Sunday, July 27, 2014

Huge giveaway through Renea Mason's Sexy Summer Reader Appreciation Party

Also don't forget Abby has Gone Wild is free and is available everywhere, even iTunes!

This is a standalone novella at 39,561 words, it is an erotic romance with explicit language so please be aware that it is graphic in nature before purchasing. 

Below check out the second excerpt from Abby has Gone Wild

If I thought he was done, I was so very wrong. He sends me texts begging me to call him. Then he gave up and pretended like I was responding and we were having conversations, long texts about what we were doing at the time. He was funny and sarcastic and he had me laughing again. Then he sent texts that were so hot I don’t know how my phone didn’t melt. Even though I told myself not to, I gave in. I used my vibrator, wishing it was him as I came to his words. What made me crazy was he knew I did it. I don’t know how he did but he knew. He was making me crazy and that had to be the reason, the only reason, when after three weeks he calls me late on a Saturday night I answer.
I open my mouth to tell him to stop calling but instead I moan his name and sigh. I’m still trembling from the orgasm I’ve had to the text he’d just sent. His intake of breath is clear.
“Abby, did you just come for me?”
“Yes.” I whisper, floating as I drift back from the stars.
“Are your fingers still in your pussy?”
“Yes.” I moan as my fingers linger in my wet pussy.
“I want you to lick your fingers baby. Taste yourself the way I tasted you after you left me standing in the parking lot with your juices on my fingers and my dick hard.”
I do as he orders and sigh. I know the taste of myself and I like it.
“Abby, I want to bury my face in your pussy and taste you all over again. Is your clit still tender?”
“Hmm.” Sitting up, I undo the clasp of my bra that I’d been in too much of a rush to remove and just pulled up to get at my aching nipples.
“What are you doing baby?”
“My bra, tight, taking it off.”
“Your breasts are so beautiful, my cock is twitching thinking of them. Are your nipples hard, have you been playing with them while you read what I want to do to you?”
“Yes.” I whisper, ashamed as I attempt to sooth the tight peaks.
“Don’t baby, don’t sound like that. I wrote it to make you come. I wrote it because I can’t be near you and I want to be so badly. But if you aren’t ready for that, I’ll take what I can get.
I wish I were there with you now. I want you to take a nipple into your mouth and suck it deep into your mouth. Will you suck your nipple for me baby? Suck it deep into your mouth and play with your nipple with your tongue. That’s a good girl I can hear you moaning. Say my name. Say it.” I moan his name and he sighs. “Good girl, now do the same to your other breast but now I want you to use your teeth just a light grazing of your teeth and then suck it deep inside your mouth while your tongue plays with it. That’s it baby, you like that don’t you? I can hear you that you do. Put your fingers back in your pussy.
Put them back in for me. I want you to slide your middle finger deep inside yourself while you suck your tits.” I can only moan his name. He’s setting my body on fire all over again from his words. His voice in my ear makes it feel like he’s here with me. “I’m looking at your tits right now. I can see they’re wet from your mouth, make them wetter for me. Suck them into your mouth and then I want you to take a nipple between your fingers and roll it around and squeeze it, almost till it hurts. Your little gasp just caused my cock to jerk, I’m leaking all over my cock for you. Is your finger still in your pussy, sliding into you where my cock should be?”
“Yes, oh yes.” I’m so close. I want to come.
“Not yet Abby, don’t come yet. I want you to add another finger to your pussy. Do it for me baby, add another finger for me. Feels good, you like that?” I can only sigh, and whimper, speech is too much for me. “That’s good baby, now a third finger, add a third finger. Now I want you to slide your thumb up to your clit, I know it’s swollen and as hard as my cock. Slide it over again and again.” I’m sobbing with the power of my climax and my body is shaking. I want him here with me and it’s his name on my lips as I fall apart. His breath is hard in my ear and through the phone I can hear his hand stroking his cock. Then he groans my name and I know he’s come for me. 

Moaning, feeling lost and alone I roll over in bed and bury my face in the pillow. Knowing I have no other words left, I end the call. Then terrified of what might happen next, I turn off my cell.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My first experience with real world research-or the first time I shot a gun

I was writing and was trying to figure out what kind of gun my character should have. Hours spent going over websites didn't really help, I wanted to see the gun and how it would feel to hold it. A website pops up, Red's indoor range. There is a picture of a buxom blonde with man hands holding a gun pressed up against her cheek with a big smile on her bright red lips, Ladies Day at Red's was the invitation. I laughed, couldn't help it, this I have to do. At the time I ran a girly chick lit book club and I decided to make it into a group event, I didn't want to go alone because I was sure I would chicken out. 

