Monday, September 29, 2014

Buy a Book, Support an Author

I am fortunate that I have a job. I have worked steadily since I was sixteen years old, be it weekends to pay for school supplies or full-time for rent. Even when I faced layoffs due to downturns in economy, I found work. I will probably work until my dying breath, because I write. Andy Rooney says writers don't retire, and I believe that. Perhaps in the future, though, I'll be a floating head in a Futurama jar dictating a new book to a robot. That would be cool.

I digress. Many authors experiencing issues with you-know-who rely on their earnings to keep the lights working, to put food in the pantry, to pay for medicine. Some may joke when a dinky royalty comes in ("Huzzah. Today I buy a Venti mocha!") but a dinky check is still money. It's earned. It's belongs to the person who wrote the story.

This week I've seen calls for boycotts and offers to promo books from other houses. Whatever you choose to do to help authors, go with your instincts and good judgement. If you know an author undergoing a hardship, a nice note of support could work wonders...and buy a book of theirs.

I love to read, and I've read many authors from this house and enjoy their works. There are other sites seeking to promote indie/other works by the affected authors. Right there you have a good TBR list for the Fall. Here's another one.

My disclaimer: Though I'm listing books I have read, I invite anybody to comment and recommend a relevant title. Also, I have stories elsewhere that could use a little love. Search Leigh Ellwood at All Romance, my favorite eBook retailer. Links here go to ARe, but I'm sure you'll find them elsewhere, too.

Recommended Books

Hot Georgia Winds by Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Cravings by Dee Carney
Every Waking Hour by Paisley Smith
Coming Together: Arm in Arm in Arm... (features a story by Annabeth Leong - this is a charity anthology, so check out Annabeth's other titles, too)
Branded by Tilly Greene
Sci Spanks 2014 has a story by Olivia Starke, but check out her Decadent titles, too!
A New Orleans Threesome by Louisa Bacio
Fat by Saranna DeWylde
The Millionaire's Mistake by Sean Michael
The Fighter's Secretary by Ann Mayburn
Such Sweet Sorrow by Jenny Trout (writes at EC under another name)

This list looks short, and as I went through my reading records I noticed with many authors of this particular house...if I read more than one book it came from that same house. So, I must broaden my horizons a bit. In a future post I'll go over authors I have read and ask for recommendations.







Saturday, September 27, 2014

I Don't Know What I Want To Do

I should be happy right now. I have another story contracted with Decadent Publishing, and my experience with them is very positive. I submitted a story to Coming Together, and regardless of the outcome I plan to share the work in some way. I'm going to be part of a box set with some great ladies, and that's due out in November. I have also started on a few ideas that excite me. I should be happy.

You know, I am in a way. I like to keep busy, but focus is my problem right now. There is so much to do and I feel scattered just thinking about everything. I have a few open WIPs, some editing work, and some stories that came back...which I have not touched.

I have a re-published backlist that needs some love. I am thinking of a complete cover redo for everything, to make my indie titles appear more uniform. Cover styles change over time and I would like to stay relevant, and let readers know that yo... I'm still here.

I mentioned in an earlier post about issues with another publisher of mine. You probably know the scoop from other people. I don't talk much about it because I am fairly new there. I feel like Winston Zeddemore in this respect, when he tells the mayor I've only been here a few weeks, but I have seen sh*t that will turn you white. The book is only a few months old, nowhere near eligibility for reversion. I can only focus on the positive and hope everything works out for everybody involved.

Where does this leave me? I'm taking a serious look at where I am now, where I'd hope to be, and where I can go. I don't want to be the author who makes a grand, sweeping announcement and then renege. I will ask, though, for a positive thought and good vibe. Not just for me, but for all the authors going through issues right now. Ask them to recommend a book for you to buy and help them out. Every little bit helps.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fall Into Romance Blog Hop

Welcome to the Fall into Romance Blog Hop! I'm thrilled to take part, and hope you will comment to win an audio book from my back list.

Much as I love summer, I prefer autumn these days. Where I live, it's neither too hot nor too cold, and all the best festivals happen in this time. There's pumpkin flavored everything, and all the books I can't wait to read come out. This fall is a bit light for me in terms of book releases, but that's only because I'm hitting heavy in the winter and spring.

Fall brings to mind cozy nights at home, caramel apple cider, new episodes of my favorite shows. I like snuggling on the couch when the weather gets cooler, and reading. Love love love to read, and for some reason my productivity increases late in the year. Must be the cold - if I type faster I stay warm. I continue to write this month, and hopefully will see the result in the usual online retailers next year. For now, I'll leave you with a snippit of something I'm working on. It's super short, because I'm trying to decide what to do with it.

