Cover Reveal – Illicit Affairs by NJ Cole, Jo Matthews and Bec Rose – #NSFW, #ASMSG, #31WriteNow

NJCole

COVER REVEAL

Title: Illicit Affairs

Authors: Jo Matthews, Bec Rose, & N.J. Cole

Genre: Erotica

Expected Release Date: 9.13.2013

Being release through Malfunction Erotica. Cover reveal was organized by Malfunction Erotica. 

IllicitAffairs_cover

Illicit Affairs

Illicit Affairs is a compilation of three erotic tales with women giving into their darkest desires and pursuing the forbidden.

Unexpected Journey by Jo Matthews

Sarah thought she met her soul mate in Mitch Chandler. High school sweethearts, they married right after graduation. Eight years later, he is a stranger to her and their marriage is on the rocks. In a halfhearted attempt to placate her, Mitch suggests a trip to Hawaii, but schedules a business meeting to write off the expense.

Aaron Johnson, Mitch’s friend and business partner, agrees to help with the presentation and plans are made for all three to go. What happens when Mitch backs out at the last

minute to spend a romantic weekend with his secretary, forcing Aaron’s hand so that he has to accompany Sarah alone?

Will an innocent friendship turn into something more as Aaron’s attraction for Sarah grows? How will Sarah manage when she realizes that Aaron is awakening feelings in her that she’s never felt before? The sexual tension burns hot as these two embark on an unexpected journey that neither are prepared for.

 

Excerpt – Unexpected Journey:

“I want you, Sarah. I want to feel your pussy wrapped around my cock while I fuck you. Are you ready for that…for me?” As he was talking, he was tearing a condom open and sliding it over his erection.

“Yes,” I whimpered as I clenched my legs together to gain some much needed friction.

My one word answer seemed to be enough of a response because he moved between my legs and pushed them farther apart. “God, you’re perfect,” he complimented as his eyes drank in my naked pussy. “Every part of you is beautiful.”

He licked his lips and I couldn’t help but moan. Remembering exactly what his tongue could do, I tried to squeeze my legs together. He wasn’t having any of that, though, because he pinned them in place. “Please, Aaron, fuck me already. I need to feel you,” I begged. Was it shameless? Maybe. Did I care in that moment? Hell no. The only thing I cared about was having him inside me.

“Mmm, such a dirty mouth, Baby. I’ll make sure to put that to good use later,” he teased as he moved to hover over me. “But for now, this pussy is what I’m interested in.” His words got me even wetter, and the anticipation of feeling him inside me had me at my boiling point.

Luckily, the wait was over and he lined himself up with my entrance. Looking directly in my eyes, he slowly slid his length inside me, giving me time to adjust. When our hips met and I thought he was in as far as he could go, he thrust just a little harder. “Oh, God…so fucking full…fuck!”

He started to move within me, and with each thrust it felt like he went deeper. The feeling was heavenly, and I couldn’t imagine it getting any better. I was wrong. Oh, how I was wrong. I had only ever had sex lying flat on my back, so when Aaron grabbed my left leg and lifted it up onto his shoulder, I was a little leary—at least until he thrust his hips forward, hitting me so deep it felt like he was in my stomach. “So fucking tight, Baby. Ungh, does that feel good?”

“Yesssss…oh, God, yes!” I panted as he continued to thrust in and out of me. “Oh fuck! Please don’t stop.”

Before I knew what was happening, my right leg was up on his other shoulder and he was leaning down. I wasn’t aware I was still so flexible, but the way my knees were touching my shoulders proved otherwise. The new position also allowed Aaron to penetrate me deeper, and within three thrusts, I was clenching around him and screaming through another orgasm.

“That’s it, Baby. Squeeze my cock. Fuck, you’re so tight. I’m not…ugh…gonna last.” His movements became erratic, and he sat up on his knees, grabbed my hips, and held me in place as he slammed into me twice more before stilling and collapsing on top of me.

I was breathing hard but feeling euphoric. Nothing could bring down my high. “That was um…good,” I giggled.

Moving off of me slightly, Aaron leaned down and kissed me hard. When he pulled back, he smirked. “Just good? I guess I’ll have to try again.”

About the Author:

Jo Matthews is an Arizona native, where she lives with her husband and son. A stay-at-home mom since 2007, she only recently discovered her love and passion for the written word. When she’s not writing, she’s usually knee deep in editing—an aspect she thoroughly enjoys.

As an editor she has propelled quite a few authors into the published world, and with her skills, has landed several stories on Amazon’s Top Sellers lists.

IllicitAffairs_cover

Hot Summer Nights by Bec Rose

Annie Murphy had the picture perfect life. A beautiful home, a wonderful son, and a husband who adored her. It was every woman’s dream until her husband of over twenty years came out of the closet, leaving her a forty-five year old divorcee struggling to regain her confidence. Needing a distraction, she agrees to allow her son’s friend, Jamie, to spend the summer at her house while working as an intern. When Jamie, the cute female intern she’d been expecting turns out to be Jaime, the hot male intern with abs to drool over, it kicks Annie’s fantasies into overdrive. When she realizes that her desires are not one sided, it’s more than the temperature that causes some hot summer nights.

Excerpt – Hot Summer Nights:

She kept her eyes on mine as she knelt down in front of me. I nearly came just at the sight of her down there, but needed to hold it together. I started thinking about some god-awful things just to keep my composure, not wanting to look like the novice.

Annie licked her lips before she took her eyes off mine and focused her attention on my swollen cock. I don’t think I had ever been that hard before in my life. When she leaned forward, she grinned to herself before licking my cock from tip to base. My body shuddered and I needed to hold on to the railing beside me to stop myself from crumbling to the floor in pleasure.