The day arrived and there are five other women and everyone was excited and talking at once. The sales floor looked into the range and even through the thick glass the sounds of guns going off came through. A gruff, portly guy is behind the glass case filled with guns for use for free on Ladies Day. I point at one I've seen, a Glock 9mm, I want that one. He sighs, 'If you've never shot before then you should start with a .22' and begins pulling out a selection of smaller guns. I point, I want the 9mm, I'm annoyed. He pulls out the gun and begins going over the mechanics of loading, unloading and the all important safety. One, he's going way too fast and two, all I can see are the wicked, shiny guns. 

He sets us up in two lanes with the group split up side by side. The minute he's gone, everyone comes over to my lane and looks to me for direction. Shit, being the leader isn't always easy. I'm fumbling, I have no recall of anything he said after he released the magazine and started working the gun. No one else does either because all they could do was stare at the gun. It can't be that difficult, I think as I remember the movements he made. I drop the clip and start loading it. Um, so much heavier and cold than I thought it would be, and I'm doing the .22 for the women in the other lane. Everyone's eyes are on my hands and I'm shockingly able to work it right. Loaded and ready, I take it back to the other lane, tell the chick to flick off the safety and she's good to go. I lay it down like he told us and she picks it up and I move back and she starts firing. 

I go back to my lane and pick up the Glock that no one has touched, everyone's just looking at it. I load it and it's even heavier than the other one and much harder to load. I can only load ten bullets before it's too much and I shrug. I slam the magazine in and pull back the slide, it's ready. I clip a target to the slider and send it out to ten feet. Picking up the gun my stomach flips, I take aim and fire. Holy fucking shit, it bucks and it takes everything in me not to throw it down and running screaming from the room. Oh yeah, that's why there is a small group of women watching me with their eyes wide. Taking aim I fire again and by the fourth shot, I have total control of the gun and the bucking and it's better than any high I've ever gotten from a drug. I bring in the target back and no fucking way, I have hit the bullseye. (I'll admit, I don't think it really counts if you weren't aiming for it.) Knowing I have to share, I offer the gun to the next woman and she begs me to prep it for her and so I do. It's quicker and smoother than the first time. 

Three boxes of bullets and an hour later, we come tumbling out of the building. In breathless chatter, plans are already being made to go again. 

I did end up going again and again and over the last five years, I've shot nearly everything in the glass case.  I have also used the target as a security system in one very sketchy apartment I lived in. The target had the center more or less demolished by bullets and just for a kicker there was one shot to the groin area. 

Real world research is important and sometimes it can end up being really damn fun. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Us vs Them

It's an expression I've always hated, a way of thinking that rubs like a barbed wire against the skin. There used to be a time when people would shrug, realizing their minds would never meet on a point and move on. No brutal pounding of verbal insults and slights to cut a person down for their disagreement. I'm not sure when that changed but it seems exhausting and sad to cling to.

I love the social website Reddit, one of my books is inspired by it. I have often wasted time there while I was supposed to be writing. Usually in the general and most popular area but for a few days I wandered into the /writing subreddit and it was interesting until the word self-publishing came up. At that time it was a pack of rabid wolves attacking a small woodland creature. The vehemence and disdain was off the charts, it was shocking. What the hell just happened, was all I could think. I get not all writers are in love with each other and that that is common but the utter loathing and contempt for a self-published writer was something I couldn't fathom.

Stumbling away in a daze I found the /self-publish subreddit and the response was so different I could hardly believe it. People were welcoming, sharing, answering the oddest of questions with sincerity and openness. In the comments section  someone mentioned, yeah don't go to /writing they hate self-publishing people.

Hate, hate is a very strong word and it's also a sad word. To use up so much emotion on someone or something that most likely doesn't know or care about that hate. Yet, what the person said was true, the people in the writing section seemed to hate self-published people.

Why? Forget the argument for self-publishing, that the old system is crumbling that unless you are selling a million units your publisher doesn't give you the time of day. Forget the argument that being able to make a living, is barely plausible going through a publisher these days. The argument for self-publishing should be good enough in and of itself, the writer is writing and telling their story and they are in control of their life story. How can that be wrong, how can that be stupid, how can that be looked down upon?

I've said it and my friend told me, if I don't do what I want with my life and write then I will be a miserable, cranky bitch. Writing makes the voices quiet, writing makes the world make sense to me, writing makes me happy when I have told a story that needs to be told and can then be shared.

If you have the kind of hook and are the second coming of Stephanie Myers or Stephen King you will get play and you will get published and you will have a team of marketing behind you. If your book isn't bad, is more or less enjoyable then you'll get a five thousand print and the bookstores will get two of your books and you'll be faced in on the shelves and maybe you'll sell enough for them to want another book. The highlights and arguments for a publisher that used to be there, so are not anymore. Editing, bullshit number one-there are books that deserve a 50-100 page cut and don't have it. Even the copy editing that would be considered basic is missing these days. Marketing-see above, if you can be sold they will if they don't want to waste the money then it's on you the author. Support-I'm sorry but that's just laughable, unless you sell there is none.