Ant figured the driver hadn’t ranted for his benefit and so he walked backward a few steps before turning to face Pacific Ave. Late December meant few vehicles, if any, and a clear view of the blue horizon. His fox sensibilities tended to pull him toward woodsy marsh areas, but he also loved the ocean. Though he could go outside in his pajamas pants and t-shirt, he knew the water would be too damn cold for a dip. Even in his fur, he wouldn’t chance it.

He spent the next few minutes playing traffic controller, waving the U-Haul to the point where the driver could reverse safely onto the main road and drive to his side of the complex. The curly-haired man waved with a smile and yanked the stick to drive.

“Some Christmas, huh?” he called out as he rolled away.

Ant stood in place, unfazed by sharp exhaust fumes, and keeping an eye on the beautiful face reflected in the huge driver’s side mirror.


Some Christmas. Ho ho ho.

It gets hotter later on, you'll have to trust me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


~





Monday, September 15, 2014

99 Cent Sale at Amazon Kindle

Deals and Steals From Leigh Ellwood!

Happy Autumn! Hope you're as excited as I am to see two of my books discounted to 99 CENTS at Amazon Kindle. Both are on sale this week only, so if you haven't read either/both this is a great time to get them.

Truth or Dare was my first erotic romance and it spawned a nice series for me. It's usually $4.99 so this is a great deal!

Love is Bliss is a duology of two paranormal romances in a newer series. Normally $2.99, it's a great deal, especially with a third story due soon.

New Releases Coming Soon

If you enjoyed my first Decadent Publishing 1Night Stand story, A Different Class, keep an eye out for A Class Act (M/M), which is newly contracted. A third story in the Love is Bliss series, Holiday Bliss (M/F), is due out this winter as part of a box set, and another M/M short (title TBA) is also coming at the end of the year. I'm excited to share these new stories with you!

In Other News...

I am close to my goal of 125 titles read in 2014. If you follow my blog I finished another title in the Sideboob TBR, and I also enjoyed recent releases from Mary Kubica (The Good Girl), Heather Ames (Indelible), and Cheryl Dragon (Rough Landing). You're welcome to chat me up on Twitter and tell me what you're reading.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Guest Author: Laila Blake and Forbidden Fruit

Hi, everybody. There's a new anthology of lesbian romance out called Forbidden Fruit. Today I'm pleased to host Axa Lee, who has interviewed one of the contributors - Laila Blake. Enjoy!


Who are your influences as a writer?

There is no greater influence than the writers close to me. From my friend and sometimes co-author L.C. Spoering to anyone I've been lucky enough to share space in anthology with. They are the people I learn from, and who push me – consciously or less so – to become a better writer, to work harder, to do better.

As for famous authors, it's hard to say. I always feel like the writers I admire most are the ones I could never hope to match, or those with just a very different skill set or interests. And I don't remember ever having read that one book that made me want to write: writing came long before I was aware of influences. If anything, I would say that my favourite writers mix genres very eloquently, break rules, and I think I always try to do that in some way.


Which books are on your “damn I wish I wrote that!” list?

A lot. For very different reasons: Momo by Michael Ende. Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
It's those books that feel like they could have come from me, if I had that skill. Books that express the things I try to express, or hit on points I feel strongly about. I'm sure there are a lot more.

What do you wish you’d learned or put into practice in your writing career sooner?

This is a hard one to answer. I feel like I still am very early in my writing career: I started writing what would become my first finished novel about two years ago. In January 2013, my first ever short story was accepted into an erotic anthology (fun fact: that anthology has not yet come out, lol, but it's scheduled for this November). So maybe I haven't reached the stage yet, where I look upon my younger self with sage advice.

I think we learn all learn our lessons when we are ready to learn them, though, and I have no doubt that there are many more on the horizon for me. I have made good decisions and bad ones, but not one that I regret to this day. Writing is a journey of discovery, and you do the best you can at any given moment.

Who is your ideal reader?

Through long reiterations of trial and error, beta readers and book reviews, I have come to the conclusion that my ideal reader is a person who enjoys something just a little bit different (mostly because the people who love my work best, always tend to praise me for this, although I am never quite sure what they mean). They are a person who is interested in the world around them. In issues of equality and diversity. Someone who enjoys the way a story is written as much as what the story is about.

Tell me about your story.

