Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Inner Goddess TBR Starter Pack Giveaways!

Win hot romances from authors like Lori King, Rosanna Leo, and Michelle Graham (and me, Storm Chase!) by entering for the TBR starter pack giveaway that's being hosted by Pearls from Inner Goddess today, tomorrow and the day after. To keep it simple, I'll quote her:

Each day of the hop, We will give away a Starter Kit to help you tackle your TBR pile.  

To be entered post in the comments with the name of a book on your TBR pile (plus an email contact).  At midnight each night we will pick a random name to win the day's Starter Kit.  
Your name stays in the drawing all three days, so the more times you comment with a title, the more chances to win.  Be sure to come back each day to comment again. 

Starter Kit 1 (Dec. 31)  Laurie Roma - 3 IAD ebooks (Under Pressure, One Shot, & Deadly Target; Lori King - Winner's choice from backlist; Rosanna Leo - ecopy of Predator's Kiss; Storm Chase - winner choice from backlist

Starter Kit 2 (Jan. 1)  Tara Rose - one e-book of each of the Passion Peak, Colorado books - Seducing Carma, Mastering Angela, Training Summer, Chasing Felicity, & Persuading Eve; Randi Alexander - ecopy from backlist; Storm Chase - winner choice from backlist 

Starter Kit 3 (Jan. 2)  Sable Hunter - ebooks Burning Love - Sweeter Version (Hell Yeah! Sweeter Version) & Hot on Her Trail - Sweeter Version (Hell Yeah! Sweeter Version); Corinne Davies - a pdf copy of Caress of Fur & Claiming Destiny; Michelle Graham - winner's choice of one of my backlist titles; Storm Chase - winner choice from backlist for all three days; Iyana Jenna - This Isn't Goodbye

Visit Pearls here and do enter the blog hop here too.

Good luck and Happy New Year! 

Monday, 23 December 2013

Marat M'saev Daan: Writing about love and relationships

Today's guest post is by Marat M'saev Daan author of Moonchild's Smile

Love, one of the oldest "things" in this world. I know that love isn't a thing but an emotion, it is just, are we always treating it as one or it really has become just a thing?

A lot of writers have tried to approach this topic from many different angles. Have you liked their words? Were they appealing to you in any way? Have you learned anything from it? If they were talking about mistakes that were made, have you learned them or just repeated them in your lives? There are a lot of questions that can be asked about love. Here, I want to talk about writing about it.

I have red about a lot of love stories, good and bad as well. Most of the time it felt like those words were forced out by the writers. I am not sure what they had in mind but I didn’t like it. Characters were a bit plastic. Sure, there were emotions, but that wasn’t convincing enough. I was thinking a lot about this and how to avoid commonly made mistake. Finally it has reached my thoughts. I said to me “Hey, put yourself in character’s position.” So I was imagining how it would be to go trough a terrible drama breaking of the relationship. Even in my imagination it hurts like hell. Then I said to me “Ok, now you know how it feels. Write about it!”

I believe that we have to feel that emotion if we want our readers to feel it too. In my last book I was writing about love and relationships while having mine as an example. Like for everything else in life, love as well has both sides of the same coin. We should not limit ourselves just on one side.

Find Marat at these places:
FB Page

Buying links:

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Love Lust and Lipstick Kisses Multi-author Event

Love, Lust and Lipstick Stains are hosting an amazing multi-author Facebook event. On the 22nd December from 1pm-5pm EST 24 authors (including me!) will joining together to spread some Christmas cheer and give away some amazing prizes, including a grand prize of a $50 gift card plus tons of swag, ebooks, paperbacks and more.

So if you would like a break from the stresses of Christmas and fancy the chance to play games and chat with some of the hottest authors around, stop on by on Facebook.

Join the event here and enter to win Storm Chase novels too!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Blackmail Bride Giveaway

Don't you just love all these  Christmas giveaways?   I'll be tweeting about two more that start tomorrow, but in the meantime, here's one of mine to keep you busy:

Blackmail Bride: An Erotic Romance In Scotland

Stalked by her abusive ex-husband, Lucy Grant is desperate for a protector. Lucy aims for the one man who is tough enough for the job, ex-convict Jack Welsh. Found guilty of a crime he didn’t commit, Jack Welsh is convinced Lucy’s ex set him up. Jack will do anything to clear his name - even if it means marrying Lucy.