Maybe I'm taking this too much to heart and am overly sensitive but I just don't get it. I worked hard on what I wrote, editing, revising, worrying over cutting and then adding. I didn't throw up some graphic words at the page and hoped they stuck. I didn't choose erotica, I chose erotic romance because I wanted to tell the story of falling in love and the turmoil and the highs that go along with that. Even for the writers that write erotica there is a need, there is a purpose and if it's written well it shows. I took control of my floundering dreams and made them into reality. I did that by writing, getting a book cover, having my work formatted and putting it up for sale. No, I didn't do that by sending out hundreds of query letters and waiting for someone to tell me I'm good enough spent months trying to sell myself and then waiting a year for maybe a deal.

As far as I'm concerned there is no us vs them, there are simply people who chose to take different paths.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My favorite memory of a friend who died and kicked my ass into writing

Getting a little personal, but this is my favorite memory of a friend, been missing her lately and thought I would share.

We had a great friendship, she got my sense of humor and called me a bitch when I was a bitch. She was old enough to be my mother when I met her but she didn't seem like it. She was one of the few people I told that I wanted to be a writer and she was after me constantly to do something about it. What are you waiting for, she would harp on me. If you don't do what you want to do with your life you're just going to be a more miserable bitch than you are now and damn I couldn't take you being that bad.

When she died all of those pushes she tried to give me came back in one hard smack across the face. She wasn't old when she died, for all intents and purposes I thought she would out last my ass. Cervical cancer, she promised to fight and I believe she did but she was gone fast.

We had a lot of fun as friends and roommates and out of all our crazy times, this was my favorite. At the end we laughed so hard she swore she cracked a rib. For almost a week afterward she would just look at me and laugh and I'd know and we'd laugh like idiots together. She would tell this story again and again to her family who already suspected I was a moron and this just confirmed it. Stealing this from a personal blog I had written awhile ago. 

***Okay, so yes this is a little old, as people of Austin know we got our bins switched up for a standing trash can like thingy but here is my attempt to be green, so I thought I would share. ***

Okay, so I am trying to do the whole, be a better person thing all the way around. But it just seems to be really hard for me. One of the things I am now working on is that whole earth thing. I bought a bunch of the bags at Wal-mart they say plastic, paper neither. And I felt really good about I mean hell, they were only a dollar. But the first time after I bought them and then went shopping-I left them all at home. Smart, so now I keep two in the car and that seems to be working-for now.

So one other way I am bad and do genuinely feel bad about is that I can't stand the taste of tap water and so only buy bottled water, gallon of water at Wal-mart only 63 cents, you can't beat that. But considering I go though about 3 gallons a week that is bad. So Austin has this recycling program which is great, you just put your items for recycling in a bin beside your trash. However I have a roommate as bad as me for remembering things and she has supposed to have been calling to see how we can get one for like a month now but hasn't not once. So now there are like sixty one gallon jugs in our pantry that aren't going in the trash because they are supposed to be recycled. So last night we get into a squabble-about the jugs and how she was supposed to get one and then she goes why don't you. Well, fine I will. Monday is trash day and there are trash cans and recycling bins lining the streets as we drive home. So, I spot a recyle bin less than half full and say loudly-fine I will get a recycle bin. I then swing the car to the wrong side of a the road-what the streets are empty. And without stopping reach out of the car for the bin. Okay-upon reflection there are sooooo many things wrong with this scenario-
1. The bin is large, I wouldn't have been able to just toss it in the back seat or something or even pass it to my roommate in the passenger seat.
2. The car is still in motion and I am driving on the wrong side of the road.
3. I have shitty depth perception-I was nowhere near that bin when I reached for it and
4. Stealing is bad. Even if it is so you can do a good thing by recycling.
So the events that occured shortly after my moronic pronouncement come as no real surprise-but kind of like -Here's your sign.

I reach for the bin, in no way closer than a foot to it, with my foot on the brake but the car in drive, I of course can't reach the bin I fall out of the car with a resounding thud-still reaching for the bin. Rollover on to my back believing that any moment my car will rollover on me and crush me to death-or at the very least break something. My car thankfully does not run over me but it is still rolling-right on to the curb and I am sure a parked car. I jump up in time to hear a crash and see my car stop-positive I have managed to run into a car without actually being in my car I run to the front see that it is only a trash container and my roommate managed to out the car in park I jump into the car and gun the car off the curb and home.

So, lesson. Stealing is bad and park your car if you are going to be almost half way out of it

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Marketing, I fumbled but I learned something

For my first book my marketing plan was to throw it up for free a few times and that was about it. I had no plan and damn did it show. It was another genre completely and although I was on Facebook and my 'friends' were extremely popular in their field they didn't seem to be doing anything other than writing and posting freebies too. I didn't see any other clear path to take so I stood there and my book stood there and we both got lost in the sea of other books.

