Saturday, March 17, 2018
A few weeks ago Terry Goodkind got a hair up his ass and in a childish snit posted his cover and encouraged people to belittle it and shame it. Was he pissed because he really thought it was that bad or was he pissed because he didn't get his way? He says one, I personally think it's another. Not all writers get a say in their covers-one of the many benefits of being indie.
Then again it's a double edged sword getting the say on your cover. As much as I love my cover artist there have been a few times she came to me with cover ideas that made me wonder if she were drinking while she suggested them. Did I call her out as a bad cover artist? Did I take my unhappiness with her cover suggestion publicly? Hell no. Many covers use stock photos and because of that many covers can look the same, I have two covers that I tell myself often I will redo because the covers are similar to others out there. Did I slam my artist for using a stock photo so popular that only a week later I saw it used elsewhere? No. Did I accuse my artist of stealing the cover? Did anyone else feel the need to accuse me or my artist of stealing the cover? No.
The internet with all its anonymity is not an invisibility cloak, the things you do and say have an impact when they hit their mark, they leave something behind whether you see it or not. People are judged not just by the things you do when people are looking, more so by the things you do when you think no one can see you.
A young woman was told to kill herself the other day. Her cover art was supposedly something she copied, stole, what the fuck ever of another artist. That artist leaped onto her Facebook page and whipped up a frenzy of anger, malicious diatribe and just plain hate at this young woman that it didn't seem like anyone of them actually knew. Even if it were true that she somehow straight up jacked someone else's work what was said to her, to kill herself, that people were coming for her, none of that bullshit was 'fair' or 'right' or 'deserved'. The other cover artist bears responsibility for the cyber bullying that pushed a woman to attempt suicide. The only good thing about this is that she didn't succeed.
A, up until that point, well respected author knew what he was doing when he publicly pissed all over someone's work and invited others to do the same. There is quite frankly not a single good excuse for what he did. What he did has a huge impact on someone's livelihood, I guarantee you if someone had said the same thing about his books he would pull the pacifier out of his mouth and cry about it yet he could barely bring himself to apologize for what he did because in his tiny little mind that he was unhappy made what he did right because he was right.
Right, fair, valid. All words we pull out to support the reason why. The thing is you don't need any of those things, the answer to why is because. Just that, because. Because you can so you did. Because you can make someone's life miserable by shaming them publicly you did. Because you are miserable in your own tiny life you felt the need to try and make someone else miserable in their life so you did. Because you think the internet is a super secret weapon you used it to reach out and hurt someone else to hurt as badly as you hurt. What if because you're better than all this you take a deep breath and move on with your life when someone wrongs you? What if instead of using your invisibility cloak to hurt others you help them?
Because you can, what will you do?
Monday, March 12, 2018
Are you worried you can't really see your characters? Worried they seem a bit like card board cut outs?
Some tips to add depth.
1.) Create a bio on each character who appears in more than twenty five percent of your story.
2.) Answer 20 questions on each character. Small things like favorite color, favorite flower, to bigger things like favorite memory, favorite food, do they have a favorite sports team?
3.) Write a short story on an event/something that happened in your character's past. At least 500 words no longer than 3,000
4.) Write a in one day of the character before the story starts, have them move around do grocery shopping, walk their dog, feed their cat, interact with their BFF, their mother, etc. Again, at least 500 words no more than 3,000
5.) Have another character in the story describe them, from that character's point of view.
6.) Three flaws and three awesome characteristics, cusses too much, quick to anger, snaps their gum when they chew, is very unorganized, is a neat freak, is a gossip. Do they see their flaws? Do they want to change their flaws? Is super smart but not an asshole about it, has a way with animals, has a way with kids, is an idiot whisperer, always cheerful but not in a pollyanna way, can function without coffee, great cook. Do they see how awesome they are or are they humble like that?
7.) Give them a playlist, songs they would listen to while they work, workout, read, plays in the background of their life.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
I don't why it feels like a guilty confession but it just does. I love reading BDSM. HOWEVER, only by one writer.