“Fuck, Annie! God, please.” I was begging for her mouth to be wrapped around my cock, and even if this was the first and last time we would be together, just the memory of her in this position would give me reason enough to jerk off for months to come.

She finally gave in at my insistence and sucked on my throbbing cock, the tip beyond ready to burst. I hissed at the feeling, my head rolling from side to side. I wanted to watch what she was doing but the pleasure she was giving me was so fucking good that I couldn’t help but close my eyes.

I had no idea how or what she was doing, but the overload of sensations just from her mouth was incredible. I had only ever been with high school or college age girls, and clearly, none of them had known what they were doing when giving head.

“Oh, fuck! Annie, you need to stop or I’m going to come.” I had to be honest; she must have felt my cock strain at the pressure, and I knew I was only moments away. Her tongue continued to swirl around the tip as she came up and then plunged back down, swallowing around me, almost taking all of me in.

I felt her nod as I told her, and when I looked down, that was my undoing. Watching her suck on my cock—on her knees in front of me while looking back up at me—was all I could handle. I came hard and pushed myself further into her mouth. She swallowed fast, easily keeping up with the streams of come I released down her throat. Then, after sucking on me once more as if to pull every last drop from my shaft, she released my cock with a pop.

When she stood up in front of me, I had to kiss her. I didn’t care that just moments before she had my cock in her mouth. That simple act had clearly driven me insane. I wanted to fuck this woman more than anything else right then, and I only hoped she felt the same.

IllicitAffairs_cover

Second Chances by NJ Cole

Calla Moretti married her college sweetheart, Bill. Married life was great at first, but as his career had her dropping out of college and moving away from her family and friends, Calla struggled with her role as a wife and homemaker. Stress due to infertility and Bill’s affairs, had the marriage on the brink of failure. When she drives home in the middle of a thunderstorm and spots first a broken down motorcycle, then the sexy rider, she decides to take a chance and offer him assistance. Realizing fate brought her together with a man who could give her the one thing her husband couldn’t—a baby—Calla decides to take a chance. One romantic night, one big lie, will it save her marriage or fill her heart with more emptiness? Will this be the answer to her prayers? In life, are there truly second chances?

 

Excerpt – Second Chances by NJ Cole:

As the euphoria began to subside, I realized I still had his head in the vice that was my thighs. I relaxed my muscles to release him, but he didn’t seem in a hurry to move. Instead, he lowered his lead slightly and licked at the arousal I could feel trickling from my body.

“God, you’re delicious,” he groaned, pulling back. “I could do that all night, but I have to have you.” Standing at the foot of the bed, he lowered his pants. I was glad he hadn’t turned off the light or I wouldn’t have been able to see the most magnificent cock in the world. It was long and thick and beautiful—if that was even possible.

I drug my eyes from it and looked up to his face to find that he wasn’t smiling. In fact, he looked upset. The color seemed to have drained from his face in the blink of an eye.  I was about to ask what was wrong when he spoke. “I um…I don’t have a condom. I just…well I didn’t know.” He raked his hand over the stubble on his face. “Do you? Of course you don’t. It’s not like someone like you would have…” His words trailed off as he ran his hand through his hair. “I can go and see if there is any place open. SHIT! I don’t even have my bike. I could borrow…”

“It’s okay,” I said softly, interrupting his little rant.

He looked at me, eyes wide. “You mean it’s okay to borrow your car? Or…” he hesitated and dropped his voice an octave,  “is it okay okay?”

Lying back, I pulled him on top of me. “I mean, it’s okay.” I knew he thought I meant I was on birth control; it was deceitful, but it was what I needed.

Settling on top of me, he slid one hand under my back as the other cupped my cheek. “You are so beautiful,” he said, gazing down at me. “I swear I could stare into your eyes all night.”

I whimpered at his words and how genuine they sounded. I’d never felt so attractive in my life. It was impossible to understand why he thought my muddy green eyes were beautiful, but I could tell that he believed what he said.

“God I want you,” he groaned through gritted teeth. “I can’t remember ever wanting anything more.”

His eyes closed as he kissed me gently. It wasn’t urgent like the others; I could tell he was taking his time. As our tongues met, he shifted his weight nudging my legs apart slightly. When he moved his hips, I felt his cock glide in long strokes over the top of my swollen pussy and rub against my clit. I rotated my hips slightly and groaned in response.

His lips left mine as he shifted back onto his knees. With the hand that was under my back, he lifted me slightly and lined me up with his cock. He didn’t reach between us—there was no fumbling at all—he just pressed forward gently, the tip of his erection separating my folds. He stared into my eyes as his throbbing member entered and stretched me.

“Fuck, you’re so small, Baby. Am I hurting you?” he whispered, his lips inches from mine.

I shook my head, unable to speak. It didn’t hurt at all; it felt wonderful. I did, however, mewl in pleasure, causing him to stop his forward movement.

Finding my voice I whimpered, “Please don’t stop. You feel so good.”

“Ungh, I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to,” he groaned, rolling his hips and inching in a bit more. I craved all of him, so I grabbed onto his ass and pulled him to me as I lifted my hips and thrust myself toward him. I yelped in pain as he entered me fully, our hips finally touching. His eyes flashed with concern at my sound, but I smiled up at him. It was painful, but it was a good pain. I’d never felt so full.

 

About the Author:

NJ Cole is a mid-western girl with a kinky side. She works by day and writes by night, all while being a mother to her wonderful boys and serving her Sir. Unlike many of today’s authors, she chooses to write in first person, allowing the readers to experience life through the eyes of the unique characters that live in her head. Her love of those characters and respect for their stories come through loud and clear in her writing. Reaching Amazon’s top 100 list in Erotica with Midnight Caller and Landslide, NJ Cole promises to entertain and excite the reader with her newest tales of love, romance, and as always, hot, steamy sex.

