Monday, December 19, 2016

How well do men write for women?

For me to friend/like you on Facebook back or follow back on Twitter all it takes is a quick glance to see you share other people and don't just shovel your shit down my throat. This has led to me following back and friending/liking a wide variety of writers. One of those writers I've been following for a few years now who after seeing his attempts causes me to pose the question: Are men able to write satisfying romance for women readers?


In my stalking of boards on Reddit (remember my freebie is Reddit inspired-you should check it out if you haven't already. Abby has Gone Wild) one of the things I've seen is that yes the erotic shorts sell on kindle unlimited or whatever form it took what the writers were doing were hoping to extend them and go to a longer format into romance to find a more loyal audience and therefore steadier income. I'm not saying everyone is/was doing it but most conversations in the threads went there.  I'm thinking that is where this writer is coming from, or maybe he sees the switch from erotic short to romance as a natural progression.

Erotic shorts, about five thousand words and written to be read one-handed don't require a whole lot of skill, let's compare them to a fast food hamburger not the best or worst but if you're hungry it does the trick. I'm sure many women read erotic shorts, the sales are too high to just be men. Here's the thing with erotic shorts though, there's no attempt to be anything other than a quick read to satisfy a need and there is a need or else people wouldn't buy them. I've heard someone refer to them as 'quick and dirty' and that's all an average reader is expecting and quite frankly wanting. 

However, when it comes to romance whether it's a contemporary romance or erotic romance there are different rules and a completely different expectation, number one that there is a story-with a plot, character development, and depth of feeling. Quick and dirty isn't the goal even in the sex scenes, okay maybe one of the scenes but the others-definitely more than one had better long drawn out and sinfully sweet. Romance is the steak opposed to the hamburger and with steak everyone likes it a little different from rare to medium and to well, it takes longer to cook and the perfection of those different selections can be seen as different from even the chef to the person ordering. The choice out there for romance is vast and doing it well, it isn't the same for everyone. There are still the plot lines that exist in erotic shorts from the step-brother, to the virgin, to dark romance or dubious consent but in those blurbs just like in the blurbs for the shorts the content needs to be given or hinted or given as a warning for a possible trigger. 


What caught my attention was the writer whining on Facebook about two reviews upset about rape-cause when it's forced it's rape. Somehow he didn't seem to understand this. No, no he assured me when I couldn't take him whining about how it wasn't rape and I had to make sure he understood when a person believes they don't have a choice then it is indeed rape. Despite careful explanation-he just didn't get it and maybe that's why there are the problems we have today and we have to have videos of what consent actually means. 

Fine, he didn't get no means no whatever but as a writer you don't have the right to get pissy about people having the same response in a review about the story it's something you need to learn from especially if more than one person are saying the same thing. He assured me he appreciated the reviews and of course he learned from them. Okay, then why exactly are you whining about their response of calling the story porn-the exact quickie stuff he'd written before. If you are going to make the change from writing erotic shorts then you have to change the way you write. Know your audience, period. It would be no different than changing from writing mystery to writing sci-fi. 

With romance you can't just take what had been a short and throw in an extra ten thousand words describing the countryside or an apartment or how a woman looks and thinking it will satisfy the reader. A kiss isn't just a kiss, it should be something more with a definite show not tell that grabs the reader. Example: The kiss was hot and deep and made me want to tear off his clothes. OR: My only warning is a rush of breath against my lips and in the next instant his mouth is on mine. His lips are silky and soft as they flutter over mine in light, delicate touches. I open for him, without hesitation, wanting more, needing more. The tip of his tongue comes over my parted lips. I gasp as the touch tugs at somewhere deep inside me and open wider for him. His tongue sweeps inside me with cautious strokes of tasting and learning. He tastes sweet and shockingly minty, it’s only then I realize he smells clean too as if he’d showered recently. My hands move into his hair, reveling in the feel of the thick, silky strands and my fingers tangle, unable to let go of him. I moan with the need for more, his kiss to be deeper, sweeter, more of everything.

Two different things that give two very different feelings for a reader. Writing isn't easy period. I've read erotic romance and regular romance that sucked ass and were written by women. While I admit my question started because of an interaction with one man there have been other books that the more I had thought about it made me wonder the same thing: How well do men write women? Do men really understand women enough to write romance that women want to read?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Cover art is important but no enough to steal

As I've mentioned I wander through Amazon and look through other top sales and high stars while reading reviews. It's a great way to spend a Friday night. Any way I'm clicking around and I see this: 





But his gorgeous face had been cropped out and someone was using the rest as a cover for their self-published title. Now I know I've said repeatedly a good cover is important but STEALING is just plain fucking wrong. 

For those of you who sadly do not know the man in the picture, his name is David Gandy and he's a pretty damn famous model. When I first saw the cover, (author will not be named) I wondered what the hell to do. From the look of the cover and others, she had many that looked the same, no face, hot body and it was clear it was a home made cover. Either that or a really shitty cover artist. Someone made the suggestion it could have been a stock photo but here's the thing-I've been on about six different stock photo websites and never once have I seen a David Gandy picture nor have there been other covers with a picture of him. Although the guy could make nice bucket of money doing the beefcake shots for branding or merchandising he hasn't.  So taking a photo from a shoot he's done and using it as a cover or in other promotion for your book, website, blog, or anything else is stealing, Period. My thoughts were confirmed when I sent the cover to an email address for him. I got a response back in less than 24 hours thanking me and letting me know his assistant would forward it on to his legal team. Less than two weeks later the cover disappeared and the ebook as well, unless she retitled it and did a completely different cover. 

Using any celebrity picture, model, or other picture you haven't paid for is stealing. If you're lucky you get a cease and desist letter from a lawyer, keep going down that road and you could be sued. Is it really worth taking a chance like that? Seriously? Stock photos are NOT that expensive. I know because of I've bought them, if my terminally broke ass can afford them the author could too, you can too. 

It's not fair but it's true, self-published authors need to do it better, cleaner and without doing shit that is in the least bit shady or unethical or could get your ass sued. I get it, hot pictures of men get posted all over the place and I've tweeted more than my fair share of them and of David Gandy but sharing a picture is different than taking it and using it to promote your work. 















