Sunday, August 20, 2017

Looking For a Few Good Readers Who Love Steamy #Romance




Naughty Getaways Review Tour is going on until August 27th so there's still time to sign up and get your FREE copy in exchange for a review. And we're looking for a few good readers.

Click Here to Sign Up



Here's what you'll find in this HOT collection by the talented Naughty Literati authors and guest authors:
Terracotta Warriors by Berengaria Brown
Branden loves Sloan but he’s bisexual and craves a woman too. Will adding Naomi to the mix be a disaster or the solution they all need?

Dirty Diana by Francesca Hawley
It's Amateur Night at Gunnar Thorson's strip club and Diana Rav intends to rock his world. She’s lush and sensual with generous curves she’s not afraid to move. Not anymore. She’s learned to love her body and is out to win Gunnar back with a sexy lap dance.

An Unexpected Discovery by Regina Kammer
A Parthian princess searching for the lost throne of her kingdom engages the services of a palace eunuch and discovers a treasure far more precious.

Sinfully Hot by Tina Donahue
A hotter-than-sin reaper. A badass demon. Hell doesn’t get steamier than this.

Ice Queen by Nicole Austin
In school, he was the bad boy this good girl couldn’t have. At work, he’s the boss, I’m his intern. Oh, and his dad just married my mom. It’s so wrong. We shouldn’t be doing this, but I love it.

Peter’s Story by Suz deMello
One summer morning, Peter Fortune, Earl Darlingside, awakened beside a corpse. Accused of homicide, he must change his dissolute ways or face life in prison. Barrister Roxanne Fox, called Foxy Roxy, is charged with his defense. Will desire derail Peter's case?

Tattoo Witch by Kathy Kulig
At a seaside resort, Sam and Anita meet a mysterious owner of a tattoo shop, a witch whose magical tattoos grant scorching, kinky sex beyond their wildest fantasies—but there’s a catch. Each successive tattoo comes with a curse.

Dolphin Paradise by Kate Richards
Dr. Karen Barrow has no intention of falling into the bed of the most notorious ladies' man at Oleander College, but a week alone with him may be her undoing. After all, who will know what they do on Dolphin Paradise before the campers arrive for the summer?

Tropical Heat by Alice Gaines
A proper English miss, a rake, and a tropical island. Imagine what could happen.

BONUS NOVELLAS

Royal Alphas: One Night with the Alpha King by Belle Scarlett
When Senator Anya Fortune snubs His Royal Majesty’s wedding offer, Shade wonders what an Alpha King has to do to get the woman to notice him...Claim the one, hot night he’s given by law to change her mind, naturally. Let the game of hearts begin. Winner take all.

Summer Lovin’ by Nicole Austin
Cougar on the prowl, Larissa Cross is ready for a summer full of hot younger man lovin’. Rawr! Tattooed and pierced fireman JD Harmon is tempting prey but he intends to tame the wicked cougar and stake a claim on her heart.

Sign up Now! There's still time to get you free copy: Click Here to Sign Up to get your ARC.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Defeating Writers Block: Love to Read by Suz deMello (#iamwriting #writersblock #MFRWAuthor)

In another installment of what to do when you're blocked, another option is to seek inspiration. Or, rather, do what you did when you were an author in training. 

I didn't know I was an author in training as a child and as a teen, when I read obsessively. I clearly remember the first book I really loved--I believe I was about three years old. I don't remember the title, but it was about a train, all the things the train carried, and the people on the train. 


I went from there to read just about everything I could lay my hands on. When I was a teen I was a little bit more organized. I had a science fiction phase in which I read sci-fi from A to Z, literally from Asimov to Zelazny. Then I read
every British murder-mystery I could, starting with Holmes of course, moving through Sayers and Christie. Then I started to read Regency Romance. Going to college interrupted my unplanned unconscious reading schedule. But I still read novels almost exclusively with the exception of British histories, mostly by Thomas Costain.


I didn't realize what I was doing at the time, but the obsessive reading of pop fiction educated me in the basics of writing pop fiction. I unconsciously learned everything from the overarching notion of story down through plot characterization conflict and even proper sentence structure. 




I make the point in my book About Writing, as follows:



Writing a book starts long before you open your new journal, or begin a new document on your computer and type “Chapter One.” You need to have read a lot of books, and I don’t mean craft works like this manual. Read, but not just anything.