 

logo

Sneak Peek Sunday with Jo Matthews, Bec Rose and NJ Cole ~ #31WriteNow #ASMSG


Sneak Peek with Jo Matthews, Bec Rose and NJ Cole’s 
Illicit Affairs.

After nearly a year of begging from readers, Jo Matthews, Bec Rose and NJ Cole teamed up to bring you a steamy anthology. Illicit Affairs is a compilation of forbidden tales. Each told in first person point of views, readers get to experience the feelings of the characters first hand. A common theme in these three tales is that of strong women who even though they may have been dealt a bad hand, have taken it upon themselves to find happiness.

SUMMARY:

Illicit Affairs is a compilation of three erotic tales with women giving into their darkest desires and pursuing the forbidden.
Unexpected Journey
Sarah thought she met her soulmate in Mitch Chandler. High school sweethearts, they married right after graduation. Eight years later, he is a stranger to her and their marriage is on the rocks. In a halfhearted attempt to placate her, Mitch suggests a trip to Hawaii, but schedules a business meeting to write off the expense.
Aaron Johnson, Mitch’s friend and business partner, agrees to help with the presentation and plans are made for all three to go. What happens when Mitch backs out at the last minute to spend a romantic weekend with his secretary, forcing Aaron’s hand so that he has to accompany Sarah alone?
Will an innocent friendship turn into something more as Aaron’s attraction for Sarah grows? How will Sarah manage when she realizes that Aaron is awakening feelings in her that she’s never felt before? The sexual tension burns hot as these two embark on an unexpected journey that neither are prepared for.
Hot Summer Nights


Annie Murphy had the picture perfect life. A beautiful home, two wonderful children, and a husband who adored her. It was every woman’s dream until her husband of over twenty years came out of the closet, leaving her a forty-five year old divorcee struggling to regain her confidence. Needing a distraction, she agrees to allow her son’s friend, Jamie, to spend the summer at her house while working as an intern. When Jamie, the cute female intern she’d been expecting turns out to be Jaime, the hot male intern with abs to drool over, it kicks Annie’s fantasies into overdrive. When she realizes that her desires are not one sided, it’s more than the temperature that causes some hot summer nights.
Second Chances
Calla Moretti married her college sweetheart, Bill. Married life was great at first, but as his career had her dropping out of college and moving away from her family and friends, Calla struggled with her role as a wife and homemaker. Stress due to infertility and Bill’s affairs, had the marriage on the brink of failure. When she drives home in the middle of a thunderstorm and spots first a broken down motorcycle, then the sexy rider, she decides to take a chance and offer him assistance. Realizing fate brought her together with a man who could give her the one thing her husband couldn’t—a baby—Calla decides to take a chance. One romantic night, one big lie, will it save her marriage or fill her heart with more emptiness? Will this be the answer to her prayers? In life, are there truly second chances?

EXCERPTS:

Unexpected Journey:
The flight to San Diego was quick, though the one to Hawaii was considerably longer. Somewhere over the Pacific, Sarah fell asleep; the day had obviously taken a toll on her emotions and exhausted her. I wasn’t really tired myself, so I grabbed a magazine from the caddy in front of me and started flipping through it. Not ten minutes later, she shifted in her sleep and leaned over, her head resting on my shoulder.
I froze in place, unsure of what to do. Part of me was screaming to wake her up or at least move her, while the other part of me—the part that tended to take over in any man when there was a sexy goddess nearby—wanted me to savor the moment. I must have warred with myself for three minutes straight until I decided it didn’t matter. There was no harm in letting Sarah sleep on my shoulder on a plane to Hawaii. No harm at all, considering her husband was the one who put us on the flight together.
Unable to resist any longer, I turned my head into her hair and breathed in her intoxicating scent. She smelled like wildflowers and sunshine, and I couldn’t help but inhale more deeply as I closed my eyes.
Hot Summer Nights:
 
It seemed like forever before he finally made his way back downstairs, and I heard him rummaging through the fridge for something before he walked into the den carrying some homemade chocolate mousse. I moved to the main sofa, sitting down next to him so we were both within reach of the dessert.
“I hope you don’t mind, but I made this before dinner. I have a bit of a sweet tooth.” He grinned at me as he took a bite. I smiled back and dipped my spoon in, groaning at the amazing taste that exploded in my mouth when I took my first bite.
“Oh, god, Jaime, you’re going to make me fat if you cook like this all the time,” I laughed. When I heard no reply, I looked next to me, seeing Jaime staring at my lips with—if I wasn’t completely misinterpreting it—a look of lust in his eyes.
“Oh, um, I’m sorry?” He seemed confused.
“I just said that you’re going to make me fat if you keep cooking like this.”
“You don’t have to worry about that, Annie. You have an amazing figure if you don’t mind me saying.” I was surprised by his comment. It had been a long time since anyone had complimented me like that.
“Oh, well, um…thank you, Jaime,” I replied, embarrassed.
We finished off the dessert, both of us silently deciding to stay on the couch next to each other by settling back as Jaime changed the channel to watch an old movie. It was nice to sit with someone and not feel the need to fill the air with unnecessary conversation. Jaime was easy to just be with, and I was once again glad it had turned out to be a male houseguest instead of a female.

Excerpt Second Chances:

I couldn’t believe it when she’d stopped the car. That was a very dangerous thing for a woman to do, but I was so glad she did. When she’d rolled down the window I could barely see her, but what I could make out from the illumination of the dashboard left me breathless. Her skin looked flawless under the soft glow and her hair seemed to reflect back the blue-green light. What intrigued me the most, though, was her voice—the soft sweet voice of an angel.