I've tried reading several other writers and they just didn't do it for me, even if the writing was good I just shrugged and was like ehh. I think the reason I feel guilty is because after I tried reading by other writers (and I tried I'm talking like 10-15 or so books) I was still totally against the whole BDSM thing and yes it's because I was beaten on a weekly basis by my mother so badly I have PTSD from it. The idea of someone willingly being hurt by someone who was supposed to care for them, all I could think was that is one fucked up person and the Dom, oh yeah I had all kinds of hate for him. What kind of man gets off on hurting a woman? Was my thinking. I have an ex who was reading my stuff and we were talking about the whole 50 shades thing and he shakes his head and says 'Doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. Hurting a woman doesn't make my dick hard.' If you've read me you know I use that phrase and it's because of him. (there he gets the mention he always wanted)
So the whole BDSM thing, nope even though yeah I'll admit I am definitely submissive in the bedroom. (not a revelation if you've read my stuff) Also it just seemed like more a bother than anything, the nipple clamps, ouch motherfucker no, and the whole kneeling thing and crawling no fucking way. I shrugged it off and my thought was if that's what turns you on that's cool, it's none of my business it just isn't my cup of tea so I'll drink something else.
But then someone wrote a review and compared me to Cherise Sinclair, on Abby when I first wrote it. Huh, cool I thought I would love to know more about who I'm being compared to. So I read a free one, the first in the series, Club Shadowlands. It was actually interesting and better than I read before but it was rather short and although I liked it there was no this awesome and she changed my mind. It was better than okay, I'd go three stars but not like great or anything. It was kind of short too and I assumed that's how all of the stories were so I shrugged and moved on.
Then I got a mention by someone last year, a different reader who also compared me to Cherise Sinclair and gave me all kinds of love for it. So I broke down and bought the first in another series Master of the Mountain and OH MY GOD. It was so damn good, amazing writing so good that by the end of the story I straight up went back to the beginning and started reading it all over again (I've only done that once Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.) And just like the first time it got me hot and bothered and ahh, and sighing all over the damn place.
Do I think I write like her? Hell if I know but I fucking hope so because she is so good I've bought five other books-I would buy more but my budget for book buying isn't as big as I would like it to be and they are soo good I'm good rereading them. I LOVE books I can reread.
If nothing else I hope I'm like her because she wrote something so well it changed my mind and I finally get the BDSM thing. So much so for a hot minute it was actually appealing-but for just a minute no crawling on the floor for me but that's the thing to be so good it makes someone rethink to feel differently...that's magic. As writers I believe we all strive to make our readers feel, to connect to step outside their world and into the ones we created and never want to leave. So yeah, confession I read something and stepped into a world I never thought I wanted to and while I'm reading I never want to leave.
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Carly puts her plan into motion. One night, after closing the lingerie shop where she works, she slips into the sheerest scrap of nothing she can find, climbs on a table in the middle of the sales floor, and strikes a pose. Now, she waits for Trent, the head of mall security, to make his rounds and find her. Simple enough, right?
Except things go terribly wrong. Silent alarms are tripped, and Carly is left with one furious Alpha on her hands. Will she end up in the arms of the man of her dreams, or will her bottom, left bare by the skimpy black thong, end up paying for her unintended crime? Or, if she's lucky, will she get both?
Publisher’s note: Carly's Crush is a steamy romantic novella which contains spanking and light BDSM themes. If this doesn't do it for you, maybe you shouldn't buy this book. But just for kicks, put some spice in your life and give it a try.
KU Subscriber? You can read Carly's Crush for #FREE!
“I’m going to spank you, Carly. Right here, right now. Before I lay you out on this table and make you my girl for real.” He extended his arm, palm up. “If you agree, take my hand, and we’ll get started.”
Her gaze dropped, and she stared at his palm, large enough to cover most of one cheek with a single swat. It looked hard, and Trent was strong. Undoubtedly, it would hurt. It was the point of a spanking, right?
A mix of confusing emotions whirled inside her: exhilaration, panic, indignation—didn’t they recently establish she wasn’t a child—and desire. It was this last one which prevailed over all the others because the thought of his hands on her, touching her bare skin, soothing her with kisses and caresses—she hoped, when he finished—was what she’d dreamed of for so long.
Nervously, her tongue slipped out to wet her dry lips, at the same time the heat of arousal tingled between her thighs. “I haven’t ever been spanked before.”