Monday, September 26, 2016

Pen Names and different Genres/Categories

Most writers *shocking* are writing under a pen name, moi included. With that comes a cushion of anonymity some feel necessary when writing 'dirty' books such as romance and erotic romance and for others simply the anonymity desired because writers are a weird quirky bunch. For my non-romance it is also under a pen name, I like my privacy, as you might notice I'm not a selfie kind of person and will happily say I've only ever taken one selfie in my life and that was to whine about a haircut I thought was too short-weird yeah whatever. Any hoo, I've seen posts and talk about using pen names for other categories since I'm at loose ends without another topic I'm putting in my two cents. 

Personally, I only think you should use different pen names on your work for two reasons:

1. You don't want people to know you write the two different kinds of categories. Completely understandable if you are going from fantasy with fade to black versus romance where you gratuitously drop the f-bomb for description as well as dialogue. Better not to confuse or turn off a potential reader and completely understandable. 

2. If you are in fact going from two vastly different categories like thriller to chick lit. For better or worse people have preconceived notions and it's best not to lose out because of them. 

Otherwise I really can't see the benefit. If you usually write romance new adult and you are writing romance thriller why the heck leave readers behind? Just like most writers read and therefore write other categories your readers are just as likely to read other categories/genres. Most readers enjoy dipping into something different if they see a familiar name then they are pretty damn likely to pick yours over someone they've never read before. 

Another thing to consider is the time it will take to give the other pen name life for promotion. Do you really have the time to devote to building profiles on Facebook, Twitter for four or five different pen names and make them seem interesting and if you don't and half ass it by throwing out, yeah I also write under this pen name then why the fuck do it in the first place? Honestly? If you have enough time to spend building up multiple pen names then that is time you are spending when you could have been writing. 

Maybe I am over simplifying it but I just don't see an upside to it. 







Monday, September 5, 2016

Books Designs again? YES, BECAUSE IT'S THAT IMPORTANT

For the love of god people your book cover isn't just kind of more important than what is inside the book, it ACTUALLY is more important. It doesn't matter if you have written a Nobel Prize winning piece of literature. If your cover looks like crap it won't get bought. I have seen some covers that make me cringe from writers I know have worked hard. Yet when you put in the work and pay for the editing don't short change everything you've done with a crappy cover.


Of course my first shout out and much love goes to Carrie at Cheeky Covers who has done all my covers and I love every one. Her custom covers run from $25-100.

*Disclaimer 1*
Except Carrie Cheeky Covers I have never worked with any of these people and will not accept any blame if it doesn't work out but will accept kudos if all goes well. Pricing from various sites seem to run around the same $150 to as much as $300 for me $150 to $200 seems fair, I guess-what can I say am poor/cheap. I'm the first to admit when I just spent almost $300 for editing it's damned hard to open my wallet again to spend almost that much on a cover HOWEVER to spend that much on editing and then spend only $20 bucks on a cover is stupid as fuck.

I have tried to go all new on these, no repeats from my past covers but yeah this is the third blog on covers and those others were hot too-you should go through my entire blog to find them if you are searching but didn't find quite what you were looking for here   ;)



*Disclaimer 2*
I never look at the Hardcover/Paperback costs so check those because I only do ecovers.*



Yocla Designs caught my eye from someone on Facebook and so I wandered over. Glad I did. The premade covers are only $45 and do not look it (they look like they cost more). They do all kinds of work, everything from romance, to fantasy, to thrillers, The pricing runs normal $95-quick but hopefully not dirty, $150-basic and $299-all the frills. Their work on premades alone are impressive so I'm intrigued to know what they do for more.



Cover Bistro I like to give everyone a shot, the premades are inexpensive, and while no I'm not floored (sorry, I'm honest) I would say almost seventy percent of them were pretty dang good-so the portfolio leaves me curious to see what they would deliver-enough to include them in this. Because I would be willing to take a chance, especially since like I said the premades are pretty good and inexpensive. Take a look, you never know what you'll find.



Indie-spiredbookcovers Very good prices. Covers are also good.



Litteradesigns Premades run from $20 to $40. WTF?! They are good, damn good-I love you Carrie I promise I won't leave you. Covers all genres, and each one looks like it was just for that genre. These covers are all different styles and I can't say enough good things without y'all think they paid me. The price for custom seem standard $145-basic, $195-Standard, and $245-Premium 



Firefly Covers This one is definitely a you get what you pay for, a flat $200 gives you as many back and forths as you need and a promise of satisfaction. These covers are more mystery, thriller, and impressive. 



Jared Rackler Now y'all know I'm poor/cheap so the mention of this cover artist for only $100 made me type so fast I messed up twice. But I found it and DAMN! Wow, I was blown away. No there are no premades, but for the portfolio of past covers I wouldn't blink to pay for a cover. Genres are all different and all really great and fitting. 



Go Book Cover Design  All kinds of genres are represented and all look great. Very impressive and prices are even better. $99 to $169. They are also the first site I've noticed (sorry if I haven't mentioned before) that offer swag. Swag being the stuff authors give out-bookmarks, stickers, bookplates, post cards, etc. 



Angela Haddon Great timing, she followed me on twitter. I checked her out and bookmarked her for the next ebook design post. Her premades are pretty good and range from $50-80. She has a flat rate on custom ebooks $220 



Monday, August 29, 2016

Stranger Things and learning how to make the old seem new again

OMG WTF WHAT WAS THAT?? Unless you've been living under a walk you've seen something about this show call Stranger Things. I saw the ads but was all huh, it seemed familiar and I kept thinking Stephen King. So I'm at the gym with my overpriced five inch screen phone trying to watch and I almost pull a Taylor Swift on the treadmill. Okay I'm not going to watch on my cell phone. This past Christmas I bought my dad one of those Smart TVs cuz they don't do cable either. I had mentioned Stranger Things before and my dad was cranky. After almost losing my life on the treadmill my dad owed me. 

So sneakily I started it before he could object. Again even as I waited in jumping anticipation mind was screaming STEPHEN KING, the little girl, the creepy world, and kids. Yet it also reminded me of the 80's Stephen King so I'm thinking someone took one of his lesser known books and did it for Netflix. I'm actually looking up Stephen King's wiki page to confirm my thought. Then it started and I didn't pick up cell phone the entire time I watched the show. ALL. EIGHT. EPISODES.