I was shocked that she had offered me a ride, but I was grateful to be out of the rain. I’d wanted to take her to a nice dinner, partly to thank her and partly to get to know her better, but with it being a small town, nothing was open. I’d settled for a fast food restaurant and would have probably left it at that if the dining area had been open. We would have eaten, she would have left, and I would have gone to the motel.  Fate, however, had a different idea and we’d ended up in my hotel room together.

Check it out on Goodreads!
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18371043-illicit-affairs

¸¸•.¸¸.•´¯`• (¯`•♥•´¯)•´¯`•.¸¸.•.¸¸.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Jo Matthews:

Jo Matthews is an Arizona native, where she lives with her husband and son. A stay-at-home mom since 2007, she only recently discovered her love and passion for the written word. When she’s not writing, she’s usually knee deep in editing—an aspect she thoroughly enjoys.
As an editor she has propelled quite a few authors into the published world, and with her skills, has landed several stories on Amazon’s Top Sellers lists. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jo-Matthews/584982844878100

Bec Rose:

Bec Rose is a budding author and mother of two. When she isn’t reading or writing, she enjoys spending time with her son and daughter. Residing on the west coast of Australia, she possesses a subtle charm that carries through into her writing. In her debut novella, Bec Rose not only tugs on our heartstrings but leaves us panting for more.

NJ Cole:

NJ Cole is a mid-western girl with a kinky side. She works by day and writes by night, all while being a mother to her wonderful boys and serving her Sir. Unlike many of today’s authors, she chooses to write in first person, allowing the readers to experience life through the eyes of the unique characters that live in her head. Her love of those characters and respect for their stories come through loud and clear in her writing. Reaching Amazon’s top 100 list in Erotica with Midnight Caller and Landslide, NJ Cole promises to entertain and excite the reader with her newest tales of love, romance, and as always, hot, steamy sex. https://www.facebook.com/njcoleauthor

Living In The Era of Literary McCarthyism – #31WriteNow – #ASMSG

A year or so ago when I was researching the possibility of self-publishing, I heard through social media and ran across some articles about these mobs of readers and sometimes writers who do a lot of unpleasant bandwagon commenting on some Indie writers’ new releases. This happened quite a lot on GoodReads, and unfortunately it also happened on other social media platforms.

It kind of works like this: if a new indie author happens to make an offhand comment or do something to otherwise tick off the readers, fans, writers, BFFs of writers, or writers by sometimes just the act of posting their intended release– the bullies will jump on and make belittling comments, rate you before even reading your work, place your work on these shelves that are often derogatory, and sometimes make veiled and unveiled threats. This is an act of cyber bullying that they dress up as freedom of speech.

111102018When I told some author friends I wanted to write about this on my blog back then, most of them said “no you don’t want to do that, they could target you, too.” So, I didn’t write about it then, but I coined the phrase Literary McCarthyism to describe what was happening on social media platforms all over the net. McCarthyism defined is a political ploy that wields accusations and shame without significant evidence. In the literary world, it is wielding hateful, slanderous accusation against an author or their person, often without having even read their work. These occurrences became so frequent, they were being written about in well-known e-zines like Huffington Post, Salon, and many others. However, we Indies were being advised not to speak on it. Ever.

This past week, an Indie author made the decision to pull her story before it released due to such bullying on GoodReads. This seemed like the straw that broke the camel’s back because so many authors came to her defense, she finally got a response from GoodReads. They seemed to acknowledge that some of their members’ responses were inappropriate and would look into it, particularly where it pertained to some of the site’s own librarians either inciting or participating in such activities.

In my case and many other Indies who have been unfairly taunted by folks on GoodReads or other social media, this may seem like it’s too little too late. However, for those coming after us, I certainly hope the social media sites will make better attempts to control the unruly behavior of some of their members. Some people are a lot more fragile than others and can’t take being told “you suck,” or “you need to die in a fire,” or “you should be raped in a prison erected by your bad writing,” or such similar things.

During a not so wonderful time in our history, there was a U.S. Senator named Joseph McCarthy who made a public accusation that more than 200 “card-carrying communists” had infiltrated the United States government. Although his accusations were eventually proven to be untrue, his zealous campaigning ushered in one of the most repressive times in Twentieth Century American politics. In the final analysis, he was censured by the Senate for unbecoming conduct, however, he had by that time ruined the lives and destroyed the livelihoods of many people. Most of them were writers, artists and entertainers.tumblr_m3nd5oo7XK1qjsaf0o1_400

Who’s going to censure the Literary McCarthyism occurring today? This senseless, hurtful practice of mobbing unsuspecting authors, whose only crime was to write and self-publish a book, has to stop. Authors can expect that not everyone will love what they write, no matter who they are. However, authors should not expect to be personally humiliated or bullied into pulling their work. It’s time to stop the cyber bullying that’s just another form of Literary McCarthyism and let Indie writers do what they love without fear of repercussions or reprisals for absolutely no reason at all.

Don’t Believe Your Own Press or The Case For Deciding Whether To Read Your Reviews – #31WriteNow – #ASMSG

When I first published my book, I was like a proverbial kid in a candy story when good reviews began to roll in. After a horrible first start at GoodReads, Amazon readers actually reviewed the story, not the title. They also didn’t hate on the fact that I chose to do a parody/pastiche of Fifty Shades of Grey. Any reader who knows anything about form and genre knows that this is allowed. Don’t they? Otherwise we wouldn’t have Ulysses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, or even Fifty Shames of Earl Grey, just to name a few.

50SoJF - CoverI have an amazing base of readers who get what I was trying to do with this story–put a little diversity in a popular erotic romance and poke fun at some things that, as an African American woman, used to totally piss me off. Like the use of the terms “Jungle Fever” and “Ghetto.” I wanted to show readers that people are not always a product of their environment. You can take the hood out of the girl–well most of it. I also used the pop culture references and the fairies to infuse the story with humor that bordered on the ridiculous, sort of like that old HBO sitcom Dream On.