Enter here to win! 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

TWO Rafflecopters!

'Tis the season to be merry... There are two Rafflecopters going on right now.

First, for Chocolate: An Erotic Romance In Siberia

The blurb:
Star is a top escort with a lucrative sideline in Bondage and Discipline. However, a wrong move lands her in Siberia as the unwilling leading light in a series of extreme S&M films.

Refusing to give in to fear, Star fights back, and finally drives her captors to present her as a gift to Alexei, a prison officer who is feared throughout the state.

Star quickly discovers Alexei has a penchant kinky sex, and a seemingly unending supply of chocolates he rewards her with. Star falls in love, unaware that Alexei is hiding a secret even darker than her own past.

Chocolate is a fun fast read with a feisty heroine and a hero with a soft center.    

You can enter here: Rafflecopter giveaway
The other is a 13 author giveaway run at Hilary's.  There's a huge swag bag of romance, fantasy, crime and other books up for grabs, including Lost Weekend and Wildcat in Moscow, so go check it out here.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Kiko Brad: "Murder in Moscow? That's about me!"

Storm Chase has written another book, and Kiko Brad is convinced it's all about him! Because he is handsome and brave, just like Dmitri! And like Dmitri, Kiko likes his women hot and under cover....

A hilarious drunken Russian monologue about Murder In Moscow, a contemporary romance by Storm Chase.


Buy Murder in Moscow at Smashwords
Buy Murder in Moscow at Amazon

If you want to encourage me to write more, please leave a review after you buy!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Rafflecopter for Murder in Moscow

Did you love Chelsea and Vlad in Wildcat in Moscow? Check out the next story in the series! Murder in Moscow: a thrilling tale of passion, romance, intrigue, betrayal and murder.

Burned out ex-undercover detective Cassidy Stone leaves London for a new life in Moscow, but her past continues to haunt her. Life begins to look up when a favour for the embassy leads her into a lethal ambush, and into the orbit of Dmitri Milyukov, a fun loving millionaire who shares her passion for extreme sports. Cassidy slowly learns to love again – until she stumbles on proof that Dmitri is at the center of a carefully plotted Red Mafia corporate espionage operation aimed at her employer. Worse, there is a gruesome murder in her office, and everyone is convinced Cassidy is the killer… 

Enter and win your own copy!
Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Rafflecopter For Wildcat In Moscow

Enter and win your copy of Wildcat in Moscow, rated 4.8 over 25 ratings on Smashwords, Goodreads, Kobo and Amazon.

When Chelsea comes back from Alaska she discovers her stepfather has embezzled her multi-million pound inheritance. Not only is Chelsea broke but the police think she has colluded with her stepfather in a financial swindle. Worse, loan shark Carlos Santiago is after her too, determined to make her pay up for her stepfather’s debts. 

Then Vladimir Voyeykov, a Russian business tycoon rumoured to be a member of the Red Mafia, enters the mix. He whisks Chelsea to Moscow where she is catapulted into a world filled with intrigue, uncertainty - and passion. 

Enter and win! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 18 November 2013

The Bonus - Free Download

This book came out a few days ago, and it's attracting some hot reviews.

"I don't know how you did it, but you somehow managed to create a beautiful and tender romance between a vicious drug cartel enforcer and an experienced drug mule. I wouldn't have believed it without reading it myself." Mike Smith

"I LOVED it. It's the best love story I've read in ages. I started it yesterday afternoon and I couldn't put it down. I didn't want it to end. Write a sequel!" Alice Huang

The blurb:
Chloe is a seasoned drug courier who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Facing a lingering and painful death at the hands of the Zetas, Mexico’s most brutal cartel, she persuades their enforcer to claim her. Has Chloe made a huge mistake, or will her choice prove her salvation - and his? Warning: This book contains explicit scenes of dubious consent, graphic violence and sex." ADULTS ONLY.

To download your copy of The Bonus by AJ Adams,
Visit https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/377521
Then click Buy, and enter
Coupon Code: GL27H
For 100% discount
Expires: After the first 100 downloads.

Please support this author by leaving a star rating and recommending it to your friends.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Renee’ Novelle: 5 Things I’ve Learned Since Self-Publishing

Please welcome Renee’ Novelle, author of Reflections who shares lessons she's learned on her publishing journey...