Because I watched it with my family and they were wimps not up for binge watching we planned two episodes a night. It's one of those shows if you miss five seconds you could miss the most important thing ever. Yes, yes, I'm not the only one in love with this show for too many reasons to list. I grew up in the eighties and I saw almost all the connections, Goonies, ET, Firestarter, more than I had watched cuz I was a kid in the eighties. And I have to tell you when that van flies over the kids I was just as in awe as when the kids' bikes started flying. 

Eight short episodes wasn't nearly enough and I caught myself watching one of those videos that talked about it-but not those explaining ones I hate those ones. What I saw as I watched was him make those connections and more that I hadn't seen one after another. In seeing those things one after another that had been done before yet still seemed new, exciting, and unlike anything I had ever seen. Even though in bits and pieces I had. 

I cannot stand to watch a show and know what will happen next and it's even more annoying when I know the dialogue. It happens alot, a whole hell of a lot and even more so when I read (I have a small circle of writers I like.) Out of all the books I've read and movies and television I've watched. There was only once that I knew what was coming in Stranger Things

And this, boys and girls is what writers have to do every time we start writing a story. Especially romance, boy meets girl some kind of something keeps them from living happily ever after until it all gets sorted and they do end up happily ever after. This is one of the most important reasons to read other stories and see the way they couldn't quite get it done. 

If you can and are able to make a brand new story that no one has ever heard or read of before but that's damn hard. The story doesn't have to be new, all the stories have already been told before. But you can make it new and different from others by bringing your style or giving it your own spin or quirk. You just have to be the one to write it. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Being Present

It sucks like a mother fucker but this writing thing is a business, especially if you're doing it on your own. There are all these cogs that keep the machine running, the writing-duh, the editing-huge duh-then there's the part that's hardest for most but is sadly almost as important as all the others and that is keeping your social media presence an actual fucking presence. It's the letting people know 'hey, I'm here.' If you like pictures of half nekkid men, sarcastic and saucy humor then you might just like the books written by that person. 

It can be a sonofabitch because to me it feels like I'm being pushy which is why I just post the stuff I find funny and think has to be shared. I also am an extremely private person so those times when I'm going through personal things and don't have the time to post to explain why I'm not in every day But here is the sad yet also glorious fact, the world keeps turning when you aren't in it. So if you don't reminding people you are here and are someone they should check out they will move onto the next person. 

The cool thing about it is that it doesn't have to take over your whole life, a few funny tweets you can steal from others. Quirky, unique abounds everywhere and if it fits you then share. Some twat once wrote you should spend an ungodly amount of time advertising and selling yourself unless your writing is complete shit then what the twat said is complete shit. 

Even when you're in the writing cave peek your head out and let everyone know you're about to deliver some awesome and maybe share a snatch of this and that. There are big things and little things, like you know maybe writing a blog on a consistent basis-just a thought.  (yes, that was sarcasm directed at myself)

Monday, July 25, 2016

20 Questions

Yes, I have no idea what to write and I haven't posted in a bit so I am posting a get to know you 20 Questions someone tagged me in on Facebook. 

1.) What is your Author name? Fiona Aina Murphy

2.) What is the first book you ever published? Abby has Gone Wild

3.) What is your publiversary? (The day you released your first book) 4/16/2014

4.) What is your favorite book you've written thus far? Grr...that's like asking someone their favorite kid. Abby has Gone Wild and my newest His on the Rebound battle for the top spot on different days.

5.) What book took you the longest to write? His Under Contract! I rewrote that sucker four times-I wanted to trash it over and over again but I'm glad I didn't

6.) How long did it take you? About seven months

7.) What kind of music (If Any) do you listen to while you write? Most often sexy times-R&B

8.) Who is you favorite character from any of your books? Avery from His Next Chapter

9.) What are you currently working on? I have three WIPs-I usually am working on two at a time-another reason I often wonder why I do this.

10.) Do you have anything you snack on while you write?I wouldn't say snack on but I usually don't cook-so I don't have to stop-so I order pizza after breakfast and will have it for lunch and dinner.

11.) What is your favorite quote or line from one of your books? The size of a woman's dress has nothing to do with her beauty. (From His Under Contract)

12.) Are you a self published or traditional published author? Self-published

13.) What is your writing inspiration? The real crazy oddly beautiful world

14.) What genre do you write? Erotic Romance

15.) Do you have any writing rituals? Nope more like habits of mainlining coffee and cursing and rocking back in forth in distress when the voices stop talking

16.) Do you have a specific place you write or time? Not really but I never seem to hit my stride until after midnight.

17.) Do you have any advice for inspiring writers? Just keep writing and don't stop even when you think you have writer's block keep writing-there's thing called editing that will fix it all later.

18.) What are your writing goals? If any? To make a living off writing so there is no day job

19.) What authors inspire you and your writing? I'm a huge Lynne Graham fan. I have reread her books over and over when I feel like I need inspiration.

20.) What will be you next release? I have no freaking idea.

Monday, July 4, 2016

I joined a gym. Man, I hope those aren't famous last words.


For the record I do yoga at home and I love it but isn't exactly burning the calories. It's been almost ten years since the last time I was in one and those ten years have not been kind. I actually used to work out often and the funny thing was I hated every minute of the 45 minutes cardio and fifteen minutes on the weights that I worked out for-loathed it, counted down the seconds but then afterward when I was done and heading to my car  I would be bouncing with energy and happy but then I busted my knee up pretty badly and when I tried to work out my knee screamed 'bitch no!' until after a few months I just stopped trying. 

I've been looking around and there's the Y but damn it's expensive and all those classes don't really work for my schedule and I prefer to do yoga at home anyway. I look around at the gyms in my area and the least costing one is one that serves free pizza on Mondays hmmm....they are actually hella smart it ensures they have continued business fine I'm in. Finally I tell myself to stop fucking around and I go in. It's actually less expensive then I feared it will be. 

