress, my plan is to spend November finishing that work, then starting something new until I have reached the 50K goal. I estimate this current work will total 40-50K when I am done, and that will allow me to start the next story. I just need to decide which one to do:
  • Pure Bliss, the next Bliss shifter story
  • Closer to the Heart, the follow-up to Long Awaited Friend
  • Daring Destiny, the next Dareville book in the regular chronology
  • one of the thousand other plot bunnies bouncing in my head
What I need is another November.