Writers as fortunate to have many choices in publishing these days. The options are virtually endless and they continue to evolve each day. I tried my hand at indie-publishing online – for multiple reasons, but mostly because I wanted direct, instant feedback from readers on my concepts and writing styles. Yes, I’m impatient that way. And while it’s been an extremely gratifying process, here’s a few things I’ve learned that maybe someone else could benefit from.

Indie publishing is hard! Most people assume that indie writers go this route because it’s the easy way out. Not true! While it’s extremely rewarding to get instant feedback, it’s a time-consuming, often grueling practice to prepare and market your work all by yourself.

Other authors don’t make good judges. They can give you pointers, encouragement, support, and provide camaraderie in an otherwise solo journey. But don’t ask them for an unbiased opinion of your work. They can give you an honest one, yes. But they will almost always be biased by their own egos and insecurities.

Don’t read your reviews! Not right away. Wait a little while, and see what the majority of readers are saying. Then take it into consideration for your next story. But if you read every single review as it comes in, it begins to take your focus off what really matters – which is your craft.

Always have your next project in the pipeline. No one wants to hear you talking about the same book every day for a year. And neither do you. Get the next one going and talk about your progress. It will get readers excited for when it finally releases.

Be genuine. Be true to your own unique writing voice. No one likes to read a copy of someone else. It’s the new and interesting ways of telling a story that really stand out to readers, so be that one in a million person you already are.

Find Renee on Goodreads
Aaaaaaand.... Website    Facebook      Twitter       Pinterest      Instagram

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Hooker Monday - The Song

I've had the song in The Gift set to music! If you haven't read it, here's an excerpt:

The band burst into song, a very familiar song. Tony stiffened. It was the tune Max had been humming the last two weeks. The electric guitars wailed, the keyboard player was dancing while she pounded away and the vocalist canted his hips as he roared the words out into the crowd:

After clubbing the weekend away
I had a really sucky Monday
I wanted to scream and shout
Take it out on everyone about

I don’t want a girlfriend
And I couldn’t stand a wife
So I made arrangements
To deal with all this strife

I called this service
Said I can’t stand it anymore
I’ve got to take it out on someone
Send me a really brilliant whore

She knocked on the door
Said you called for a date, dude?
And opened up her coat
Underneath she was like, totally nude

She had on this velvet collar
And a rose grew out her bush
Then she bent over
And all I could see was tush

She sang: spank me, spank me,
Give it to me good
‘Cause once you take it out on me
You’ll be in a better mood

So if on Mondays you’re feeling stressed
Put my theory to the test
Just dial that number
And give her six of the best

She’ll sing: spank me, spank me,
Then give it to her good
‘Cause once you take it out on her
You’ll be in a better mood

     The crowd screamed with laughter and yelled to hear it again. With a flourish, the band played it twice more, with the crowd singing along with the chorus.
     “They like it!” Max whooped. “Isn’t it great, Tony?” She threw her arms around him. “I’m so happy!” She beamed at him and confessed. “You know, I couldn’t have done it without you!”
     Tony could feel a bubble of laughter rise inside him. “I’m so glad you find me inspiring,” he said humbly. “But Max, are you intending to turn my entire life into a rock opera or just the bedroom bits?”
     Max froze. “Oh no, you’re not upset, are you? I didn’t think you’d care. You always say you don’t give a stuff what people think.” She eyed him anxiously. “I didn’t mean to be indiscreet.”
     Tony stared at her. “If that’s your idea of discreet, Max, what on earth will you do next?”
     “I am writing a song called Trafficked,” Max confessed in a small voice. “But I won’t show it to anyone if you don’t want me to, Tony.”
     Tony burst into laughter. Hanging with Max was definitely fun.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Hilary Grossman: Writing That Uncomfortable Scene...

Please welcome the guest blogger of today, Hilary Grossman, author of Dangled Carat

I was asked recently in an interview how I overcame writers block while writing my book, Dangled Carat.  I honestly answered that I was fortunate because I didn’t struggle with the problem.