The premise of Forbidden Fruit: Stories of Unwise Lesbian Desire gave me the chance to write something that's been spooking around in my head for a while. I am not usually a fan of historical novels, but I quite like period movies and series. And like a lot of people, I am quite taken in by the charms of Downton Abbey.

Now, dirty minded as I can be, I always liked the scenes of the maid, dressing the young ladies, the easy intimacy between them, the trust and the blossoming friendships.

The Law of Reciprocity isn't quite set in the same time as Downton Abbey, nor are the characters anything like the ones in the show, but that's definitely where the first spark hit. It follows the story of Hannah, a young maid desperately in love with her mistress, and the swell of feelings she harbors for her servant in return.

But why don't you check out this excerpt of The Law of Reciprocity?

~

I just want to be close to her.

The letters were the awkward, hesitant scrawl of the barely literate, written shakily on a scrap of paper. The knuckles of Hannah’s fingers were white and bloodless around the feather. They trembled as she held it, and a drop of ink  dislodged, painted an uneven circle on the paper. Hannah blinked, watched the  writing swim in and out of focus before her eyes.

“Now give it to me,” the gypsy woman said. She held out her hand, white,  wrinkly, and covered in gaudy jewels. Her wrist jangled with glittering bracelets.

Instinctively, Hannah closed her hand around the scrap of paper and pulled it closer to her body, to protect it, to hide the terrible desire. The gypsy woman raised her brows. There was a mocking quality to her painted face. She  was old, and spoke with an accent that Hannah didn’t recognize. The woman’s accent, her air of mystery, her colorful tent, the golden thread and coins that had been worked into her glittering headscarf, the aroma of spices in the sticky air—all made Hannah dizzy.

“Give it,” the gypsy repeated. “Mama Katsu keeps all her little friends’ secrets.” Almost suggestively, she ran her finger over the small stack of coins on the table: two weeks’ wages for a heart’s desire.

Hannah pressed her eyes shut as she extended her hand. She could feel the heat of the flame that burned in a little bowl in the center of the table. Then the gypsy plucked the paper from her hand.

“Don’t...” Hannah whispered, but it was too late. The old woman’s eyes were already scanning her words. The wrinkles on her forehead seemed to multiply, to pile up in ridges and plunge down into crevasses of skin.

Then she tossed it into bowl of fire. The paper curled and blackened.

For a second, the words stood out in sharp relief and then everything crumpled to ash. It dispersed in the oil, darkened it.

“Now the name,” she said, and Hannah was sure her voice ran colder than just before. A shiver ran down her spine, and she rolled the feather between her thumb and index finger. The second scrap of paper lay on the table before her and Hannah stared at it, at the fraying edges, the beige color, the visible fibers.

The feather scratched on the paper, louder than the old woman’s rattling breath, louder than the sound of the fairground outside the tent, louder than the laughing, drinking country folk.

“Give it,” the gypsy repeated impatiently.

Again, Hannah reached across the flame. She watched the wrinkled hand approach, watched the firelight dance ominously on the shiny rings and bracelets. They too moved in and out of focus; 
Hannah felt woozy and sick, and she couldn’t breathe, as if the incense were coating the inside of her lungs.

With a last effort, she wrenched her hand from the center of the table and cradled the scrap of paper against her chest.

“I... I changed my mind,” she breathed, stumbling to her feet. From the corner of her eye, she saw the old woman slip the coins off the table, and then Hannah made for the tent flap and the open air.

It was almost dark outside. The bonfire threw sparks like stars into the spring air; skirts swished and flew in dancing circles. The music was louder here, so too the laughter and rhythmic clapping.
Hannah fought for air. Someone offered help, pushed a mug of ale into her shaking hand, and the paper fluttered away. She could read it, just for a second, before the wind tore toward the fire: Lady Rose Talbot.

~

The next stop on the Forbidden Fruit blog tour is Niki Crow who is guest posting at Lesfic and Lipstick http://lesficandlipstick.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/forbidden-fruit-stories-of-unwise-lesbian-desire-and-a-visit-with-niki-crow-and-sacchi-green/ and who is interviewing Sacchi Green. 

Leave a comment on any post in the Forbidden Fruit blog tour to be entered into a random draw to win one of these great prizes.  Prizes include a paperback copy of Girls Who Score, lesbian sports erotica edited by Ily Goyanes, Best Lesbian Romance 2011 edited by Radclyffe, an ebook of Ladylit’s first lesbian anthology Anything She Wants, and a bundle of three mini-anthologies from Ladylit: Sweat, A Christmas to Remember and Bossy.  All of these titles contain some stories written by the fabulous contributors to Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire. You must include an email address in  your comment to be entered into the draw.