Aspiring writers are often told, “read in your genre.” But Faulkner said, “Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.”

I don’t completely agree with the above advice. Mine is: Read well-written books.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/628973
What books are they? Try using the internet to search for lists of the best books ever written in English, or whatever language in which you’re planning to write. Do not read translated books. While many are great, you want to read excellent books by those who have mastered all aspects of writing. Book translators possess extremely refined skills, and writing an original work from start to “the end” is not often among them.

Be selective. While reading works such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the original middle English may be interesting and educational, you want to read books that are written in the version of English we use, so as to accustom your ear and your mind to modern, grammatically correct language.

The purpose of extensive reading is not to entertain but to enlighten. Pay attention to what you’re reading. Read books that call to you more than once, to figure out why they’re compelling. Look at the big picture aspects first: character and conflict, plot and story. During the next reading you can analyze narrower mechanical concerns such as word choice and sentence structure. Ask yourself, “How does this writer use these tools to elicit a particular reaction from the reader?”

Third reading: start looking for subtleties such as symbolism, subtext, and theme. How does the writer express these? What images does the author employ? What words does she choose? How long or short are sentences, paragraphs, chapters? Why?

It’s not the purpose of this treatise to teach everything there is to know about every aspect of fiction writing. It’s not possible. But reading programs your brain in particular ways. I emphasize reading modern works, works that use the same sentence structure, grammar, and vocabulary common in contemporary fiction. Read to increase your knowledge of, and command over, your tools: words, sentences, paragraphs, scenes. Read great books over and over again. Learn an appreciation for the English language and good writing, even down to correct apostrophe placement and comma usage.

Reading well-written books will imprint strong storytelling, correct grammar, and good sentence structure upon your mind, and it’s a lot easier to learn by reading than by taking classes. A lifetime of good reading can create a good writer. You’ll become a more able author, especially if you’re writing as well as reading, such as keeping a journal or making notes. It doesn’t really matter what you’re writing at this phase. If you’re writing fiction, great. If not, that’s okay too.

All of this is to encourage becoming thoroughly fluent in the English language. If you aren’t, the sad truth is that you needn’t try to write anything more complex than a shopping list or a thank-you note. Readers know what good writing is and isn’t, and they can be as unforgiving about sloppiness as the plastic surgeon’s patient.


Law school interrupted my reading. I did not realize how much I missed it until
after I had graduated and I found that something in my life was missing. My eye fell upon a copy of Ursula Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea, one of my favorites, and I realized that I had not read a novel in 3 years. 


Because I'm blocked, I'm back to reading. I used to read books that I loved, and rewatch TV and movies that I adored, but now I don't do that very often. A book has to be amazing for me to reread it, and the same is true of films. I like new things. I like novelty, and I like to learn something new when I can.

And so I've returned to my roots, and am again reading fanatically. And enjoying every word.


Right now I'm reading all of Nora Roberts' The Obsession. What are you reading?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Memorable Rejections Received Over the Years by Marianne Stephens

Here's a questionable rejection from a very high profile, RWA-recognized, well-known agent.

I sent the requested three chapters. I received a rejection thanking me for giving her the opportunity to read my complete manuscript. I wrote back and noted I'd only sent three chapters and wondered if we were talking about the same submission. She wrote back...and I quote..."Once a letter has been mailed, we do not offer any additional feedback on a submission."

I have no idea if my chapters were what she was rejecting or someone else's full manuscript.

My second questionable rejection is from an agent no longer recognized by RWA.

I sent a requested full manuscript. She called and spent 30 minutes asking questions about the book and other books I had written or was in the process of writing. She said she was almost through reading it and it looked fine. She wanted to finish it and make sure I'd followed through with the story to the end. This was a Monday. She said she'd get back to me by Friday or the following Monday.

A month later she called and proceeded to tell me all the things that were wrong with the book to include plot, too much character-driven material, etc. She suggested I read 4 books on writing and redo the story before I'd be allowed to resubmit to her. I chose not to contact her again.

Another rejection:

I'd written a category romance following the guidelines and sent in a query. My rejection stated that they really weren't looking for books with children in them for this particular line...and mine was about a woman running a daycare facility. Nowhere in the guidelines did it state they didn't want kids in the story or else I'd never have submitted.

I now publish with self-publishing groups.

Anyone else have memorable rejections to share?