I think that is one of the advantages about writing a memoir.  You are not creating characters or worrying about plot twists. You are just sharing a story about your life.  By living it you already created it :)

But since you are writing about your life, your real life, you have a whole other set of problems. You are opening your life, your experiences, and for the most part your soul for the world to see.  I am a very open and honest person. I have no problem discussing my life with anyone, including the person in line in front of me at the supermarket.

I didn’t think that I would have any fears about writing the story about my attempt to convert a commitment-phobic man into a husband.  I figured everyone close to me already knew most of the story.  Also, as to strangers, I thought that my story may help others who are experiencing the same situation.

Initially I was right.  But then fear did come!  My editor told me that I couldn’t have a dating / relationship book without any sex.  I knew she was right.  But this was a real story.  How could I write a sex scene?

Writing that scene was the hardest thing I had to do.  I stared at my laptop for hours, petrified to start typing.  Eventually words filled the page. Words that I was proud of, but still words that people in my real life have to read.  And I hate it when someone mentions that scene.

What part of writing your book was the most uncomfortable for you?

Hilary Grossman is the author of Dangled Caret, available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
She has two web sites, www.feelingbeachie.com and www.dangledcarat.com and Tweets as @feelingbeachie.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Giveaway For The Mule

I've learned a few things from the Rafflecopter giveaway:

A basic giveaway that was posted in half a dozen Goodreads and Facebook pages earned me about 25 plus sample downloads on ALL my Smashword books, not just the Lost Weekend giveaway. Pretty good for almost no work.

I'm now trying the paid for Blogger version.  So far, not so good.  I'm having horrible problems getting the book image to show.  And I'm pretty good with HTML. I've written to Rafflecopter and they say they'll answer in 24 hours.

In the meantime, I'll test a quick and dirty fix here to see if it works (pasting the URL into the code rather than uploading an image) UPDATE quick and dirty doesn't work.

Frankly, so far I'm disappointed. This should be easy, not difficult. I'll update when I get a response from Rafflecopter.

UPDATE the first Support message is a cut and paste from the help files. Duh, like I haven't read that already!  Now really ticked. 

UPDATE: "For adding an image in the widget, I would recommend seeing if you can put the picture of the book inside a 350x263 image that's just white space and re-upload it. That will help you get the entire image into view."  It worked!  But OMG how clunky!

I'll be holding a weekly giveaway from now till Christmas, so keep an eye on this blog!

Check out this week's Rafflecopter giveaway  

Friday, 1 November 2013

3 Places to Promo Your Book on Facebook

I'm  giving away 3 copies of Lost Weekend: An Erotic Romance in Wales through Rafflecopter. It's a quick promo because we're trying to figure out how it works. As a result, I've found some good places on Facebook that welcome book promos and giveaway.

Here they are:

Book Giveaways A closed group of authors who enjoy sharing free books and giveaways.  I've only just found them but they seem a very mixed bunch, which I love!

Authors Giving It Away: I've put my promo here and plan to do some regular giveaways too for review purposes.

2 Friends, Promote Your Books With Us: it doesn't need to be free either! Run by Philomena and Sue, both awesome and worth getting to know.

Also, don't forget that you can always write to me and ask to guest blog.

Now for my promo: you've got three more days to enter just click on this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Rafflecopter Giveaway!

We're giving away 3 copies of Lost Weekend: An Erotic Romance in Wales through Rafflecopter. It's a quick promo because we're trying to figure out how it works so hurry up and enter!

I say "we" because Target, my cat, is helping.  He stood on the CAPS lock key while I was typing and gave helpful furry purry headbutts while I was trying to source an image.  So it's "we".

To enter just click on this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

“What’s going on?” Micah asked gently. “You say you’re an escort and you’re dressed like a wet dream come true. But you are embarrassed when I look at you. And when I offer to hire you, you turn me down flat. Furthermore, you were so frightened of me earlier that you hit me over the head with a frozen leg of lamb and yet now you are here, all curled up and cosy - in my bed I might add - when you could be halfway back to London or the nearest police station.”
“I, I,” Bryony stuttered. “It’s complicated.”
“So I see,” Micah said.

When Micah accidentally kills a major drug dealer, and Bryony is the only witness, Micah decides the only solution is to keep an eye on her while he makes plans to leave the country. However, when Micah and Bryony start talking to each other, things don't work out quite as either of them expect.