Forbidden Fruit: stories of unwise lesbian desire is available direct from the publisher, Ladylit (http://www.ladylit.com/books/forbidden-fruit/) or from Amazon, Smashwords, and other good retailers of ebooks.  Check out http://www.ladylit.com/books/forbidden-fruit/ for all purchasing information.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cover Reveal: Rock My Senses by Lisa Carlisle

One of my fellow EC authors, Lisa Carlisle, has a hot cover and I had to share it. Check out ROCK MY SENSES:


Looks good, huh? I notice, too, Ellora's Cave has done away with the black top bar. The branding is still there, just subtle like you see with other publishers. I wonder if EC will retro fit covers or just do this going forward.

Anyway, go to Lisa's site now for the scoop on this book!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Libby Waterford - Passionate History

Please welcome fellow Decadent Publishing author Libby Waterford!

Thanks for stopping to chat! Please tell us a bit about your latest release, or what's coming up.

Thanks for having me, Leigh! Passionate History is an erotic novella that takes places at the reunion/commencement weekend at a small liberal arts college in New England. Aidan and Bree shared one hot night together on the eve of Bree’s college graduation. Now she’s back for her five-year reunion, but her former professor/lover isn’t exactly happy to see her.

What is a day in your writing life like? Do you have a set schedule?

I would love to have a set schedule, but I’m mostly at the whim of my two-year-old. I write when he’s napping and any other times I can sneak in.

Do you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser? Or maybe both?

I definitely consider myself a pantser. For me, the magic of the story is finding out what happens as I write. I’ve grown to love self-editing, so that’s when the plot wrinkles get ironed out.

Do you prefer to write one specific genre, or are you a bit all over the map? What is your favorite genre to write and why?

I’m a contemporary romance author through and through. I love to read historicals and some paranormals, but I couldn’t write them to save my life. Where my variation comes in is heat level. I’ve written a variety, and I always strive to make sure the sex matches the needs of the story.

Are you published primarily in print or eBook, or both equally? Which format do you prefer and why?

I’m primarily published in ebook format. I read both, but I find ebook to be the most flexible format as a reader.

What do you have planned writing wise for the rest of the year?

I have two more novellas set at the same reunion/commencement weekend that Passionate History takes place at and I’m hoping to get them in reader’s hands by the end of the year!

Do you have any social media profiles/pages where readers can follow you?

I’m most active on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. Please come connect with me!


Website: http://libbywaterford.com

Email: libby@libbywaterford.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LibbyWaterford

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LibbyWaterford

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/libbywaterford


Do you have a blog/Yahoo group for readers to stay updated on your works?

I’ve got a blog and a newsletter: The blog gets the best photos and first news flashes.

Libby’s blog: http://libbywaterford.com/category/blog/

Libby’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/sNDAf

What was the last book that you read? What did you think?

I just read Hard Glamour, a new adult novel by Maggie Marr, about an up and coming Hollywood action star and his new script reader, the proverbial girl from Kansas. It was hot and a great start to the series.

Most f***able movie star of the 1930s-50s? Why?

This is a tough one to narrow down. I’m going with Gregory Peck. Tall, dark, handsome, and that incredibly sexy voice!

~

Passionate History
by Libby Waterford

A contemporary erotic romance novella

On the eve of her college graduation, Bree Ross seduces her favorite art history professor. She doesn’t expect buttoned-up Professor Worthy to give her the best sex of her life, or anticipate that leaving him to start her post-college life would be so difficult. Their unforgettable encounter haunts her, and five years later, she finds herself back on campus for her college reunion—with a specific goal in mind. How hard could it be to convince her ex-professor to write her a letter of recommendation for graduate school?

Straight-laced Professor Aidan Worthy has adhered to his carefully-aligned morals his entire teaching career…until Bree Ross walks into his classroom. Guilt plagues him for his one transgression because that one amazing night has been seared onto his brain. When she waltzes back into his life after five years of silence, he’s not thrilled. But he can’t deny the illicit spark they once shared has not disappeared, and he worries he won’t be able to resist temptation a second time.

Over the course of the tumultuous reunion and commencement weekend at Weston University, rain, relatives, and rental cars force the two to confront their sizzling desire and burgeoning feelings. Is their passionate history enough to keep them together, or will it drive them apart?