Marianne Stephens
http://www.mariannestephens.net
http://romancebooks4us.com
photo: Flickr: Caro Wallis photostream



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Tell Me A Story



A group of male/male romance authors was given this picture and asked to tell a story about it.
Here's what I wrote.

“I don’t even understand why you invited me to come to the conference with you this weekend. You haven’t spent ten seconds in the same room as me all day.” Jayden crossed his bare arms over his naked chest and glowered at Vincent, not even excited to be wearing the brand new teeny-tiny Speedo swimwear he’d raced out to buy when he heard the conference center had a swimming pool and hot tub.
“You knew I was here for work. The company is paying me to attend so they expect me to participate in the various workshops and forums.”
Jay ground his teeth together to stop him from screaming at Vince. It took every ounce of control he had to keep his voice sufficiently low that the people in the next room wouldn’t hear every word he said. “There’s no workshop or forum on now. Your program states ‘Free Time. Please avail yourselves of our facilities.’ The swimming pool is a facility and you know I said I was looking forward to using it.”
Jay bit his lip. He’d had such high hopes about this weekend away. Vince held a senior management position with TekiSolutionz, and he often worked late nights and all through the weekend. They had so little time together that when Vince had asked him to come to this conference he hadn’t begrudged a cent of the money it’d cost him to buy several new shirts, neckties, and even new shoes so he’d look appropriately attired to be a senior manager’s partner.
But this free time was precious. He’d had such high hopes of the moments they’d spend in each other’s others arms in the few brief breaks in the program. It would be the pay off for him sitting silent and bored beside Vince for hours and hours during the formal presentations and speeches tomorrow night.
Vince shook his head. “Jay, I never promised to spend the free time with you. I’ve gotten permission to use Breakout Room Three with one of the sound system engineers and a video tech to practice my presentation for tomorrow night. They’re going to record me so I can watch the tape and see what I need to improve. You know how important it is to me to impress our major clients and stakeholders tomorrow.”
“Of course I know. You’ve been talking about it nonstop for weeks. But what about me? When will you be able to squeeze me into your life?”
“You’re already in my life. You know I love you. I invited you here in public as my partner.”
“Yes, but we’ve hardly seen each other. When are we actually going to exchange a sentence with each other?”
“We could do that now if you’d stop pouting and acting like I’m standing you up.”
Just then Vince’s cell phone beeped.
“Gotta run. That’s the sound tech ready for me. I’ll see you for dinner tonight. It’s formal remember. At seven, in the ballroom.”
Jay nodded, but Vince wasn’t even looking. He was already halfway out the door on his way to his next appointment. Jay dropped back onto the bed. That’s the way it was far too often. Vince rushing from an important meeting to an even more important meeting. Him coming home from his very ordinary job to cook dinner for them both even though he knew that half the time Vince wouldn’t come home to eat it and the rest of the time it wouldn’t taste nice anyway because it’d gone cold and been reheated hours later.
Was that going to be all his life held from now on? Snatches of Vince’s time when his work didn’t come first? Himself just a space filler for when Vince’s career was up-to-date? Vince said he loved him, but was that enough to live on?