My goal was to strike a precarious balance in Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever, because I didn’t want to go to extremes on either end of the spectrum. I honestly didn’t want to offend anyone, but I should never have been so naïve. “You can’t please all of the people all of the time” is sage advice, or real talk as we like to say these days.

I found out in short order that my balance wasn’t precarious enough. While for the most part, my reviews skew good, I get the rare one or two rating. Usually these are from people who are 1) offended by the title, 2) rushing to judgment, 3) biased for reasons both known and unknown, 4) determined not to like it because I deigned to spoof Fifty Shades of Grey, 5) editors in their own minds, but really don’t have a clue what bad editing looks like (no, it is not the odd typo). There are other groups, but there are so few of them that don’t get a category.

When you’re a new writer–and a minority of veterans, I understand–you tend to take reviews personally. I decided early on I wouldn’t do this. In fact, when I got my first one rating, I celebrated with a blog post because I felt it was a momentous occasion. That less-than-stellar rating validated me as an author, because I knew that all writers get bad reviews. Some books, as well-written as they are, are not the literary tastes of all readers. Readers feel compelled to tell you and the world when this is the case. That will likely never change.

As I have interacted with other authors, both Indie and traditionally published, I’ve found that writers have varying ways of dealing with reviews. While some read each and every one and let them roll off their backs, some read every one and agonize over them, analyzing the nuance of every sentence and the words contained within. Some writers are deeply offended by bad reviews and others couldn’t care less.

Then there is the camp of authors who don’t read their reviews at all. These are the ones that fascinate me most. Their reasons for doing so vary, but I find most do so for either one of two reasons 1) they don’t want to be that writer who believes their own press (reviews, if you will), and 2) they don’t want what’s there to mess with their creative muse or mojo as we writers like to call it. I am an author who falls in the later camp, but I also find myself torn over this issue. While I want to read all my readers reviews and emails out of appreciation for purchasing and reading my book, I find myself often getting distracted by things that really shouldn’t matter.

Master w WhipOften it is the reviews or emails I don’t understand that keep me thinking about them. Reviews that say things like, “your characters are too ghetto,” or “your characters aren’t ghetto enough,” or “there is too much ebonics in this story (newsflash: there is a difference between ebonics, vernacular, and slang).” I particularly love the ones that say, “this story is poorly edited,” because my story has gone through two rounds of spectacular editing, and if there are any typos in there, they are entirely my fault. It is because my eyes have played tricks on me when I’m going through and accepting and rejecting the changes from my editors. (And if another author or reader notices any of these in my book, please point them out to me.)

However, the granddaddy of them all is the “I could not finish reading this book, but I’m going to give you a one, anyway.” This really doesn’t merit any expounding on because, well . . . it’s like filling out a customer service survey for a product or service you’ve never sampled or experienced. How do you know what your rating would be, since you didn’t really try that product or service?

I had been toying with the idea of not reading reviews at all anymore, but I felt like that would be a slight to the many readers who’ve read and enjoyed my book. So my compromise is this: when I’m in the throes of writing and trying to meet a deadline, I will not read my reviews for fear of stalling my creativity. However, when I’m not working on a deadline or going through a severe case of writer’s block, I will read every review and email I get, because I refuse to let an opinion in the minority negate the validation that so many other readers have given my book.

Sneak Peek Sunday – Éire’s Viking by Sandi Layne ~ #31WriteNow

ae79e-sneekpeeksundaywithframeFans of historical romance will be happy to know that Sandi Layne’s Éire’s Viking trilogy will be continuing early in 2014 with the second book in the series:

ÉIRE’S VIKING

Beginning approximately ten years after Éire’s Captive Moon, ended, this story continues telling of the incursion of the Norsemen into the interior of the green land of Éire.

Summary:

It’s been years since Agnarr met his wyrd on the Green Island. Years since he left Charis, his former trell and medicine woman, with her new husband in her new village. Even though he lost her, he cannot help but feel his destiny lies with her people of Éire, so he returns with his final raiding party. Once there, a chance encounter strikes him speechless and without his memory, alone in a foreign land.

He is taken to Aislinn, a physician who is serving in Bangor Monastery. Born in Ragor, the village Agnarr destroyed when she was a child, she is now the adopted daughter of Charis and Cowan, and has herself trained in healing. Drawn to her tall, blond patient in a way that she never has been to a man before, she is horrified and angry to find that he is the one responsible for the loss of her home.

These are turbulent times in Éire, and there are volatile tempers all around. Still, Agnarr Halvardson would stay on the island, wed, and sire sons to live in strength and plenty in his adopted home. He wants Aislinn to be his wife and the mother of his children, but she won’t marry without love. He worships Thor and Odin; she worships Jesu the Christ. Can two from such opposing backgrounds find happiness with one another? Might they even find a love that will change both their worlds?

Excerpt:

Eire forestAt length, her body eased into his, which pleased him. Her cloak and his shirt separated his skin from hers from her neck to mid-thigh. Her bare legs drew his gaze, but he shut his eyes and tilted his head back. By the gods, he had to think. Her illness had pervaded his every thought since she had dropped her bread that morning.

They had to get back to her village. He had to figure out how to trade for land so he could farm. He swore under his breath. He should have claimed a share of the bounty from Tuirgeis to give him something to trade. Still, he would try. The berserker would know what to do. As the son of a king, he might be able to help.

He could build a langhús of his own. And find a víf. One of the Islander women. He would first have to have the house to bring her to, since he no longer had his own in Balestrand. A gift for the bride night would also have to be secured. And crops. And sheep. This land had many sheep, as he well knew.

It rankled more than a little to be in a subservient position, though. He could simply overtake a farm . . .