Get Passionate History

Amazon | Decadent | Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks | Kobo | Smashwords | iBooks | Amazon UK

Short blurb:                                                                                                                                

On the eve of her college graduation, Bree Ross crosses a blurry line and seduces her favorite professor. Aidan Worthy has never been able to erase the guilt, or the erotic memories, from his one night with Bree. After five years, neither of them is thrilled to find their paths intersecting again, but they can’t deny the illicit spark between them lives on.

About the Author:

Libby Waterford writes steamy contemporary romances. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and works off her weekly pilgrimage to In-N-Out by swimming and climbing the city’s hidden staircases.

Contact Libby:

Email: libby@libbywaterford.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/libbywaterford


Enjoy the following excerpt for Passionate History:

“Professor—Aidan,” she said, sounding embarrassed.
Good. “What are you doing?”
“I’m trying to find my rental car. I think I parked it somewhere around here, and I can’t exactly remember what it looks like.”
“Can’t you click the remote key? If it’s nearby the lights will go off when you unlock it.” There, his brain had produced a sensible suggestion, even as it occupied itself with cataloguing her scent, the tired smudges under her eyes, and the curve of her hips outlined by a flowy skirt.
“I would, except the only car left on the lot was some micro-budget sedan. I can’t remember the model.” She held her key out to him. “No remote entry.”
“Can you call the rental car company?”
“I tried. They’re closed.”
Aidan stood in the street, staring at her. Bree Ross. Former student. Former lover. It was unbelievably frustrating how much he still desired her. But perhaps this was the universe telling him he had a second chance to be a gentleman.
“Well, you can’t go around looking in every car on campus. You’ll get arrested. Come on, I can give you a ride.”
“Oh, no, thanks. I can walk.”
“It’s pitch black and about to rain. I’m not letting you walk anywhere alone tonight.”
“I can go to the green, to the dance. I can catch a ride with a friend.”
“Then I’ll walk you to the dance.”
“That’s all right—”
“Bree.” His voice was a warning. “Don’t be an idiot. Let me help you.”




Monday, September 1, 2014

Leigh's Fabulous Fall

So...about my summer bucket list. I got most of it done, but fell short of the full goal. We traveled more than usual this year since my husband chose not to teach a summer term. Consequently, it meant less money for us as well. Time constraints prevented the Currituck trip, and cash shortage prevented the horse sightseeing tour. Same with the Appalachian Trail hiking - the closest trailhead is a few hours away, and it seemed as though something else intervened. The camping trip was put on hold when I discovered our tent was no longer up for the pitching. Also, you know, money...

Learning to crochet? Well, I gave it a few shots and managed the beginning chain. My eyesight isn't what it used to be, though, and I've had trouble getting beyond that. Looks like I finally need glasses.

The good news is, I can technically do these four things in September if I can get away. There are a number of campgrounds and parks open year round here, and the horses don't go south for the winter. Just need to set aside some mad money to make it happen. Either way, I enjoyed the summer bucket list so much I decided on one for Fall, too:


I carried over a few summer items, the ones I think I can manage before winter. As for the rest:

Finish 4th Doctor Scarf - I'm using my loom to create a variant of this scarf. This will be the third one I've made. First went to a friend for his birthday, second was a raffle prize at Authors After Dark, and this one is mine all mine. Would like to finish it before Halloween.

German Refresh - I minored in German in college, and retained enough of it when I went to Germany. I found the Duolingo site recently and intend to complete the courses.

Learn Italian - I figured I should learn Italian while I'm there. Wish I'd known about this site before the Sicily trip.

Make a Lasagna - I'm cooking more at home, and I love Italian food. Lasagna is fairly complicated and time-consuming, but I love it and would like to make one for a cool evening.

Bike 100 Miles - I intend to do this as a cumulative project. My personal best is 46 miles (Colonial Parkway, there and back) in a day. I haven't been on a bike since my daughter was born, and it's long past time I resumed.

Finish Sideboob TBR - I'm four books away from the end. I have three in my possession and I need to decide on an early Danielle Steel. I'll take suggestions for that one.

Finish Dune Trilogy - This would be the original Herbert novels - Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune. I've read the first one and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have the other two and just need to get it done.

Fall Weekend Away - Fall is the best time to come to Virginia. A bazillion food and/or wine festivals happen, and every year we keep saying we'll do this one or that one and we never do because reasons. Well, this year it's happening. I want to lie on somebody else's expansive lawn, staring up or down at Shenandoah, drunk on Viognier and crackers.

So that's my Fall plan. I look forward to seeing what I do first, and blogging about it.

Image downloaded for free. Copyright: mab0440 / 123RF Stock Photo