* * * *

Vince had trouble putting Jay’s sad face out of his mind so he could concentrate on his work. It was even harder trying to forget the bright pink and black swimwear he’d been wearing. It didn’t leave much to the imagination and Vince would enjoy freeing Jay’s mighty fine cock from the tiny piece of fabric and tasting him.
But not now. Tomorrow night was vital for his career. Only four of the senior managers would be giving a presentation at the formal dinner and he was one of them. He absolutely had to give such an honor every ounce of his effort and attention. No way could he risk stumbling over his words or not producing a smooth, engrossing speech. This rehearsal was very important to him. Only by watching a video of himself would he genuinely know if he’d gotten his timing or actions wrong or if his words didn’t come out how he wanted them to.
But he hated that Jay was sad. Vince knew he’d been ignoring Jay lately. Well, not ignoring him precisely. No one could ever ignore such a delicious hunk of premium manhood. But maybe taking him for granted somewhat. He did need to change up his game and come home on time more often. Or at least text Jay with the time he actually would be home. It was rude to expect dinner to be cooked for him and then not turn up. He did need to act better toward Jay.
He mentally ran through his speech, and then stood on the stage and gave the presentation as if he were in the ballroom. The sound crew clapped him at the end, but he wasn’t sure if they were being polite, or if they’d liked his speech. However when they replayed the video, he had come across well. Now he just had to worry that he wouldn’t fuck-up on the night. Wasn’t there some saying or other that the worse the dress rehearsal went, the better the performance usually was? Oh shit, maybe this hadn’t been such a brilliant idea after all.
“Thank you all for helping me out,” Vince said to the sound crew.
“No problem. We still have over an hour before we need to start setting up for the dinner tonight.”
“Really? I thought it’d take longer.”
“You were as smooth as silk. You’ve got time to get a coffee or whatever before preparing for tonight’s program.”
“Thanks. I might do that.”
But instead of going downstairs to the coffee shop, he went up to the rooftop swimming pool. He half expected to find Jay lying on a sun bed sipping some exotic drink, or maybe surrounded by men lusting after him in that tiny sexy pink piece of fabric.
Instead, Jay had evidently been swimming. He was in the middle of the pool stretching. Damn, he looked delicious. The yummiest hunk of man on planet Earth. Without stopping to think Vince raced down the steps and into the swimming pool, and marched across to Jay, pulling him into his arms and kissing him.
“I love you, Jay. I promise to spend more time with you.”
Jay jumped up, wrapping his legs around Vince’s waist. “I love you, too, Vince, but that suit isn’t going to like being in chlorinated water. Why didn’t you change into your board shorts first?”
“I didn’t want to waste a single minute when I could be with you. I promise to be better about letting you know when I’m free, and spending every spare second of my life with you.”
“Every spare second, hmm? How can a man resist such a wonderful offer?”
Vince tightened his grip on Jay as Jay kissed him back with so much promise if he hadn’t been waist deep in water they’d have been arrested for what might happen next.

Berengaria Brown

Blog: http://berengariasblog.blogspot.com/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Berengaria-Brown/e/B00541R3YQ/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/berengaria.brown?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BerengariaBrown

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Join in the Crazy Alien Games

by Katherine Kingston

My science fiction novella Checkmate is now available from most ebook outlets and I invite you to come along on a wild ride around far-off worlds, through the obligatory spaceport cantina, to a place where decorating bridges is a high art form and onto a planet whose inhabitants enjoy reality show games with a bit more realism than most of us would find comfortable.

Devonne and Raje, my space-going pirate heroes, are forced to participate in a series of said games when they’re accused of a crime against one of the alien residents of the planet and the only alternative is a forced labor camp.

A quick sample of the ‘games’ they are required to play for the amusement of their captors:

Negotiating a maze that holds more obstacles than just tricky turns and confusing corridors.
Public sex with each other.
Fighting a herd of treckles, small, but vicious creatures.
Demonstrating BDSM sex with each other.
Fighting a corbret, a large, ugly, bad-tempered creature. With teeth. Big, sharp teeth.
Group sex with a different couple.
Fighting that same other couple to the death. Uh, no.


It’s a fast-paced, action-packed story and you’re welcome to join the experience!

Amazon   B&N   iTunes   Kobo    Others

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Naughty Reunions: Return to #Romance is #free on #Instafreebie!

The Naughty Literati are now on Instafreebie! And we're starting off by giving away our Autumn 2015 anthology Naughty Reunions: Return to Romance -- for free!

Just go to our Naughty Reunions page on Instafreebie and sign up to subscribe to our newsletter, Naughty News. Instafreebie will send you your choice of an epub or mobi file.

Naughty Reunions has nine stories including BBW, Contemporary, F/F, M/M, New Adult, Paranormal, Regency, Shapeshifter, Speculative Fiction, and Stepbrother Romance from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati!

Silent Sky by Regina Kammer
Homeward Bound by Alexa Silver
Lady Esther’s Lesbian Lover by Berengaria Brown
Renovating the Relationship by Katherine Kingston
Part 2: The WyndMaster’s Homecoming by Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Back in Your Arms by Marianne Stephens
My Cups Runneth Over by Francesca Hawley
Ocean Dreams by Suz deMello
Hybrid Mates 5: Take Me Home by Nicole Austin

Subscribing to Naughty News keeps you up to date with new releases, giveaways, author spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and contests! And now you'll get a free copy of Naughty Reunions: Return to Romance!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sexy pirates and the feisty women they love - DAYS OF DESIRE - #TinaDonahueBooks #PiratesPrize #KensingtonBooks


Although I love an alpha hero as much as the next romance fan, I also like my guys to have a heart - at least when it comes to the women they love. They can be commanding, but also need to be cherishing.