If I put stuff off I'll find an excuse so, I joined yesterday. 
First day of working out. It starts with preparing at the Dollar General store next door, I need socks, a lock and ear buds. Okay I'm ready. 
It's late which is good, I generally hate interacting with people-there's a reason why I work in a call center I can roll my eyes and flip off the phone without them seeing me. Any way it's pretty quiet. Since I have a bad knee and I want to get gradually in my plan is to start on a stationary bike go to the elliptical, then the treadmill and then finish with the weights. My goal is twenty minutes on each. (hahahshahahahahha)
Sitting down on the bike, it's hella different than the last time I worked out and fuck I'm short I can barely get my leg over the middle. Great my freaking legs don't reach the peddles. I move the seat and...shit now I'm to my knees. Okay scootch back a little and I'm good. Plug in my ear buds find me some 50 Cent (I said it's been 10 years) and go. 

Huh....okay...Is it weird I lost feeling in my foot at only two minutes in? Okay now my other foot, look down to make sure feet are still there. Really???? Only four minutes...no fucking way. Okay let's make it fifteen minutes. Close my eyes and oh shit my thigh is burning, burning, burning oooohhh okay that works, numb is better than burning. I'll take it. Ow, ow, ow I can feel my foot oh please go back to numb, please. Okay you know what it's been ten years so how about ten minutes let's go to ten minutes. Glare pleadingly at the clock then holy shit entire lower body is no longer numb and on fire. Squeeze eyes shut and pray it's over. Open eyes not even a minute has passed. Two minutes, please ten minutes. And I'm done. Fight not to whimper as I get off and my knees threaten to buckle. Very, very slowly wipe down machine. On legs of Jello I move to the elliptical. 

Okay, learned my lesson so ten minutes it is. Dead foot, dead foot sonofabitch okay, it's good. It's all good. No, no it's not. I want to go home right fucking now. I'm going home. I'm going home. Ewww...I'm sweating!!! Five minutes and I'm swaying off that motherfucker. I stumble past the weight machines because I really just want to sit down and cry. Then remember there are people watching so I keep swaying toward the treadmill. 

Fuck these fuckers are tall I think as I climb up. Okay, passing out would be so bad right now. Grip the edge very hard and take a deep and then another then try not fall over.....and the moment has passed. Turn on the machine, just start walking it jolts and my heart kicks, oohh good for the not passing out thing. Slow, very fucking slow-I'm plodding if you will-a toddler could beat me but I'm still fucking moving. Find Til I Collapse by Eminem and pray it keeps me standing. Ten minutes, that's all. Although legs are feeling like cotton at least they are there and I keep going. Eww...I'm sweating on my back and sweat is getting in my eye. That glow, remember that fucking glow? Remember how bouncy and happy you felt? Ten minutes I hit stop and jump down from machine and fuck my knee is screaming like a banshee. 

I stumble into the locker room and sit gasping for a solid five minutes. Not going to pass out. I wipe the sweat off grab my stuff and shuffle out of the building. I get into my car. Well I fucking did it. Didn't quite hit my goals but I did it and didn't pass out. 
No fucking glow though *sigh*  

Monday, June 20, 2016

Proof that Amazon and KU is not the end all and be all

As I have admitted very often, I have no fucking idea what I'm doing. I look at what others who seem to be successful are doing and do my best to try and copy what they are doing. One goal though has always been clear, write as many stories-good stories-as I possibly can. Over and over I have read and seen for myself what having a strong catalog can do. So, fuck me it's been almost two damn years now...sorry just realized that. Any way I did a release of two books together in one month and that was when I saw what good release can really do for sales, not only did my new ones sell but my whole catalog sold. I'm just going to get real here and use numbers. I made $800ish total almost dead even between Amazon and Nook then it slowly trickled down, $600ish untl almost three months later it stayed at $200 for months and that's where it's been on a monthly basis pretty consistently ever since, between all three-Kindle, Draft2digital, and Nook. But lately Nook has sunk to the toilet and I'll admit it worried the hell out of me going into my latest release. 

After a lot of thought I decided to release my two latest month after month, hoping to keep those interested coming back, nevermind that I didn't and do not have anything even half way finished to follow those up with. So I did the rounds, hit up bloggers saw a dismal showing in people who supposedly support me as I have always supported them-I cut those bitches off-and an attempt at Facebook advertising and even a round on Twitter. Release day came and the sells at only .99 cents for a limited time weren't anywhere near what I hoped they would be. Despite hitting refresh a dozen times day it didn't move the number on Kindle and I never got closer than in the 200 area. I curled into a ball and cried for a few days, I was also without my anti-anxiety meds but still it was a rough fucking week. 

Then in a last desperate hope to see something I checked on my sales for Draft2digital which sell me on Kobo, Apple and other things that rarely sell except Apple. When I saw the number of books sold I blinked, then blinked again. Holy fucking shit, my chest got tight and I couldn't breathe for a minute. No fucking way. I had sold over 300 books and was at double what I had made on Kindle at that point and this was after the increase from .99 cents to $3.99. I did a search and found out was in the top 20 on Erotic Romances for iBooks and had been in the top 10 for days. When the month ended I made on Apple more than I had made on all the other platforms combined in one month. All those years of hard work had finally paid off, my others were selling, it wasn't just my new one. While yes my new release sold 238 at .99 cents it then went on to sell 179 at $3.99 I sold 247 of my other titles in May and with Kobo and the other sites I ended the month at 787 books sold. My other titles are now selling about what my new release for June is selling. Once again on Apple I will likely end the month at more than I have sold on all the other platforms combined and am currently at 517 books sold.

Will this last? Duh, no but I fizzled so fast on Kindle with my second release even with the sales on Apple I was disappointed. On Kindle last month I barely hit 100 sold of the new release, this month I think I'm sitting in the seventies. The point is I found new readers and readers found a new author and they weren't so cheap they only bought me at .99 cents and they came back and bought more books. What happened on Apple for me is in every way possible for another author, it wasn't a fluke. 

Last month gave proof and real numbers supporting the fact that Kindle isn't the only place to sell. It isn't the only place to make money and Amazon doesn't hold all the cards. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Rafflecopter Winners

Winners Are

$100 Crate and Barrel Gift Card- Jen W.

$20.00 Amazon Gift Card- Kathy C.

$10.00 Amazon Gift Card- Angela

$20.00 Starbuck Gift Card- Lilly S. 

$10.00 Starbucks Gift Card- Summer P. 

Supposed to be ebook from my catalog went with $5.00 Amazon Gift Card 

$5.00 Amazon Gift Card- Erin M. 