In his arms, the healer shuddered. A cold, clammy sensation slid over his skin. Had she sensed the direction his thoughts were taking? These were her people, after all. No, he should not plan on gaining land by warfare. But chance? Maybe. If Thor was pleased with him, the god himself might make it happen. Yes.

More at ease on that score, Agnarr felt his eyes grow heavy. The fire burned low, so he leaned as far as he could, grabbing a branch to throw into it. Sparks flew and he shielded Aislinn’s bare skin with his arm, getting a couple of tiny burns for his trouble. It was of no matter.

She was another thing altogether. As his eyes slid shut, his mind found the woman he wanted as his own on the Green Island. She had braids as black as obsidian, eyes as blue as the deepest, purest lake of Nordweg, a form as entrancing as any he had ever seen. Half-dozing with the warmth of Aislinn’s body pressed into his, he noticed too late the intruders into the small camp—and Mjøllnir had been left by the fire when he had removed his shirt.

ECM small

The first book of this trilogy, Éire’s Captive Moon, is available here:

Amazon Kindle, Paperback

Kobo

Barnes and Noble

iTunes

The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House

Kells Bird

Headshot8aSandi Layne writes historical and inspirational fiction. Having self-published for many years, she only relatively recently has entered a more conventional publishing world. Wife of one and mom of two, she currently lives in Maryland, where she enjoys these fantastic things called seasons. She has won an award for Celtic fiction as well as sundry minor online writing kudos over the years. She enjoys cooking but not baking, walking but not running, swimming when weather permits, and Mondays. You can find her on her website: http://sandyquill.com, on twitter: http://twitter.com/sandyquill, on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/sandi_layne, and Facebook: Sandi Layne – Author

What I’m Most Thankful For As An Author – #31WriteNow

I was very excited and happy when I finally finished a book and published it. I was also ecstatically happy when it found a niche of readers and began to sell. And I would be remiss if I didn’t say how thankful I am for the many book clubs who reached out to me when I was stumbling around without a clue in the publishing world trying to figure out how to market and promote my book.

building relationshipsI love being part of groups on the various social media where I get to learn so much about craft, life, and about the publishing industry. It will be a year in November since I’ve been on this journey. In fact, it was October 31, 2012 when I published my book, and I can’t believe it’s been almost a year.

As I pondered what I’m most thankful for, I’d have to say it’s the relationships I’ve forged with other readers and with other writers. I have a wonderful Facebook Group called “The Block” where I get to chat with readers and just be myself. I have three wonderful administrators who take care of things there while I’m working my day job, and writing in the evenings. And on Facebook and other messaging applications.

In fact just tonight I was able to collaborate and brainstorm with a group of authors I admire and

 

relationships of a group

call friends despite not having met either of them face-to-face. Yet, I hope to do so, eventually. So, if I had to pick one thing I am most thankful for as a writer, I would pick my relationships, hands-down.

Cover Reveal – Odin’s Murder by Angel Lawson & Kira Gold – #31WriteNow

Cover Reveal!

Odin’s Murder by Angel Lawson & Kira Gold

odins-murder-final cover

“Hard time prepared me for many things, but playing research assistant to a flock of nerds wasn’t one of them.”

Ethan Tyrell is out of his element at the College Scholastic Honors Program for exceptional students. But at least he’s out of prison. Keeping his temper and his hands to himself isn’t so easy when an irritating professor demands full participation with a mismatched study group, where he clashes with his roommate’s sister, Memory.

Memory Erikssen is not the kind of girl a boy can forget; she makes sure of that. Quick with both a charcoal pencil and a lipstick, she won’t draw the same line or walk the same path twice, and antagonizing Ethan is a break from the usual academic doldrums.

Ethan and Memory find themselves tangled together by more than their special abilities–and mutual irritation–as members of their team go missing, and they unravel a dangerous mystery that spans centuries of local and distant legends.

Angel Lawson’s website: www.angellawson.com

@lawsonwrites

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lawsonwrites?fref=ts

Kira Gold blog: kiraagold.wordpress.com

twitter: @KiraAGold

Sunday Sneak Peek ~ Only Her Heart by Olivia Linden ~ #31WriteNow

98b1d-a2asneakpeek

Only Her Heart

By Olivia Linden

Holding the pieces of her drama riddled life, Jade decides to leave her disappointments in the past and move on. When her aunt opens up about a family secret, she realizes that everyone else seems to do what they please. Well, now so will she. Building life from the ground up isn’t easy, but with the right friends, she creates the life of her once forgotten dreams.

At the crux of an intense love tug-o-war, one question she must answer is which man will play the lead role? Will Julian, the ‘bad boy’ who mysteriously walks back into her life manage to win her heart? Will she find forgiveness and a happy ending with John, Mr. “almost perfect’? Maybe there is someone new on the horizon that she can start fresh with. Life is never simple for Jade, but when she listens to her heart, she begins to open doors to a whole new world.
With new friends, and new exciting adventures, Jade is growing into a woman that she is proud of. The real question she needs to figure out is? What does she want her life to become?

Excerpt

Next to me, John was visibly tense and his phone kept buzzing repeatedly until he placed it on Linden_Jadesilent. My stomach was so twisted that I could barely eat any of the succulent baked chicken or scalloped potatoes Aunt V had prepared. The forced and awkward conversations didn’t help either. I felt my chest tighten like all the air was being sucked out of the room. I had to get away from this circus. Startling everyone in the room, I shoved away from the table, the legs of my chair scraping loudly against the wood floors.

“I’m sorry,” I squeaked out. “I just…need some…air.” I stormed out towards the back patio, leaning up against the wall as I struggled to breath. It was weird because my mind was telling me there was no rational reason why I couldn’t breath, but my body felt like it was defective in the act of doing it. Sitting at the table, I felt like someone had put me in a coffin.