This time around I did my homework and I knew I couldn't get away from Facebook, my comfort level with Facebook is at a negative 10. But I sucked it up and looked at what those who were selling were doing and I saw that it was a great tool, I still haven't figured it out yet but I'm hoping to eventually. At the least it showed me about blog hopping or spotlights whichever they are called on any given day. I started following blogs not just on Facebook but Twitter and I just sat back and kind of watched who did what and how. I took notes, yes I'm a nerd. Then when I was ready to run a giveaway and get my books out in front of readers, I reached out to blogs. A few ignored me entirely-ouch, a few had so many rules I felt like it was like dealing with a government agency-next. 

My first experience with Tracy at I Love Lady Porn was painless and it got me what I was looking for, exposure to a specific audience (people looking for 'sweet' romance do not follow a blog with the word porn in it) it also joy of joys got me sales. The second was even better Give me Books, it was so smooth and easy I could hardly believe it. They had both sweet romances and erotica readers but I came away with plenty of sales and it was great. 

I had always planned to do 3 giveaways per month after I released but personal stuff interrupted me looking for that third blogger (I really wish people I know and loved would stop dying it fucks with my head and messes with my timetable.) and so by the time I was ready the bloggers I went to were booked up. Then I see a company that promises at least 10 blog spots, there's a fee involved though. Did I mention there weren't any fees with the other two I ran? None of the bloggers I have looked into charge you to spotlight or post a review or your giveaway on their site. Then I think, well they are saving me time by being the one to get me bloggers who actually respond or have an opening, maybe that's worth the fee. I'm looking at the calendar and I'm looking at this long list of bloggers they work with. Then I start to run the bloggers through google and I don't know who half of them are and most don't have more than a handful of followers. I own up that at that point I should have stopped, but I thought even with such anemic numbers on followers one of the good things about giveaways is people who have no interest in the author will look just to see if they can win something. I look up the company and there wasn't anything bad on them, but there was nothing good either. It was a shortcut that I thought I needed to stay on track, remember that saying, 'there are no shortcuts'? The plan, stick to the plan I'm thinking, the fee isn't too large, stick to the timetable. I hit buy and the minute I did it, I wanted to take it back, my gut was clenching. 

It just ended and I can tell you right now do not go with a company that promises blog hops, just don't. Take the time, look at the bloggers out there, and there are many and find the ones that fit your book and contact them directly. Will everyone respond, maybe not this time but I noticed that one of the bloggers that didn’t respond before I had done the two blog giveaways not only responded but seemed disappointed she was booked three weeks out from the time I wanted. The time 'saved' was wasted in a giveaway that they encouraged to go with the spotlight. I don't have a problem with a giveaway and had planned on it but it was a pathetic response for what I was willing to give away. Some people do giveaways and it’s copies of their books and there aren’t many entries, I’m doing gift cards that most people will enter without even knowing who the author is. Had it not been for the lovely Setta Jay allowing me to post in her giveaway event on Facebook, I wouldn't have gotten anything out of it. (It also once again highlighted how badly I need to figure out how to better use Facebook.) There was one person who actually got my name out there and I thank her profusely but it was a waste of money. I should have waited for one of the bloggers I knew of and followed and said fuck it to the timetable. 

Two of the bloggers didn't post on the days listed on the schedule and I contacted the tour people and because I'm me and a bit of a bitch I voiced my disappointment with my 'tour' I was offered a partial refund of the fee and an excuse that giveaways are touch and go. Bullshit was my response, I gave her the numbers I had with the other giveaways dealing with just one blog site versus the eight at that point with hers. I haven't had a response and I did say I would appreciate whatever refund she was willing to give because it was a waste of money. Less than five minutes after I sent the email I magically get four new followers on Twitter-that have to be fake as the last few entries into giveaways match exactly and more entries in the giveaway, hmm coincidence? 

Know this, if she doesn't refund me at least half, I will be tweeting their name and that they suck three times a day for the next week. I have no problem burning bridges. But I did learn something from it so maybe I can say there is value in that.

Are there other companies out there that are reputable and work with bloggers who have more than 20 followers? Maybe, maybe not. Still, here's the thing to remember, you are responsible for your success, you need to be responsible for what bloggers post your books and readers are exposed to your books. Remember to give your readers what they want, don't have a blogger who posts sweet romance posting your book, which is what you could wind up with a tour company, you have no say over who picks up your spotlight or giveaway and that's bullshit. You are the one who should be making sure you get the maximum exposure for everything you do whether you are giving out free books or gift cards.

As far as I'm concerned this was a fumble but I learned something from it. Go with your gut, do the research and don't pay for something that you can get for free.