$5.00 Amazon Gift Card- Nikki 

$5.00 Amazon Gift Card- Stephanie 

$5.00 Amazon Gift Card- Kim D. 

$5.00 Amazon Gift Card- Julie T. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Writing is work

With my commitment issues I don't have the best track record for jobs as well as cities. If I don't like something I quit. Because of this I found a fickle person's best friend is a temp agency. A few times I went to them to find a permanent job and sometimes I went for something temporary so I could pay bills while I found a job I really wanted. No matter what reason I took a temp placement I went in every day as if I wanted the job so they could keep me as long as I wanted and remembered that while I worked to get in. It worked, every temp assignment I have had requested me to stay longer and in the future if the job was truly just temporary. Twice companies put me in an uncomfortable position of having to turn them and them upping the salary offer-nice problem to have. 

Every time I sit down to write I do it with mindset of I want this to be my only job. Every time I create a tweet I do it thinking of that tweet being my knocking on someone's door and hoping they'll let me in as Fiona Murphy erotic romance writer won't you like me, my books and buy me forever. The money I spend I do wisely, do I want to spend three hundred dollars for editing? No but I do want people to remember that even if they didn't like the story itself it wasn't because of dropped commas, words and typos. Every book I sell is a brick I'm laying on the foundation of the home I hope to build as a full time author. Will it happen overnight? God no, hell it seems like decades are ahead of me, that's okay I don't have anything better to do because this is all I want to do. 

I spend at least fifteen minutes twice a day on twitter, retweeting, making connections and doing my best to be interesting to hopefully get a click to my page. Now please don't think every time I say hi, or retweet someone I'm rubbing my hands together while laughing maniacally as I think of the dollar bills floating through the air-not even close. I am genuinely hoping to make connections with people, because this is a lonely business and because if I didn't I would probably only have myself to talk to every day. What I'm trying to say is that this writing thing, at the nitty gritty it's a business and you have to work for it. Like anything in this world you get what you put into it and sometimes you don't get it back for awhile. If you aren't willing to put in the long hours, the money without return and the agony without any ecstasy then this isn't for you and kindly step aside for the rest of who do and are willing to do it every day. 

If you only want to write in between commercials of Gossip Girl or when the mood catches you for an hour or two a month then this isn't for you. If you aren't willing to edit until your eyes water then crash hard for six hours before your alarm goes off for the day job then just close your laptop and go back to playing candy crush on your phone. If apathy fills you at connecting with people just to say hey not buy my book or you can't get your shit together enough to put a blog or website up and update that shit at least once or twice a month then please stop calling yourself a writer and go back to reading. Does it sound like I'm being a bitch? Maybe and I'm cool with that. What I'm not cool with is listening to other writers whine or mumble with surprise why they aren't doing better when they aren't putting in the work. I hustle my ass off like my rent's due and my pimp is gonna beat my ass if I don't bring home the paper. Title by title it's paying off but I can't sit back and chill, I'm still working the day job and it still crushes my spirit every day when I have to get up and close my laptop to go to work. So I put in the time and I do my best not to whine or complain-but I'm a naturally whiny person and I'm always hundred percent grateful for every purchase and every review, every person kind enough to retweet and every author who says hey and share my shit and when I want to look at the distance to see how far I have to go I keep my head down and focus on the now as I move forward because it's now that matters, now that I work for and now that will become the distance I once looked up and saw. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

New Release Rafflecopter Giveaway

Two Releases in Two Months 

To celebrate the release of 
His on the Rebound in June 
I'm having a little giveaway
I hope you enter and good luck!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Don't cry about it on Facebook, fix it in real life

I will start by saying I do hate Facebook. I dislike the casual sharing of intimate moments that invite comments of approval. I dislike the constant spotlighting of ones self with the need for praise. I hate these things because I learned a long time ago the only person whose opinion should matter is my own. If I'm not happy with something I've done then five hundred people liking it isn't going to make it better. It took a lot of years to get that, I'm not going to pretend it didn't. For years I was a martyr, trying to please people so they would like me and I took genuine pleasure from making people happy. A part of that is the reason I don't like seeing other people do it, it is a slippery slope to start walking up and I never want to go back down that road again. 

That means when people post personal things I usually ignore it and keep scrolling until I get to a funny meme, a sale to share or something about writing I like. It's why I don't post much in the way of anything personal, my life is not up for liking or passing judgement on. Yet still I see it, people posting rants about how hard their life is and how they hate everything and everyone and they are miserable and it's because of horrible people who have pushed them too far and they can't take it anymore. And when I see it I shudder and usually I unfollow the person. Sounds shitty, yeah but the reason why is because I was that person once. I wanted to help and have people like me and I often I did want to help people but I'm not anymore because as so many things do there came a breaking point. I was miserable, depressed, I wanted to run and hide and never see anyone ever again. Then I had an aha moment, this was all my own doing. Me saying yes, me accepting the way I was treated all led to me being miserable because people were taking advantage of my willingness to say yes. I was trying to be helpful, I wanted to do the right thing but the right thing wasn't right for me. Here is a universal truth people don't want to believe in, people are inherently selfish. Some people are going 'not me!' others are nodding sadly because they've found it out the hard way. But it's true. While I do not believe people go out of their way to be selfish at the heart of the word is self, if it is going to help them, make their lives easier then people are going to use something until the button breaks and sometimes that button is a person. 

So if you are miserable please don't bitch about it on Facebook because I couldn't give a fuck and you ranting like a five year old without a nap about it will probably only make me unfollow you not send you a stupid hug emoji. Stop, just stop and think about every single thing you want to bitch about and figure out how you are to blame and then stop doing it. Did you offer to read someone's book and write a review and they didn't do the same for you? One, SHOCKING, two don't do anything you don't want to do and have the time for. If you are running behind on edits, your kid's costume or cleaning and doing something for someone else would put you behind then DON'T fucking offer. If someone asks you then there is this AMAZING thing called saying no. 'I would like to (lie) but right now I have too much going on to properly give it the time it deserves.' Then move the fuck on. Did you offer to spotlight someone or they asked and you did it and now you're upset they didn't return the favor? Again SHOCKING and two make it clear before you accept it's quid pro quo, sure I'll be happy to, when will you be able to spotlight my title? 

I know you've seen it and you chuckle probably because you don't know what it really means but you should learn it and you should live it. Have zero fucks to give. Basically, just don't care what other people think of you, whether it's the neighbor who judges you for taking your kids to school in your pajamas or the other moms who judge you for taking store bought baked goods to sell. Here's the basic question did you not doing something harm anyone, or hurt anything of value or importance to YOU? Not anyone else, to you. If not then LET IT GO and move on. 

In the writing world the support we get from fellow authors is important, I'm not saying it's not but your support doesn't have to be anything other than what works for you. Maybe sharing on Facebook and retweeting is easier and quicker maybe you have a blog and you need to fill your page once a week because writing a blog every single week is time consuming so it actually helps you out BUT if it doesn't help you then DON'T DO IT. Don't offer anything you don't have one hundred percent time for and if it isn't going to be reciprocated doesn't bother you. It's like loaning money, I only loan money if it doesn't put me in a hole, one, and if two, I am okay with never getting it back because there are no guarantees in life. So if a fellow author will think you're mean for saying no to reading and reviewing their new book-who cares? You aren't mean, you are doing what you need to do for you. And if she/he bitches about you not reading and reviewing then guess what? It frees you up from doing it for someone else you don't have time for. Then if there comes a time when it fits into your schedule and life and you offer to do it for someone then it actually means something. That is what should be important, is what you're doing mean something to you and if it means it's taking away from living your life the way you need to to make you happy then don't do it. 

This is your life and you have to take responsibility for it, the good and the bad. 








Saturday, May 7, 2016

Blurb for His on the Rebound








                                                               His on the Rebound

 Sarah

Hell... I’m going to hell. I can hear the nuns now, condemning me, and I deserve it. How could I have let Maxwell Brandt kiss me? A man I found disgusting at the way he treated woman—as if they were disposable, to be used then thrown away. It didn’t matter who he was, or how much money he had. He was a horrible person. Who the hell am I kidding? I’m just as bad because I let him kiss me. Then I did the unthinkable and kissed him back, with a hunger I’ve never felt before. All of this while my fiancé was in the same house. It was a horrible mistake, one that can never happen again. I love Kevin. I want to make a life with him, not be used by a man who won’t remember my name a month from now. What Kevin and I have built is real and I’m not throwing it all away. It didn’t matter if no other man, including Kevin, had made me feel the way Max did, it was wrong. Despite the fact Max keeps coming back to entice me, I stand firm. I won’t cheat on Kevin. I won’t become that person, no matter how badly my body wants him. I don’t want to want him.
Until the moment he drops a bomb that destroys everything. Kevin has been cheating. His words destroy the illusion I’ve been hiding behind, because I know he’s telling the truth. Knew it in the way Kevin has gradually been pulling away... late nights out with the guys, his disinterest in me, and the way he’s twice pushed back the date of the wedding. I hadn’t wanted to believe, had been willfully blind to preserve the promise of a future with a man I believed I loved. All I want is to hide and lick my wounds, but Max won’t let me. With Kevin gone, he demands I fulfill the promise of that kiss. I don’t understand how a man like him wants a plus size woman like me, when my own fiancé refused to date me seriously before I lost weight. Yet, he does, refuses to go away. In a rush of anger, pain, and hunger, I give in. The feeling of being wanted by a man like Max wiping away the humiliation of Kevin’s betrayal. Maybe a fling, a rebound affair, is exactly what I need. No promises, no expectations, and no broken heart. At least, that’s the way it started.

Max
Out of curiosity, to get a look at the fiancée who put up with a cheating weasel like Kevin Jarvis, I find myself looking into the bright green eyes of a woman who makes my body hard with longing. Then the weasel does the unimaginable and introduces green eyes as his fiancée. Even though she looks at my hand like it’s a grenade about to go off, she takes it and we both feel the attraction. We’re both in deep shit now, because I know she feels what I feel and I’m about to go after her, fiancé or not.
I don’t care if she stays with Kevin. I just want her body. Besides, it won’t last long, desire never does and I don’t want her clinging after it’s over. Only, the bitch keeps pushing me away, denying us both the satisfaction our bodies crave. Her sanctimonious refusal as she uses Kevin and her engagement ring as a shield pisses me off. I didn’t want to drop a bomb, but if it gets me what I want, her in my bed, then I’m not going to flinch from it. I need her to satisfy this craving that’s eating me from the inside out. I’ll make her pay for making us both wait. I’m not her asshole ex, and I’m sick of paying for his stupidity. Her body makes my cock ache and I want her exactly as she is. Only, inch by inch I’m consumed by my need. I warn myself to pull away, sure this won’t last, can’t last. But letting go isn’t an option, no matter how hard I try.


Excerpt:

“What the fuck is it with you and bathrooms? Is this some kink you have?"
She’s blustering, trying to get her shots in first. I laugh. “There’s no way in hell you are like this with Kevin. I refuse to believe it.”
Whether it’s my laughter or words, I catch her off guard. Pausing, she considers my words. “Maybe because I like him.”
"You don’t have to like me, I just need you to sit on my cock.” Sarah makes a fatal mistake, turning around to see where she could hide. I pin her against the low vanity, pressing my hard cock into her soft ass. Heaven, fucking hell, heaven is her body melting into me. My arms go around her, resting palms down on the vanity my lone concession to not going faster than I think she’s really ready for. “Do you feel how hard you’ve had me since I met you? I haven’t had to jack off since fifteen, do you know that? Now, every damned night I’m hard and my cock only wants your pussy. No one else’s will do. Come to me, tonight. I see the longing in your eyes. You’ve been thinking of me too. Put us both out of this misery.”
She closes her eyes against me from the mirror where our eyes have been locked. “No, I’m not going to change my mind. It’s wrong. I’m not made the way you are. I can’t give my body to someone when I’ve promised it to someone else. Kevin cares about me, he loves me. I’m not throwing all that away for sex, not when I have love.”
Now, I’m squeezing my eyes closed, damn it! This isn’t the way I wanted her, but now I don’t care anymore. My cock is howling in agony for her. Any way I can get her, I’ll take. Pushing away from her startles her into turning around. “Fine, you want to throw Kevin up like some shield? Interesting, you use him as an excuse not to cheat when he’s been cheating on you with Lindsey going on six months, now. Don’t look shocked, because I don’t believe it! I refuse to believe on some level you didn’t know! Lindsey helped get him fired from Feinman because they were fucking all the time, and his sales dropped. Her way to make it up to him is how he got this job. I owe Lindsey more than one, however I’m done, because tomorrow I’m firing the both of them. They spend all day fucking or texting about fucking, he still isn’t selling and she isn’t getting her work done. There’s also a married neighbor he keeps company when her husband goes out of town. Don’t, don’t look at me and tell me you didn’t at least wonder once or twice, don’t you dare!”
Why am I angry at her? She fucking looks like I’ve kicked her in the gut. I don’t hurt women, that’s not what makes my cock hard. Closing her eyes, tears fall. I’m pissed I can’t wrap my arms around her and tell it’s all right, because right now, it won’t be. Shuddering, she nods. “I wondered, okay, once or twice I wondered. But I love him, and I thought he loved me. Because of that, I refused to do more than think, refused to do more than wonder. And right now I refuse to take your word.”
No fucking way, her hand is on the door. “God damn it! Don’t you dare fucking go to him! You know he’ll lie! I don’t fucking care what you say, this isn’t about you and him, it’s about you and me.” Two weeks have been too long. My mouth comes down on hers. Her mouth is closed to mine, at first. The pent up anger dies as I work at getting her to invite me in. I tease my lips against hers, nibble on her lush bottom lip. Stealing in on her gasp as I press my cock right against her mons, I’m in her mouth. Fucking hell, she’s rubbing against me and the gentle kiss goes up in flames. She’s moaning my name, whimpering. I fight everything in me to pull up her dress right there. Breaking the kiss is fucking painful. “Come home with me. Let me kiss you right, where you belong, in my bed. I want to taste your pussy dripping on my tongue, I need to feel your pussy sucking my cock deeper inside you, your legs wrapped around my waist. I want to kiss your mouth as I pump into your body, and feel you shudder against me when you come.”

Blurb for His Under Contract

His Under Contract

Kindle
Nook
Kobo
Apple

Holly
As a kid with a Marine for a father, and a doormat stay-at-home mother, I didn’t have huge aspirations for my future. Maybe a teacher—working with kids, and then enjoying a summer break. However, I didn’t think I would end up a housekeeper scrubbing floors. It doesn’t matter if the floors are in a million-plus dollar condo, in one of Chicago’s most exclusive addresses. I’m still on my hands and knees for one of the most obnoxious assholes I’ve ever met. The jerk believes his own press as one of the biggest rainmakers in Chicago. A lawyer specializing in business and sports contracts, Ethan Bishop is sought after in the boardroom and the bedroom. While even his sister thinks he’s best taken in small doses, she offers me a job I can’t refuse, not if I don’t want to go back to my parents with my tail between my legs. I need this job, and it’s not like it’s forever, just until I’m not on the edge of poverty. Let him be the unrepentant manwhore who didn’t do repeats. It’s better for him not to be at home, so close that my stupid body goes nuts when I even think of him. It’s better this way, because he could never want me. I’m a plus size not a size two model he’s used to having. I’m safe, it doesn’t matter how badly I want him, he doesn’t want me. Does he?

Ethan

In my world, the stakes are high, million dollar high, so no, I’m not nice. I don’t say please or thank you and I never apologize. If you have a problem with that, it’s your problem not mine. I didn’t make partner at one of the biggest law firms in Chicago at only thirty-two with my winning personality. I’m on top because I make money for my clients, whether it’s a high stakes takeover, or a player getting paid every dime he’s worth. My clients come out on top. I have worked hard for the life I have, the million-dollar condo, the Ferrari in the garage, and the hottest woman on my arm and in my bed. So, if my bitch of a new housekeeper wants to look down on me, like I give a fuck. My one weakness, my little sister parked me with a housekeeper who is far from perfect. Okay, she has the cooking and the cleaning down. But damn, does she have an attitude and a mouth on her that smiles even when she’s insulting me. It’s a good thing she isn’t my type, or I would make her pay the best way possible. At least, I’m trying to tell my cock she’s not my type, only the asshole has had his own idea since he saw her. It won’t last long though, it never wants any woman for long. When she offers herself to me, it’s with a contract where I hold all the control, all I have to do is sign.



Excerpt:


Since he’s gone, I turn on the radio, turning it to a pop station. I’m pulling out the pan for his eggs and turning on the burner, swinging my ass with the music, when suddenly it’s cut off.
          Straightening in surprise, I look up to see Ethan staring at me in annoyance. “You’re early.” I accuse.
          “I strained a muscle. I had to cut my workout short. I’m going to spend time in the tub to work out the pain, until it’s time for breakfast.” His forehead is creased, the pain clear on his face.
          “If it’s a strain, the tub won’t really help. I can rub it out for you. My mom did it for my dad then when she got arthritis I did it for him and my oldest brother when he went too hard on the weights.” He looks like he’s about to refuse. I want to smack him. “It will take ten minutes for me to rub out, or a few days of pain.” I’m staring at a point above his head. Holy shit, if I thought he looked good in the plain undershirt with tattoos almost to his wrists, now, with the shirt almost clear from sweat and clinging to his muscled tattooed chest, I’m doing that thing again. Damn him. I’m wet, there, again.
          “Fine, let me shower off this sweat. Give me five minutes.”
          My legs wobble as he leaves. I lean on the counter for support. Most days he moved so quickly I had barely gotten a look at the knife with blood on his right forearm, today I saw the gavel with the wooden holder on his left arm. Who the fuck knew I had a thing for muscled, tattooed, asshole, manwhores?
          I’m sure it’s been five minutes, I have no real idea as I’ve been dreaming about what he looks like without his shirt on. I go into my room to grab my almond oil before going to his room. Knocking lightly on the half-opened door, I see he is lying face down. A little sigh comes out at not seeing his chest. Fuck, is he ripped, his back is a mass of muscle with the scales of justice large on his back. Across the bottom of his back is a wolf lying down with its head up. It feels like it’s looking right at me. I see the White Sox logo up his right side, but say nothing. Along his left side is a large, intricate tattoo of Don Quixote, with a small windmill at his feet.
          Start talking, my mind screams, stop staring. “What movement were you doing when you injured it?” Okay, good, I don’t sound as breathless as I feel.
          “Bench press. My spotter looked away for three seconds. I tipped it to one side. He had to pull it off me.”
          “What were you pressing?”
          “Two hundred.” He sighs as I squeeze a dime size puddle of oil into my palm. I can see the injured muscle glowing a vibrant red.
          Damn, it took my brother years to press that. “You know this is going to hurt like hell. I’m sorry, but then it should only be mildly annoying.”
          “I’ll deal.” He says into the black silky comforter.
          For a moment I freeze, it’s been over five years since I did this, please don’t let me hurt him. Pressing into the muscle with the ball of my palms I circle. I watch him push his face into the comforter and know he’s hiding a moan of pain. “I never would have figured you for a tattoo person. I thought all lawyers were supposed to be stuffed shirts.”
          “Mainly got them to hide the fucked up ones I got in juvie with pen ink. They looked like shit. I thought about trying to get them removed then said fuck it, and decided to cover up the bad ones instead. Along the way I saw some I liked so I added them.”
          “I got one tattoo, and then was so terrified my parents would find, out I never got another one.” I admit.
          “Let me guess, a butterfly?”
          “Ughh, no! I should press down harder for that. How is it feeling?”
          “You’re working out the right place, it’s still pretty sore.”
          “Okay then, round two.” I begin again with my palms, adding a little more pressure and circle the muscle.
          “A heart?”
          “I find that offensive.”
          “Hello Kitty?”
          “Okay, I’m going to stop if you keep insulting me.”
          He chuckles, and oh, my god, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him laugh before. It comes deep from his chest yet is still somehow melodic. I think I could become addicted to that laugh. “Is it a cartoon character? Give me a hint here.”
          “No, it’s not a cartoon and I don’t have to give you a hint.”
          The sigh comes out of him long and loud. “Damn that feels good.”
          “Told you, I had a lot of practice. Take something over-the-counter for it and sleep on your other shoulder tonight. I would lay off the chest workouts for at least a week, too soon and you might tear something. I should have your breakfast ready to go on time while you get dressed.” I say as I climb off the bed. Ethan sits up and I almost walk into the wall. His chest is a masterpiece, Lady Justice is massive over his chest with the sword in her hand, and down low on each hip is a one hundred dollar bill. Turning blindly, I powerwalk down the hall. Holy fucking shit, his body is sin.
          The only way I get through the next few minutes is by concentrating on everything I do without thinking of anything else. He’s waiting for his breakfast but says not a word as I bring it through. It’s on time, he had come in a few minutes early and was engrossed in the Tribune.
          There isn’t another word from him until he leaves with his shake in his hand. “Thanks again for the massage, it really helped.”

          I only nod, speech is still too hard for me.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

If you don't work for free why should we?

It's happened and I've been pissed and I wrote a blog about it but of course it changes nothing. Then something came through my Facebook feed and I just lost my shit. Because I know, I fucking know this shit for brains bitch isn't alone-there are readers out there who want the same damn thing and they might say no but their actions in returning books they've read tell another story. 

I don't know Elizabeth York yes we are Facebook friends but I have never posted on her page or the other way around. I can't even say if I've liked anything she's posted or shared anything until today. But when I saw what she posted today I feel for her and I couldn't imagine being on the receiving end of this email then insane fucking instant message. 

This is apparently what started it all:

Wow! I am completely speechless. I had seen one of the books purchased were returned and then I noticed more... Didn't think anything of it until I got a email. I don't even know how to reply.
"Ms. York, I wanted to tell you that your books are above par and you should be proud. I was able to read them all, but sadly I returned them all because they range from $0.99 to $2.99 and that is just too much for me to spend on a ebook. Can you please make all your books in the future free so that I do not have to return it?"


Then when Elizabeth shared it and blocked the psycho she friended Ms. York again and let loose a deluge of steaming pile of off her fucking meds. Yes damn it, yes you should pay for the stories in a writer's head because yeah it was in a writer's head then they sat the fuck down spent their time writing, revising, and created a product which you consumed. 









I've been vocal in the past about not pricing myself low and how I don't want a reader who is only willing to pay .99 cents for my books. Quite frankly the writers that price their stuff so low make it worse for everyone else I fucking wish they would stop. If your work is longer than a short story, and you have paid for it to be edited and a person can get about two hours out of it, pricing it at 99 cents places little value on your hard work. It might take less than two hours or more maybe even more but it sure as fuck didn't take that long to write. It was days, weeks, for some maybe even months of starting, stopping, finding the right words and self-sacrifice to get those words out the first damn time, revise, money spent on covers, editing, more time on edits more time on getting the word out, bothering bloggers, beta writers, drumming up people willing to read and review. This is fucking work and to say hey yeah a dollar will do is complete and utter bullshit because we don't walk away with a dollar- thirty fucking cents is all we get, not even enough to make a damn phone call. So when I see these writers pricing for 99 cents it makes me fucking nuts but what can I do but shrug and move on? 

It happens every damn month, returns from assholes who I know read the books, probably read more than one and then returned them. I gave you two hours of enjoyment and you pay me back my returning it. A movie these days can cost $10.00 or $11.00 depending on your city, when the movie is over whether you loved it or hated it do you go up to the box office and ask for a refund? A meal at a fast food place runs on average between $7.00 to $12.00 and it usually only takes fifteen minutes to eat and keeps you full about three hours. When you're done do you go up to the cashier and ask for your money back? That cup of coffee that gives you your fix in the morning runs about $5.00 to $7.00 it takes you maybe ten minutes to drink about two hours of zip, when the caffeine buzz is over do you go back for a refund? No, just fucking no. Would you ask any of those people to give you anything for free???? When you go to work does your boss say you won't be paid for the first half of the day and you think that's okay? Of course not! 

So why the fuck is it okay for you to bitch, moan, complain, about pricing and return a book you read??? Why? Please explain to me why that is acceptable. Months, I spent months on that and you read the blurb and you read the sample and you decided to press buy and when it was over you hit return and took back the paltry two fucking dollars I made back. I just paid $335 for a current book to be edited, most of my books because of their length run about $250 to $300 for editing. Three hundred dollars and you can't pay less than $5.00 for it? 

So please sign this petition. Do I really think anything will change? Not really but maybe in a few years this will stop. If even one asshole who reads and returns stops because of it then it's worth it.