John came storming out the door a few moments later. He looked around frantically until he found me.

“Jade? What’s wrong?” He waited for an answer and when I remained pressed close to the wall, gulping in air, he moved closer.
“Jade?” He examined my stance, taking in my clenched fists and heaving chest. I shook my head, trying to communicate without words that I wanted to be left alone. Knowing John, that wasn’t happening. Concern flashed through his eyes as watched, waiting for me to snap out of whatever was happening to me. Then he gingerly gripped my shoulders and maneuvered me to a chair.

“Sit here,” he directed me. “Now, put your head between your legs. That’s it. Take deep breaths.”

The ringing in my ears lessened, and eventually I was breathing normal. I raised my head, immediately looking away from his sympathetic gaze, and then leaned back covering my face with my hands.

“Thank you,” I spoke between my fingers. John squatted down, resting one hand on my knees, and moving my hands away with the other.

“Was that a panic attack?”
“I guess, I don’t know.”
“Has it happened before?”
“John, don’t worry. It’s not a big deal.” I tried to push his hand away, but he refused to move.

“It’s not a big deal, that you just freaked out in front of your family? You scared us in there.”

Feeling much better, I sprang up out of my chair causing John to jump up quickly.

“Well, I didn’t really plan it John! Sorry, but I was more concerned with breathing than my dinner table manners.”

“Jade, talk to me. Please?”
“Not here. Not tonight.”
“When? I’ve tried to wait you out but, this is too much.”
“John!” I hadn’t meant to yell, but I couldn’t deal with him. His pleading was starting to break me down and I couldn’t deal. We just stared at each other until he blew out a deep breath, and ran his fingers through his hair. I loved when he did that.

Olivia Linden Bio:

Olivia Linden, a native New Yorker, was raised between Queens and San Antonio, TX. Currently living in Florida with her 10 year-old son, she decided it was time to follow her dreams of becoming a full time author. Her creativeauthor photo itch began when her elementary school principal posted one of her stories in the halls of her school. She was only seven at the time, but old enough to understand how integral writing would be to her future. From that moment on, reading and writing became her two greatest passions.
Olivia is a newbie to the industry, but she hasn’t stopped writing since she found her literary voice all those years ago. Jaded Hearts, her first published novel, mixes her big personality, with a sexy yet humorous tone. It is her philosophy that laughter is essential to making it through even the toughest situations.

Find your passion with Jaded Hearts by Olivia Linden.jaded_hearts_logo

Contact

email: olivialinden234@gmail.com
Website: http://olivialinden.com/
Amazon: http://ow.ly/mSyVj
Book website: http://jadedhearts.wix.com/tjhc#!bio/c1ktj
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6937959.Olivia_Linden
Book Trailers:
Jaded Hearts: http://youtu.be/iHsiPPaW8PM
Only Her Heart: http://youtu.be/eRB7fD11GRk

Reciprocity ~ #31WriteNow

rec·i·proc·i·ty /ˌresəˈpräsətē/ Noun. – The practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country, organization or entity to another.

I’ve given a lot of thought to this word, lately, and used it in quite a few situations. The definition above is great, albeit a very formal one. In the real world and to a lot of people, simply put reciprocity means, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” It’s one of those age-old adages that in contemporary writing would be considered a cliché. However, in the world of indie writers, it’s a staple and a mainstay, if practiced properly.

When I clicked the “publish” button and put my book out there for the world to see it that first time, it was terrifying. Many new authors I’ve spoken to since that time have attested to this fact. All your insecurities real and perceived rise to the surface from the pit of your belly and you feel as if you’re going to be choked by them until you can no longer breathe. However, as the days go on and you get over the first few days of new author-itis, and the reviews, good and bad begin to roll in, you begin to accept that you are no longer aspiring–you’re published.

If you’re like me, this fact brings with it so many more issues that you never thought about before clicking that button. There is no dearth of information on the internet and in published form about self-publishing books, marketing them, building your brand. However, there is not a lot out there definitively on how authors should support one another in the Indie world. Traditional Publishers have stables of writers that they encourage to support one another by reading each other’s books and providing a cover blurb. They even have the big reviewing outfits many of whom don’t review Indies, and if they do, these services come at a hefty price.

Necessity being the mother of invention, Indies are being courted more and more by book review blogs springing up all over the blogosphere. Therefore, for every infrastructure that exists for traditionally published authors, something similar springs up for Indies. However, the one area in which we tend to flail around with very little protocol is the area of supporting one another. Yes, there are many loosely banded groups who do promotion of each other, but I have yet to find one that works for all involved all the time.

Oftentimes a few pull the weight while some sit back and reap the benefits; some are strong in the areas of providing information but weak in the areas of real promotion; and better still the groups are so loosey goosey no real promotion ever really happens. In addition to this, I’ve found as I talk to indie writers I meet in the many groups in which I’m a member, they are not willing to promote others because they feel like they’ve worked so hard to build their brand, build a following, and gain a modicum of success for their product, they don’t want to recommend any other writers.

Some have legitimate reasons why, like their inability to assess quality before they promote. It would take more time than I have to write this blog post to go further into why they refuse to read other indie writers’ works (I guess that will have to be a blog post for another time). And I know for a fact, that like myself, many Indie writers have other jobs, because they simply don’t make enough money writing to support themselves, so organized promotion becomes that thing that is a chore they simply can’t take on–not when it’s so labor intensive that your writing and your attention to your own social networks, fans, and writing suffers.