“I won’t hurt you, Carly, not ever. You can trust me on this. But for scaring me the way you did and the risk you took—I could have been delayed. Then what? If the cops had shown up before me, they could have charged you with trespassing. I can only imagine what something of this nature would have done to your reputation.” He shook his head and blew out a breath slowly. “For that alone, your sweet ass will sting like it deserves to.”
The blazing anger of earlier was gone. In its place, a steely determination to see this through by making her behind pay the price. Surprisingly, her decision wasn’t hard to make.
She raised her hand and placed it in his. “I trust you, Trent.”
His warm fingers enveloped hers, her hand so much smaller than his, a good representation of the size disparity between them. But she wasn’t afraid, not of him or his strength, and when she gazed up at him through her tears, and his image wavered, it was from regret over what she’d done. “I really am sorry.”
His face softened, and she didn’t blink, not wanting to miss how his eyes deepened to a darker even more beautiful green. He dropped her hand and curled both of his around the sides of her neck. With his thumbs, he tipped her chin up farther and angled her head just so for his kiss. Trent took her lips, not soft or tentative, but hungry, consuming, claiming, and as his tongue delved deep, Carly melted against him.
The crush she’d nurtured as he’d held her at arm’s length, blossomed with his kiss, and a fullness invaded her chest. It could be from her heart thumping wildly, and how she gasped for air around his demanding mouth, but she sensed it was so much more.
When he raised his head, she was ready to be done with the punishment and get on with the forgiveness, so they could move past her incredible blunder of this evening and explore what else he’d promised.
Winded and slightly dizzy, her mind was busy working on a solution to their next problem. “So where do you want me? There are only tables out here. I could bend over one, but if you want me over your lap, the bench in the back room might be better, or the computer chair.”
His slow, tender smile was as intimate as his kisses. “You’re going to be good for me, aren’t you, Carly?”
“I want to be, Trent. So very much.”
A USA Today and #1 international bestselling author, Maddie is a lifelong reader who became a romance junkie as a teen with her first romance novel, The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss. From then on, she was hooked, and gobbled up everything she could get her hands on, whether contemporary, historical, paranormal or sci-fi. If there was romance to be found between a strong alpha male, and a sassy, adventurous and ofttimes defiant yet loving woman, Maddie was all over it. As an author, she stays true to those themes writing steamy erotic romance, with a side of kink, and adding elements of intrigue, danger and suspense to her plots.
Maddie started writing as a hobby. Her stories stayed private while she raised a family and worked full time as a registered nurse. It wasn't until 2012 that she decided to take the plunge and submit her first book for publication: Captain My Captain. She went on to publish eleven novels the first year.
Follow Maddie Online!
Saturday, February 17, 2018
My birthday is coming up and I will be the big 40 and I'm hoping the stress of it doesn't cause a heart attack cuz that's something I have to worry about now that I'm in my fucking 40s. Ugh, I know, I know. Aging gracefully is something I actually like on everyone else. Me? Not so much. It's just, this is so not where I thought I would be when I got to this age, like seriously where did the last fucking decade go?
I'm going to release my latest, fifteenth romance, my sixteenth book next month and I still don't have a million dollars and I'm still hustling like it was my first. When I finished this last one I shit you not I looked around for the balloons and champagne bottles popping I felt the moment deserved and nothing. Crickets chirped, fuck.
I am so fucking happy with this latest one, I'm seriously thinking it's in my top 3 favorites of all my books I've written. Right now, I can only hope others feel the same. Because I love it so much I'm really bummed I'm not going to be able to get it the attention it deserves. As much as I would love to work with Give Me Books for the promotion, ARC and all that fun stuff, I just don't have the money for it.
There's also some concern about removing all my books from KDP in preparation for the release. I just can't forget how well I did on iBooks for a solid four months, making in those months what I made on Amazon for a whole year. As much as I have liked the steady income I also still flinch every time I think of the how much money I'm losing by not being full price, seriously people less than a dollar for a book is what I'm earning for everything I put into each book it's complete and utter bullshit. I'm trying to focus on putting out a book every month and hoping that translates into the larger four months lasting for an entire year. So much so I'm already working on my next one.
I have the excerpt ready and the blurb ready but only people in my Facebook group will see it until March. They'll also have a say on the cover when that time comes, in another two weeks. They will also have ARC access, so there's that too. Join me for all the exclusive fun: