Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Adventure in Self-publishing

A couple years ago my journey into self-publishing started with a novella  that I wrote that was a little outside the box. I submitted it to a couple of publishers. One rejected it on content, and the other wanted a major rewrite that would have taken the whole purpose of the story away. I sat on it for a while wondering what to do with it. After much thinking I thought about self-publishing it.

At first I think I went into it with blinders on. Many authors of m/m and erotic romance had already done quite well publishing their own work. There was a certain allure about it that drew me in. I think it was the control. I would decide on the cover, work with my husband with the edits and formatting, and release it when I felt it was ready to be placed out there. It was an experiment.

My husband helped me a lot. He's brutal when it comes to giving me honest feedback with my writing. He's computer savvy and formatting came pretty easily for him. I did seek out a cover artist who did a great job. She took my suggestions and it really was exactly what I wanted.

When everything was done, I uploaded the book to various sales sites. Sales were decent, but nothing that I would go around bragging about. This was a couple years ago and sales have trickled since then. It's selling, but not hitting the bestseller charts.

After that I published another novella that again was a little bit outside the box. I also published a couple of short stories. Surprisingly, it was the short stories that sold really well. I expected my longer work to sell better than the short stuff. Go figure!

The last thing I self-published was a collection of my short stories that initially I was only going to put into print to use for promo purposes such as giveaways. That also led to an e edition. All of those stories were already available for individual sale.


Did self-publishing meet my expectations? Yes and no. I honestly expected to do better. Do I blame self-publishing? No. My work seems to be hit or miss with readers. Some really like it while others really hate it. Everything I have written can be found on Amazon, All Romance, Barnes & Noble, and Bookstrand(Shameless Plug).

Do I have advice for anyone wanting to self-publish? Yes. But don't release your work until you're sure it's absolutely ready. Don't rush it. It's better to put out a quality product first rather than suffer terrible reviews telling you on how you should have got an editor. And get a decent cover. It really is worth paying a talented artist to do it for you unless you are good at it yourself like some are. This is the first thing readers will see when they come across your book. First impressions matter.

Will I self-publish again? Yes. I plan on self-publishing more short stories along with some other works that are longer including a MMF menage. Overall, I enjoy the process.

XD


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Coming Soon: Sweet Honesty(Opposites 2)


I am pleased to announce that the second installment in my Opposites series with Siren Publishing will be released in early October. For those who read When You Least Expect It, this will be Craig's story. Craig was introduced as Danny's best friend. Sweet Honesty is set mostly in the small town where Craig grew up. An unexpected tragedy draws him back to his roots and that's all I am going to say about that *smiles*

If you haven't checked out the first novella in the series, it's available on Amazon, Bookstrand, and Barnes and Noble. 

When You Least Expect It blurb:  [Siren Allure ManLove: Erotic Alternative Romance, M/M, foot fetish, HEA]
Danny Lyon has never had much luck at romance. After a failed relationship drives him from his hometown, he finds his way into the city only to discover that life doesn't often turn out how you'd like.
Working at a strip club, The Treasure Chest certainly isn't his dream job, but it pays well. Everything is going along fine until he meets Terrence LeBrec, an older man who shows up one night out of the blue. Terrence is rich, laid back, and as the chemistry between them erupts, it also surprises Danny that he's attracted to a man who otherwise isn't his type.
Terrence only went to The Treasure Chest to pass away time. He never expected to meet anyone, but when Danny takes the stage, he's totally taken with the young man who he knows nothing about. He has to meet him. There's something definitely between them. Terrence can't deny it. They have a connection that he can't let go. One hookup leads him to want more.
It doesn't take a lot of time for Danny to realize how different their lives really are. Why would a guy like Terrence who has everything going for him be interested in a guy like him? It doesn't make sense. They come from different worlds—perhaps too different.
Will what brought them together tear them apart? They're opposites in every way possible. Will love conquer all?

XD

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Series Highlight: Lust at First Sight Plus a Giveaway!


The Idea: I love reading about first time meeting between hot guys in m/m. I love that initial attraction they have when they first see and interact with each other. I think it's sexy and hot to be brutally honest. So when brainstorming one day, I thought about writing a series of shots about just that! Each installment is completely standalone. Each chronicles a couples first meeting and what comes after. You can use your imagination there! So far there are three short stories with more to come. This isn't instalove either. Not that I mind instalove. I think in the right story with right characters it works. This is lust first and foremost. The love comes later. 

Two people will win a copy of Nick & Matchim(Lust at First Sight 3). All you need to do is leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you. 

Check out the blurbs below for each. The series is available from Evernight Publishing, Amazon, Bookstrand, All Romance, and Barnes and Noble.

Sean & Toby: 

First time meetings can lead to many things, but when you meet the one guy you're automatically attracted to—the chemistry sizzles. Strangers or not, it doesn't matter. It's lust at first sight and anything's game...

Sean's mundane job at a call center leads him to make some changes in his routine life. Getting fit is one of his goals and after joining a local gym, he meets cute and twinky Toby.

Toby nearly knocks the breath out of Sean with not only his cute looks, but also his wit and charm. Their attraction to each other is instant and Sean can't stop thinking about Toby and his perfect butt. 

Things quickly heat up between them, but Toby isn't who Sean thought he was. Looks can be very deceiving. There's another side to Toby's personality. Sean's definitely met his match!

Tyler & Marco: 

First time meetings can lead to many things, but when you meet the one guy you're automatically attracted to—the chemistry sizzles. Strangers or not, it doesn't matter. It's lust at first sight and anything's game...

Shy and socially awkward Tyler has been watching the construction site across from his house secretly lusting for the hot guys that work there, but when he finally comes face to face with the hot and sexy Italian, Marco, it's lust at first sight! Marco is everything Tyler has ever dreamed of in a man, and his complete opposite in every way possible.


Marco's life is all about hard work. From the moment he left home just after high school, he'd forged his own way in the world without ever knowing real love. But when he meets the cute guy who lives across the street from his work, he instantly feels something sizzling between them. But Marco isn't out and not sure if he's ready to tell the world he's gay, or even his own family.


Both guys yearn for something more in life and after a couple rounds of hot sex, and another chance meeting, they come to see that possibly there is something more between them than just lust.

Nick & Matchim:

First time meetings can lead to many things, but when you meet the one guy you're automatically attracted to—the chemistry sizzles. Strangers or not, it doesn't matter. It's lust at first sight and anything's game...

Stuck in a world full of cannibalistic corpses after a mysterious flu-like virus kills off the majority of the world's population, Nick Sparrow has learned to survive in a world where the dead outnumber the living.

Matchim Chase has been surviving on his own for the past couple of weeks. When he's suddenly surrounded by a horde of zombies, he's thankful to have a handsome stranger come to his rescue.

Holed up together in a motel room and subsequently in an abandoned house, the connection they form is instant. They find what they need in each other. In a world torn apart they come together sharing their pasts and hopes for the future. Living in the moment is all they have because tomorrow might never come.





XD




Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What do you like in a romance?


Sitting at my computer today, I was thinking about plot-lines for future stories. I write pretty much everything(MM,MMM,MFM,MMF,MF). Like everyone, I have my likes and dislikes though which I have outlined below:

Dislikes
-Weak females/men. I really dislike female/male characters who only have one purpose in life which is to please their man.
-Alpha Assholes: To me there is a fine line between alpha and asshole. So many books cross that line into an area that makes me wonder why these women/men fall for these guys who treat them like crap. What is that all about?
-Great dialogue. If it's funny and witty, I love it. Flat and unrealistic is a turn off for me. 
-An author writing about something they know nothing about. It really does show at times.
Likes:
-Strong independent woman/men.
-Good sex scenes. I admire any author that can write a sex scene that takes me into the story.
-Great dialogue. If it's funny and witty, I love it. Flat and unrealistic is a turn off for me. 
-Original plots. 

So, what are your likes and dislikes? What's hot for you as a reader? What's the current trends in romance? I admit to being bad for now keeping up with the what's what. I'm interested in knowing what you think. 



XD





Sunday, June 22, 2014

Executive Assistant: Manlove Edition Giveaway


To celebrate the release of my story, Business or Pleasure in this great anthology, I'm giving away two e copies! All you need to do to enter is leave your email address in a comment. Also reviews are much appreciated. Thanks and good luck. The contest ends in one week.

Blurb: Unleash your naughty side with Evernight’s Executive Assistant: Manlove Edition anthology… 

These sizzling hot stories dare to explore the taboo world of office romance. From X-rated job interviews, controlling Doms, to the unprofessional use of office furniture—these seven stories have it all. 
Our bestselling authors are determined to make you squirm. You may never see the office the same way again!
Note: The anthology is one sale at Amazon, All Romance, Barnes & Noble, and Bookstrand for anyone who wants to purchase it.
XD

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

When You Least Expect It Giveaway!


To help promote my latest release with Siren Publishing, I'm giving away two e-copies. The winners will be chosen on the day of release which is the 21st! Winners will be contacted through email. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment along with your email address. Good luck!

Note: Comments are moderated to keep spam away. Your comment will show once I've had the chance to approve it.

Thanks,

XD

Burb: [Siren Allure ManLove: Erotic Alternative Romance, M/M, foot fetish, HEA]
Danny Lyon has never had much luck at romance. After a failed relationship drives him from his hometown, he finds his way into the city only to discover that life doesn't often turn out how you'd like.
Working at a strip club, The Treasure Chest certainly isn't his dream job, but it pays well. Everything is going along fine until he meets Terrence LeBrec, an older man who shows up one night out of the blue. Terrence is rich, laid back, and as the chemistry between them erupts, it also surprises Danny that he's attracted to a man who otherwise isn't his type.
Terrence only went to The Treasure Chest to pass away time. He never expected to meet anyone, but when Danny takes the stage, he's totally taken with the young man who he knows nothing about. He has to meet him. There's something definitely between them. Terrence can't deny it. They have a connection that he can't let go. One hookup leads him to want more.
It doesn't take a lot of time for Danny to realize how different their lives really are. Why would a guy like Terrence who has everything going for him be interested in a guy like him? It doesn't make sense. They come from different worlds—perhaps too different.
Will what brought them together tear them apart? They're opposites in every way possible. Will love conquer all?
A Siren Erotic Romance
Excerpt: He’d had his share of hot guys, but each always came with a hefty price tag. Terrence could easily afford them since money wasn’t an issue. He could afford to support a dozen rent boys if he wanted to. Yet, here he was on a Friday night, alone, gawking at some guy who was at least ten years his junior or more.
Terrence finished the last of his beer. He glanced at his watch. It was a little past midnight. The smart thing to do would be to head home and get a good night’s sleep. The bad thing would be to stay and keep drinking. He decided to stay.

* * * *

Danny readjusted himself and headed straight to the bar after his number ended. He wasn’t much of a drinker, but an ice-cold cola would hit the spot nicely.
“Looking good up there,” Keith, the bartender, said. He handed Danny a cola with lots of ice. Keith knew how he liked it.
A bunch of guys ogled him to his left. He glanced toward them and they giggled like a bunch of schoolgirls. “Twinks,” he muttered to Keith. “Are they even old enough to be in here?”
Keith nodded. “Barely, but yeah, they’re legal. I checked their IDs.”
Danny couldn’t risk the temptation to play it up a little bit. Plus, it was good for business to cavort with the clientele. That’s how the extra cash was made. He walked over to the group of guys. “Having fun, boys?” he asked.
“Lots,” replied a dark-haired, fair-skinned cutie in black-rimmed glasses. “You’re a great…dancer,” he stammered. His eyes strayed to Danny’s crotch. He licked his lips as a rosy glow appeared on his cheeks.
“You’re all muscles,” gushed a blond, his steely green eyes a sharp contrast to his dark, tanned skin. “I adore men with muscles. May I?” he asked, gesturing to Danny’s bulging right bicep.
“Sure thing, sexy,” Danny replied, flexing for him. “Touch away.”
“And that chest,” said a goth-looking guy, the third in the group. “A chest that begs to be stroked and worshipped.” He reached forward and ran his hands across Danny’s chest. “I’m Jax.”
“I’m Danny, boys,” he replied. With three sets of hands exploring him, he had to work his magic. Now if he could lure each of them into having a lap dance, the night would be perfect. He kept telling himself to stay focused on the money and how much he needed it.

* * * *

Terrence looked on with much amusement. It was the cute dancer, the one who grabbed his interest, now surrounded by a bunch of horny guys. This was better than any show onstage.
“And how are you?”
Terrence turned to see another dancer standing next to his table. “I’m good, and yourself?” He wasn’t interested in getting an answer, but it was natural for him to be polite.
“I’m great. I’m Craig. I noticed you sitting here all by your lonesome. I thought I’d offer you my company.”
The dancer was cute, but not his type. He was much too boyish-looking. “Sure, Craig. Can I get you anything from the bar?”
Craig smiled. “That’d be nice. I’ll head over and get a drink. Would you like another?”
“Sure, that’d be great.” Terrence reached into his wallet. He handed Craig a twenty. “Who’s that?” he asked, pointing to the other dancer.
“That’s Danny. Cute, isn’t he?”
“He’s something,” Terrence replied.
“But I’m much more fun, trust me. I’ll get you that beer. I won’t be long.”
When Craig returned, it wasn’t long before Terrence felt Craig’s hand on his thigh. His throat went dry as he reached for his beer. It wasn’t that he didn’t find Craig slightly attractive, but Craig set off an alarm within him. This guy wasn’t looking for anything more than an easy ride.
“Like I said, I’m fun.” Craig squeezed his leg harder. “I could do so many awesome things to you. I bet you’d like that.”
“Actually, I’d like you to introduce me to Danny. That’s his name, right?”
“Danny?” Craig looked stunned, and a tad deflated. “I can do that.”
Terrence hated to slight the guy, but he wasn’t interested at all.

* * * *

“Bud over there is looking to meet you,” Craig said, tapping Danny on the shoulder.
Danny, lost in his own twink-induced dream world, turned to Craig and placed one arm around his friend’s shoulders. “Those three are so fucking cute. They want to take me home with them. All three, can you imagine that? I’d never do it, but I’m totally flattered.”
“You wouldn’t.” Craig rolled his eyes. “You being so good and all. So, dude over there wants to meet you. Best of luck.” Craig strutted off without looking back, even though Danny called out to him. He excused himself from the threesome, but promised he’d be back before the night ended.
The stranger greeted him first with a nod. He smiled as Danny approached him. “Hey, I hope you’re enjoying the show.” It was a lame attempt at breaking the ice, but he couldn’t think of anything else to say.
“It’s great. Your dancing’s fantastic.”
The guy looked about thirty-five. His dark black hair grayed at the temples, and a five o’clock shadow adorned his square-cut jaw. He was handsome, without a doubt.
“I don’t think I’ve seen you in here before,” Danny said.
“It’s my first time. I was passing by. I thought I’d drop in for a drink. I’m Terrence.” He extended his hand, and they shook.
“Danny.”
“I’d like to request a private lap dance with you,” Terrence said. “I’m assuming that’s done here?”
Danny nodded. “Sure, follow me and we’ll get down to it.”
The room used for lap dances had been sectioned off from the rest of the club to allow maximum privacy. With the dimmed lighting and mood music, it served its purpose well.
“You can sit there,” Danny directed. “The rules are…well, there aren’t any, really.” He smiled. “Relax and enjoy.”
Terrence sat back and looked up at Danny. His steely gray eyes moved up and down Danny’s body. It was obvious he liked what he saw a lot.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Thrifty Me

I'll be the first to admit that me and my husband live on a tight budget. Usually this blog is all about writing. Mainly I post promo and on occasion I have guests authors on here talking about their latest releases. This post however is going to be about something non-writing related.

I love shopping at Goodwill and other thrift stores! I confess that it gives me a thrill because it's really like a treasure hunt. It's the same for me when I also shop discount stores that mainly sell what others stores could not. I also believe in recycling and up-cycling. Below are two pictures of a scrap quilt made completely of fabric scraps, and cotton items that were no longer of use. I also backed the quilt with a cotton curtain panel that I found at a thrift store.



Shopping at a dollar store this weekend past, I also found some great buys such as dish liquid for a dollar. I also purchased underwear for two dollars a pair. The funny thing was that they were better quality than two name brands I've bought in the past that fell apart at the waist shortly after!

This is more so a rambling rant. Waste not want not. That's been my motto for some time now. I'd love to hear from others on how they save money, recycle, and up-cycle. Pass those tips on!

XD