I suppose I’ve said all I’ve said here to say that I wish there was a more organized manner in which Indies could support one another in promotion. If we could forget all the reasons why we don’t want to and just do it–provide a reciprocal sharing of our works with the masses, we could all reach more readers and get our books in front of more purchasers. A more contemporary, slightly different action that takes on a similar meaning to reciprocity is “paying it forward.” The difference in this case being you may not do something to benefit that person from whom you received the favor, gift, or privilege. You’re helping someone else entirely in many cases. I know this might be one of those idealistic notions that many might view as a fad, but I’d like to think there are enough readers around for all of us, and we should gladly help other writers find theirs, as others helped us find our own.

My Review of Frontline by Alexandra Richland ~ #31WriteNow

3D Frontline Cover FRONTIt is my pleasure to host Frontline by Alexandra Richland via The Novel Tease. This promises to be a special treat for romantic suspense fans, and a Giveaway is available below. Enjoy! ~ LV

Title: Frontline

Author: Alexandra Richland

Release Date: August 6, 2013

Genre: Mystery/Contemporary Romance

Cover designed by: F.S. Meurinne (www.fsmeurinne.com) E-mail: info@fsmeurinne.com

Synopsis:

When nurse Sara Peters treats celebrity billionaire Trenton Merrick for a mysterious injury to his forehead, she is blindsided by what follows: A passionate exchange in the examination room, followed by an invitation to Trenton’s mansion the next night.

Trenton spins a web of deceit and seduction around Sara that both repels and attracts her. One part humanitarian, the other international financial mogul, his professional and public life are a curious contradiction. As Sara journeys deeper into her feelings for Trenton and begins unraveling the mystery behind his injury, she finds herself embroiled in a game of trust and betrayal, where the odds are stacked in Trenton’s favor, and the outcome for the loser is too terrifying to conceive.

Goodreads link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16909152-frontline

Book Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZNzH791bYY

vOv

Frontline Promo Pic 3 (1)

My Review of Frontline

Alexandra Richland is one to watch in the genre of romantic suspense. Frontline was exquisitely plotted and kept the reader guessing in the vein of a veteran suspense writer. The hero, billionaire Trenton Merrick, is an alpha male and quite the enigma to the heroine, Nurse Sara Peters. After a passionate altercation in the ER while treating Merrick for a mysterious cut on his forehead, Sara is drawn to this man like a moth to a flame.

Flummoxed by how quickly they become embroiled in what promises to be a steamy affair, Sara is torn between trusting Merrick and letting herself fall for him, and running as far away from him as she possibly can. This conflict keeps the plot fresh and believable. Indeed, were a rich man to meet you, at once become quickly enamored, then not demonstrate the actions that match up with his words I’m sure you’d be just as discombobulated as Sara.

The more she gets to know about Trenton Merrick, the more she questions his intentions, his business dealings, his feelings for her, and whether he is an honest, law-abiding citizen. This is attraction to the bad boy in the extreme, if what her friend uncovers about Merrick is true. While his philanthropic ventures don’t mesh with his persona on the illegally acquired papers she has been given to peruse, Sara repeatedly makes attempts to dispel the notion that Trenton is not a good guy. However, she is disappointed at every turn, and deliberately kept in the dark by Merrick and his security men, whom she affectionately calls “Tin Men.”

As she and her two best friends become enthralled with Trenton and his two best friends and co-managers of his security team, the UST heats up while the stakes go higher on the Frontline. Readers discover along with Sara Peters just who Trenton Merrick is.

If there is one thing I would change about Frontline, it would be Sara’s insistence on calling him Mr. Merrick in her thoughts so much in the first one third of the book. I would postulate that any man whose tongue finds itself down your throat within the first half hour of meeting you should be someone you can address on a first name basis, especially in your thoughts. She repeated Mr. Merrick so many times it took on an almost comical effect, and I don’t think that was what Ms. Richland was going for. I understood that she was distancing herself from him by using his formal name, but it would have been sexier if used in moderation.

Frontline is a mature, romantic suspense story that is well-researched, well-written, and engaging from page one until the end. As a reader becomes more engaged in the plot, in the second third of the mystery, the formal name faux pas is all but forgotten. Join Sara and Trenton on the Frontline. You’ll be very glad you did.

I give Frontline four out of five stars!

vOv

About Alexandra Richland:

Alexandra Richland spends rotating twelve-hour shifts working as a registered nurse at a Toronto hospital, indulging in her love of science and medicine, and caring for patients with their own unique tales to tell. When she is not on duty, Alexandra escapes into her own imagination. Therein lies a fantasy world of thrilling adventure, gorgeous men, classic Hollywood glamour, exotic getaways, and a seductive dose of romance. Alexandra captures these stories in her popular novels, The Starlight Trilogy and Frontline, and her short story, Gilded Cage. Say hello to her on Facebook and on Twitter.

Connect with Alexandra:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5764902.Alexandra_Richland

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ms.AlexandraRichland

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RebelMissAlex

vOv

Giveaway Time

vOv

Excerpt from Frontline:

Mr. Merrick and I face each other. I rock back and forth on my feet nervously.

“Well, I guess this is good-bye.” I stick out my hand for him to shake.

Mr. Merrick slips his hand into mine, but instead of shaking it, he uses his hold as leverage to pull me into him.

“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow evening, Miss Peters,” he says, his lips hovering dangerously close to mine. “After all, I believe I owe you a proper kiss.”

My jaw drops. If what we shared earlier isn’t a real kiss in his book, I can’t imagine what one actually entails.

I feel one hundred pairs of eyes on us from every direction.

“Uh, thank you for, uh, coming, Mr. Merrick,” I say, trying to remain calm, as though he and I are having nothing more than an innocent conversation.

Mr. Merrick drops my hand, but doesn’t move away. As if I’m not turned on enough, he leans in and brushes his lips to my ear. “Welcome to my world, Miss Peters. You’ll soon discover that I live up to my many reputations in every way.”

Frontline Button