Sunday, February 22, 2015

Zen for Writers and Readers

Image result for relax zen meditation for writers

(Especially for Those Who Love the Thriller & Suspense Genres)

Have you ever watched a thriller/suspense movie late at night and had troubling sleeping? Or dreamt about it? Or if you’re a writer of these exciting genres, and you write or do research late into the night, does it keep you up at night? I love alpha-male military, CIA, Navy Seal, secret agent, Black Ops stories. It gets my heart thumping. But sometimes my brain won’t shut off at night.

I’m in the final revision stages for RED TAPE PROTECTOR, Book 2 in my FLC series. It’s a thriller romantic suspense (erotic) with a light BDSM element. The story is set around a White House secret society, a private ex-military training site, lots of hunky alpha males, sexy romance, a secret security team, abductions, scandals, terrorists and more. I write until 11 p.m. or midnight almost every night. Is there any wonder I’m not sleeping at night? I keep going over the scenes in my head and occasionally wake up with nightmares.

 
A writer friend (thanks Mitzi) said she uses a cool APP for her smart phone called Zen Meditation or Relax Oriental Melodies. They have tons of them. They have an APP for everything these days. This APP plays a variety of nature sounds like ocean waves, thunderstorms, whale sounds, a Tibetan bell, birds, chimes, waterfall, winter wind, rain on umbrella, even a fan or air conditioner. It also plays a variety of soft music like flute, harp, oriental, new age. And sounds called ‘green noise’, ‘pink noise’, ‘green garden’, ‘awakes’, etc. You can mix a few of the sounds to play together. So, I decided to give it a try. I don't have any affiliate links with this, by the way. Not making any money on this. 

 

Benefits- I’ve read or that have helped me:

·        *Use while traveling if you have trouble sleeping in hotels.
·         *Help with insomnia in general.
·         *Use to drown out outside noise like traffic, people, etc. to help sleep or focus on    work.
·         *I’ve found it does help me sleep.
·         *It also helps me focus during writing.

 
Red Tape Protector, Book 2 -Coming Soon!
***I don’t yet have a cover or release date set for RED TAPE PROTECTOR. If you’d like to be notified when it’s released SIGN UP for my newsletter. http://bit.ly/1vdHYLF

RED TAPE PROTECTOR, Book 2 
Blurb: An impossible mission she doesn’t choose to accept, but can’t refuse.

Love. Sex. Danger. Sexy as hell black-ops agent, Jag Denison, is hired to train Alana MacKenna for an undercover security job she doesn’t want, but can’t refuse. After a critical mistake that nearly killed her and exposed the secret White House organization called the FLC, she’s determined to salvage her reputation and return to her job. The FLC uses sex scandal and coercion as political weapons, and Alana had participated as a submissive. Jag is also all Dom and is equally skilled at teaching survival techniques and expanding her sexual boundaries. Love and desire take them completely by surprise at the secluded training facility, but when the true nature of her new position is revealed, it could endanger their mission and shatter their world. Romantic Suspense, erotic thriller, BDSM


RED TAPE, Book 1-Sparks fly between two ex-CIA agents when a White House sex scandal spins out of control and turns deadly.
Bondage in the White House. Hot passion explodes when two headstrong CIA agents and ex-lovers are hand-picked for a secret organization that uses sex and scandal to manipulate a sadistic leader. Danger escalates when their target discovers the plan and devises his own scheme. The mission and love affair spins out of control, forcing a decision between love, loyalty or national security.


GooglePlay:  http://bit.ly/1FFWaQm

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Did 50 Shades of Grey Choose the Wrong Actor?


With all the misconceptions about the BDSM lifestyle, I considered the book 50 Shades of Grey overall to be a positive step to the erotic romance genre, especially BDSM. Because EL James’ book brought this genre out into the open and made it mainstream, the book made BDSM acceptable to some degree, or at least acceptable to read. Want proof? Take a look at how many months her books have remained on the bestseller lists.

I do have my concerns about the book, mainly how the author portrayed the ‘hero’ as having mental issues and that’s why he craved this type of sex. The book made it sound as if BDSM was abnormal. The author absolutely had every right to portray her characters anyway she likes, and write her story. And I congratulate her on writing a series that resonated so well with a vast number of readers! My concern is that readers being introduced to the BDSM lifestyle for the first time by reading this book might assumed that ALL those involved in the lifestyle must be abnormal like Christian Grey. Far from the truth.

I remember a while ago, there was so much talk going around about who would be the actor to portray Christian Grey. The actor Jaime Dornan got the role and I recently heard about his interview with Elle magazine. Now I’m convinced they should’ve chosen someone else. His negative comments about the diverse lifestyle and sexual orientation of BDSM truly surprised and saddened me. For someone who went to a dungeon to observe Dominance and submission to better understand his role in 50 Shades, he better be good at faking it, because he completely missed the point, and frankly, I don’t know how he can do a good job ‘acting’ like he enjoys it even for the movie. Even if a particular lifestyle doesn’t meet with your tastes, his rude and close-minded comments, well, says a lot about his character.

Dorman’s comment to Elle about his visit to the BDSM dungeon: ‘I saw a dominant with one of his two submissives. I was like: ‘Come on guys, I know I’m not paying for this, but I am expecting a show.’”

He later said after he left he went back to his wife and newborn baby and, ‘I had a long shower before touching either of them.’

Seriously? This made me cringe and I would like to ask this actor, “What century are you living in?” Certainly, everyone has different tastes concerning sensuality. I felt his comments were rude, insensitive and intolerant.

Dr. Charley Ferrer, Clinical Sexologist and BDSM Advocate, said about the interview: “I find it appalling that an actor who’s being paid millions to represent a sexual lifestyle orientation would make such derogatory comments. Perhaps films should require their actors to sign contracts were the actors don’t discriminate against those who butter their bread. Or perhaps, Dorkan doesn’t know how to comport himself without cue cards and a camera. Then again, we can’t expect much from an underwear model, can you?”

Dr. Ferrer gives spankings for Christian Grey and also to Dorman’s remarks, “As someone who embraces this sexual orientation and teaches individuals around the world about the truths associated with Dominance and submission, I take offense to Dorkan’s comments as they perpetuate a bias which leads to discrimination and bigotry. It makes me wonder if he would also go to a gay bar or shake hands with an African American and declare his need for, “…a long shower before touching either of them [wife and baby]."

I won’t be watching this film when it comes out on Valentine’s Day.

***There are so many books out there on BDSM that portray the lifestyle as a loving and deeply compassionate relationship, not dysfunctional or cruel. I wish they would make a film from one of those books.***



If you have a favorite BDSM novel that you think would make an awesome movie, please share in the comments. I’d love some great reading suggestions!


If you want to learn and experience the BDSM lifestyle check out the  BDSM Writers Con August 20-23 in New York City Given by Dr. Charley Ferrer. Here you’ll discover that the BDSM community is made up of men and women who respect and care for each other....not to mention have the decency to show respect for those that follow other sexual orientation.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Be Mine: Ten Erotic Romances for Valentine's Day Blog Tour




BE MINE: Ten Erotic Romances for Valentine’s Day featuring contemporary romance, paranormal romance, military romance and BDSM romance from today’s New York Times and USA Today’s Bestselling Authors. This boxed set is ONLY available for a LIMITED TIME so get your copy before it’s gone.

Contest at the end: WIN $100 and more!!!

Won’t you be mine?

~Ten complete stories, professionally formatted, limited release~

Snowed in With the Tycoon by Shoshanna Evers: When they get snowed in together on the same piece of land they’re each fighting for, unexpected desire sparks.

Wrong Bride by Geri Foster: Short, sexy fun…

Crashing Down by Cathryn Fox: Will the fire they created turn to ash when truths come spilling out?

Eternal Ever After by A.C. James: BDSM and HOT alpha Vampires…Oh my!

The Erotic Dark (A BDSM Erotica Novel) by Nina Lane: A downright dirty book!

Stay the Night: A Navy Seal Erotic Romance by Caridad Pineiro: Single, soon-to-be mom, Marley Madison’s latest cravings are downright…naughty. She wants a ménage and she wants it bad.

Heat Wave by Denise Agnew: He’s one hot man she can’t resist.

 Romance Quickies (Encounter 2) by Monique DuBois: Brooke is determined to have a one-night stand, but will the sexy stranger let her ride him on the subway?

Morgan’s Match by Krystal Shannan: The biggest catch to being a matchmaker…you can’t work a spell on yourself.

 

WIN $100 and more!!!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway includes a $100 Gift Card, a $25 Gift Card, a $10 Gift Card, eBooks, and audiobooks! 

Buy Links:

Amazon       Kobo      Amazon CA        B&N      Apple     Amazon UK     Amazon AU


    

Sunday, January 18, 2015

What Does Writing Success Mean to You? AND How do You Get There? #amwriting


Before you can decide what steps to take, and what path to follow toward success in a writing career, you must FIRST figure out what success means to you, and SECOND, write it down. If you’re not clear on where you want to go, then how can you plan how to get there?

Sometimes you may not be quite sure yet what it is you want, so set small goals in the beginning and work toward those first. To some writers, success may be completing a screenwriting class at a local college, or finishing their first book or short story, getting an agent or a publishing contract, self-publishing a book, making $100 extra a month, making $10,000 or more a month, quitting their day job, hitting the New York Time and USA Today Bestsellers Lists, etc. What is YOUR goal?

 
How do you reach your goal?

Whatever that dream writing goal is, no matter how big, take these steps:

·        * Write it down-seriously. When you write it down, it becomes clear on what exactly you want.

·       * Create a deadline. Not: ‘Someday I’ll write a book.’ Instead: ‘I have completed my first book by such and such date.’ Write it as if it already has happened.

·       * Read it daily, or a couple times a day.

·        *Visualize yourself achieving it. How do your feel? But not just that…

·        * TAKE ACTION! Massive action, every day. Plan steps toward that goal.

·        -*Emulate, not copy, the successful ones. Look at those who have achieved that particular goal already and see what they did to get there. How long have they been writing? Did they take classes? What do you like about their work that is missing in yours? What groups, organizations do they belong to? How do they present themselves online, at conferences, etc.? How do they promote and market their work? You probably can’t do exactly what they’re doing right now, but you can begin to make changes in what you are doing now.

·        *Continue to learn by taking classes, and reading books both about writing, publishing and craft, and also read a ton of books within and outside the genre you’re writing.

·         *Don’t give up! Mistakes are an opportunity to set you on a new and exciting path. If something isn’t working, try something else.

 

Feel free to post your goal here!!!

***Want to get the networking experience from 8 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors???

Cathryn Fox, Caridad Pineiro, Riley J. Ford, Geri Foster, Lisa Hughey, A.C. James, Sarah Makela, and Kathy Kulig have shared tons of information and direct links about publishing, and all the steps involved with self-publishing including writing, editing, formatting, cover design, contract and legal issues, boxed sets and other co-authored projects, and many helpful tips. They all have a variety of backgrounds and share their personal experiences, including triumphs and struggles in their book WRITE TO SUCCESS. It’s of ton of information and only $2.99. The links alone will save you tons of time, and recommendations on editors, cover designers, and legal contract tips are worth that alone. Not to sound like a sales pitch, but... The authors sincerely wanted to offer this book with the intention of helping new and established authors by answering many questions we frequently hear asked all the time. We all have learned from each other too!!



Buy Links for WRITE TO SUCCESS:


BN

Sunday, January 11, 2015

#Steampunk Revelry! Coffeetime Romance


The strange and beautiful disasters of steampunk are happening at Coffeetime Romance Steampunk blog on January 14th —automatons gone wild, mad scientists who want to take over the world, denizens of the deep seas sinking ships, even solar storms that threaten to destroy the earth as in BURNED DEEP, and more, but don’t worry dear reader there will be plenty of time to give out some great PRIZES!!


I’ll be talking about some of these disasters seen in the steampunk genre, including the one in my book: BURNED DEEP, an erotic futuristic with elements of steampunk where a solar superstorm is threatening an underground city of scholars and scientists and those living in the overcities on the surface.

Here’s the blurb:
When a devastating solar storm is predicted, Celia escapes her privileged life as a baron’s daughter in the underground city of Threshold to find her brother. Outside on a harsh, savage surface, she meets Ethan, a daring inventor, who offers to help her. Seized by their fierce attraction, Ethan and Celia are swept into a passionate liaison, but soon plunge into unexpected trouble. As the solar storm approaches, Celia discovers Threshold is targeted for takeover. And Ethan, the man who is stealing her heart, is at the center of the planned invasion. How can Ethan promise the woman he loves a future if he doesn’t know if there will be one at all?

Here’s what we’ll be giving away, so make sure you stop by and sign up on the Rafflecopter!!:







Burned Deep is available now. If you like a sexy adventure, futuristic, dystopian with steampunk elements, check this book out now!


Check out my new store front at Coffeetime Romance: More books will be coming soon… Burnt Stilettos Press


If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter I give a $10 Gift Card away to one of my members each month. Members also hear the latest news, exclusive offers, contests and no spam. Coming soon will be a couple free reads. Signup

See you at Coffeetime Steampunk Blog on the 14th. Good luck on winning!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Lessons I Learned in Publishing in 2014 – “Don’t Panic”


As I look back on 2014, “Don’t Panic” could be the biggest lesson I learned considering all the changes, good and bad, that happened to me as an author. And for 2015, despite a number of major setbacks, I have a plan to totally crush it!

If you’re familiar with the book, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams, you may get the humor in this post. If not, it may not make any sense at all. But then again…readers are smart, and I think we all have somewhat of a warped sense of humor. If you don’t know the book, read it and get a good laugh. The story of Hitchhiker’s Guide follows the adventures of Arthur Dent, who manages to hitchhike off earth, seconds before it’s destroyed—to make way for an intergalactic freeway. Many of the quotes in that book seemed directly applicable to my career glitches in 2014. Anything in quotations in this post will be from Adam's book.

A warped sense of humor is a good thing to have if you’re an author—indie or traditional. And boy did I need a sense of humor. Just as everything in my publishing career seemed to be improving and going along well—sales were increasing, I had planned to have about seven releases out this year—a record for me, I was finally able to go indie and my first multi-authored box set hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists!

Then the world blew up—aka Kindle Unlimited struck and my publisher, who I loved dearly, announced restructuring and layoffs. It was like two asteroids striking earth at once, because my sales plummeted, AND during this time, I had three new books released back-to back—all three sold like crap.

What did I learn?

“Don’t Panic!” While the loops, blogs, Twitter and Facebook were inundated with panic, rude, sad, and angry publishing ‘professionals’. I tried my best to stay out of the fall out, and kept writing and made new goals for the future. I don’t have control over other peoples’ business or personal decisions, only my own.

“There’s no point in acting surprised about it.” I made the mistake of not being as observant as I should have. I was too wrapped up in my plans and goals, and should have had a backup plan. I ignored a few signs that hinted to the changes to come. Things change and will continue to change. Prepare for the worse, and don’t waste time whining or bitching about it. Set new goals and move on. I had planned to write a couple new series, now I’ve completely switched things around and have different goals with a backup plan. Three new series, plus continuation of my Red Tape series and a number of other projects are already in the works for 2015-2016. Plus a completely new business plan. I’m very optimistic for 2015!

“The answer to the Great Question of Life, The Universe and Everything is…42!” There are tons of advice and books out there on how to make a million dollars and be a bestselling author. Many authors have good intentions and believe their advice is sound. I co-authored one of those books this year: Write to Success And I believe there are a lot of helpful tips in that book. I’ve learned, and continue to learn, from many talented authors and appreciate that these authors are so generous with their time to share their knowledge, but no one knows everything. There is no right way or the only path to success. And there is no magic pill, no get rich quick plan. WRITE, PUBLISH, LEARN, and REPEAT. A number of newbie authors think they’re going to crush it and get rich with one or two or three books. Not happening. Expect many years of CONTINUED HARD WORK, and yes, you will see some success.

A few people who have helped me a lot this year- Thank You!!! You all rock!!!:  

The guys at Self-Publishing Podcast – Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright.
Jim Kukral and Bryan Cohen at http://sellmorebooksshow.com/

***Check out their podcasts and books too, both fiction and non-fiction. They have a wealth of information.***

 

“Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?” Oh, there are times I think when every author thinks they’re losing it, and perhaps have even thought about giving up. Don’t! Authors must be part mad. How can they possible look at their manuscript one day and it appears to be brilliant, award-winning material, and the very next day, they read the same book, and it’s doggie doodoo? Don’t give up, have faith in your work. Keep writing.

When I start getting down on myself because of a bad review (or no reviews), or because I’m writing too slow, or I can’t figure out a scene, or my characters seem flat today, or the book is not perfect enough, or whatever reason I come up with. I’m sure you can come up with a few reasons on those days when writing gets you down. I’ve decided now I’ll give myself five minutes to mope, then get back to work. I think of this silly quote as a reminder: “Ford…you’re turning into a penguin. Stop it!”

Final words of advice on what I learned and what I plan for myself in 2015:

PRIORITIZE – I had to come up with a ‘Stop Doing List’. One of those things was to stop hosting friends' new book releases on my blog. I hated doing it, because I like to help promote my author friends. But I realized I was getting requests to host new releases on my blog two to three times a week and many from people I didn’t know. I only get to write at night and on weekends and I had to stop the hosting. It was taking up a huge amount of my writing time. I decided instead I’d host an author party a couple times a year where author friends could promote their books on my site during a week-long event and we could give prizes away. I also find doing topic posts draw much more traffic to my blog. I want to build my brand and an audience this way.

ORGANIZE- I’m a visual person. I bought a full year erasable calendar I have up on my wall in my office with projects and deadlines listed. Also recorded the dates of events, contests, conferences, etc. I’m also going to start using Scrivener.

MEDITATE- I’ve done it before and have started again. It does help my Type A brain to focus on one thing at a time, keep less scattered, and I sleep better.

WRITE- That’s what writers do. Can’t edit a blank page and can’t sell an unfinished book.  

And a couple last quotes. Sometimes we need to start a new year with a chuckle: It might be time to re-read Douglas Adam’s book.

Happy New Year and Happy Writing!

“I don’t want to die now!” he yelled. “I’ve still got a headache! I don’t want to go to heaven with a headache, I’d be all cross and wouldn’t enjoy it!”

“We are now cruising at a level of two to the power of twenty-five thousand to one against and falling, and we will be restoring normality just as soon as we are sure what is normal anyway.”

You know you’re a true writer if this one rings true:
“I’d far rather be happy than right any day.” My translation: I’d far rather be a writer than rich any day.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

RING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH ROMANCE!


The Sexy Scribbles are celebrating the NEW YEAR with lots of special book deals and prizes while we look ahead to exciting new projects for 2015. We’re having lots of GIVEAWAYS as a thank you to our readers too!

****Our special giveaway is a Kindle Paperwhite!!!****
(I just got one for Christmas and I looove it!!)




WHERE??

FACEBOOK PARTY

WHEN?

December 29th, 2014 Monday 7-10 p.m. EST

WHO?

THESE AMAZING AUTHORS: Check out their websites and sign up on their mailing lists to hear about their latest releases and giveaways.

Lisa Hughey2 $25 Gift Cards



AC James – a free audio book of Eternal Ever After and a free ebook of Eternal Ever After
Books by A.C. James

Geri Foster

Newsletter: link on her website

Stephanie Julian

Jan Springer -Free ebook Key Club Box Set, Vol 1



Krystal Shannon

Denise A. Agnew
Ashfall

Kathy Kulig 2 free ebooks of either Burned Deep, Nightlord Lover or Red Tape.
Red Tape - Erotic BDSM Thriller Order Now!