When I set out to write my Pirate's Prize series, I wanted to create a pirate hero who was forced into a life of crime and didn't make that his goal. He wants more. That story unfolded as First Comes Desire and has led to book 2 in the series Days of Desire.

Join me on a lush, tropical isle where passion rules while danger lurks.

Meet the women and men who fight for their destinies
during balmy days and impassioned nights.

Days of Desire
Erotic Historical - Available Now
Book 2 Pirate's Prize



Blurb:

In a pirate’s lair, nothing is as it seems . . .

Shipwrecked! When Royce Hastings is found washed up on the shore of a verdant tropical island, he tells the natives he is a merchant headed for Mozambique. The truth, however, is far more mercenary. Noble by birth, the once favored Royce has lost his fortune and family; now he is a hired henchman on the trail of an elusive pirate. His “shipwreck” was a fake. He’ll stop at nothing to infiltrate the island and capture his prey. His mother and sisters’ lives depend on it.

The last thing Royce expects is to be captured himself. But the lovely young woman who tends to his wounds in the tropics quickly takes hold of his heart. Simone is the island’s healer, and her skilled ministrations not only awaken his soul but disturb his conscience. His path has been predetermined; his identity must remain concealed at all costs. Yet the passion he feels in Simone’s sultry, loving arms cannot be denied. With his loyalties torn, Royce must make an agonizing, unthinkable choice. . . .


Excerpt:

He squeezed past the door into the shadowed space. Simone’s fragrance surrounded him, the musky undertones muddying his brain.

She sat on the floor in the corner, grains, seeds, and berries to her side, spread out for the pigeons. They poked their heads through the metal slats in their cage and ate like gluttons. Chickens strutted freely, pecking their food.

Simone stood. The hens scattered. “Are you all right?”

Exhausted and aroused. “Fine.”

“You’re bleeding again.”

“Not much. You shouldn’t be doing this.”

Her chin trembled. “What? Speaking to you? Asking questions? You want me to be silent and unseen?”

He longed to be in her arms, comforted and warmed. Anchored to all the good he’d never really known. Her words proved true. This island had wonderful people. The best life had to offer. Nothing he deserved. “You’re a healer, not someone who tends chickens and birds. Peter should be doing this. Is he a lazy boy?”

She lowered her face, hiding her smile. “A surly one. He thinks he knows everything. Too many times, Diana has promised to thrash him.”

“Good for her. A proper man needs manners. Let me help you.” Eager to reach her, he strode recklessly.

A hen flapped its wings, going right and left to escape his crutch, its squawk ear-piercing. The other chickens scattered, many getting in his way. He twisted to keep from falling.

“Take care.” Simone slipped her arm around his waist, her precious breast pressed to his side.

Surrendering to loneliness and enchantment, he leaned in, his face to her hair. The English countryside couldn’t compete with her blessed scent. Nature had met its equal in her. He nuzzled her glossy tresses. No matter how wrong and irrational his desire, for some reason he’d found home at her side.

Pity he’d managed that too late.

He should have moved away but hadn’t the will.

She guided him to a bed nearly as large as the one in his chamber. This lavish room, like his, boasted a marble floor and whitewashed walls. A lovely place for a new life to take its first breath.

She laid his crutch to the side. “Sit before you fall.” Gently, she pushed him on the silk-covered mattress.


He made a show of falling down.

Her laughter pealed through the room.

Royce feigned insult. “Are you making light of me?”

“Oui.”

His laugh produced happy tears. “Have you no pity for a poor cripple?”

“I have never seen a stronger man.” She held her hands behind her, breasts thrust out, and swayed her hips slowly.

Aphrodite in the flesh. “Is that what you think of me?”

“What I know. You survived a storm that nearly tore our isle from the earth and flung it into the sky. You are no mere man. You are close to a god.”

He was a liar when honor demanded he do nothing to ruin anything here. He was a besotted fool when duty required he see to his family. His mother and sisters had no power to liberate themselves. Without his help, Katie, especially, would know nothing except a life spent in hard labor, cowering at harsh words, dreading the next beating or something equally horrible.

Simone cupped his face. “What is it? Is the pain bad again?”

The worse a man could face. Having to choose between angels: the one in here now with him, or those in his family who he’d been trying to save.



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