Good luck!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Free For 24 Hours: Katz Tales The Early Years

Roll your mouse over me for my secret message
It's Target's 5th Gotcha Day today.  You can hear what he has to say by visiting his blog.

We are celebrating today with tuna and chicken, and we're also giving away Katz Tales Au And Target The Early Years.

This is a collection of 15 tales that chronicle how Target the kitten becomes a junior companion to Au, a clever, inventive but sometimes grouchy senior cat. It includes the tale of how Target dislocated his paw and his subsequent journey back to health, and of how Au's fascination with water led to the humans of the family having sleepless nights.

To get this book, in ePub, Kindle and other formats, visit https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/179822 and enter coupon code JS83Y when checking out for 100% discount. Valid for 24 hours.

Meow from all of us at Katz Tales!

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Tory Richards: Point of View (POV)

Today's guest blogger is Tory Richards, author of Bishop's Angel... 

In the beginning of my writing career, I can't tell you how many times I received rejection letters that said, your POV issues keep this from being a manuscript we would be interested in, and until a publisher was kind enough to explain what POV was, I was clueless. I bought a POV book and studied it.

I wish a lot of indie authors would do the same thing. I've been reading a lot of indie books lately, really good ones. However, most of them all have one thing in common, POV issues. It's frustrating, and confusing, when you're reading a story where the author is jumping back and forth between the character's thoughts (POV) in the same paragraph, or scene. Below is an example of what I'm talking about.

Wrong way -

 "Don't open the door, Dolly." Ron knew she would be in for a big shock if she did, and he wanted to prepare her first. He'd been unable to locate her mother, but he had found her twin sister, Anne. (his POV)
Dolly wondered what was behind the door that he didn't want her to see, was it her long lost mother? Has Ron finally found her? She felt excitement over the possibility, and a little nervousness. "Why, what will I find?" (switched to her POV)

 Correct way -
"Don't open the door, Dolly." Ron knew she would be in for a big shock if she did, and he wanted to prepare her first. He'd been unable to locate her mother, but he had found her twin sister, Anne. (his POV)
"Why, what will I find?" He heard the excitement in her tone, saw a glimmer of it in her sparkling eyes. "Did you find my mother?" (his POV)

I hope this article helps all of you new authors out there. If you're passionate about writing, and putting the best product out there, which helps build your fan base I might add, then take this information to heart.

See more of Tory Richards at:
Amazon author page

About Tory Richards' Bishop's Angel
After ten years of sacrificing everything for his country as a Navy SEAL, Bishop is looking for salvation, and something more permanent in his life. Angel, a pretty teacher, thinks she's just what he needs. Their chemistry is instant, and explosive, only Bishop has trouble letting go of his commitment to his country. It's up to Angel to prove there's room for her in his life.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Murder in Moscow is out! Get 25% off. Limited offer.

Burned out ex-undercover detective Cassidy Stone leaves London for a new life in Moscow, but her past continues to haunt her. Life begins to look up when a favour for the embassy leads her into a lethal ambush, and into the orbit of Dmitri Milyukov, a fun loving millionaire who shares her passion for extreme sports. Cassidy slowly learns to love again – until she stumbles on proof that Dmitri is at the center of a carefully plotted Red Mafia corporate espionage operation aimed at her employer. Worse, there is a gruesome murder in her office, and everyone is convinced Cassidy is the killer…

Murder in Moscow: a thrilling tale of passion, romance, intrigue, betrayal and murder

Launch Discount 25% off Valid 24 hours only 
Murder in Moscow by Storm Chase
Enter Coupon Code: YX67M for 25% off.
Expires: October 16, 2013 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

I Have A Publishing Partner!

I'm in Malaysia so I have terrible trouble with Amazon as we're not a Kindle country.  I've posted about this before, and I took my books down in June.

BUT!!! I now have a wonderful publishing partner! Melanie is putting up my books for me and dealing with the paperwork.

So I'm dancing.

We're editing everything so it's all nice and clean and sparkling on Kindle. This takes time so not all the books are up yet.  Here's what we have so far:

Wildcat in Moscow on Amazon Kindle
Chocolate: An Erotic Romance In Siberia on Amazon Kindle
The Gift: An Erotic Romance in Kiev on Amazon Kindle

Please keep tuned for further news...

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Kiko Brad: Wildcat in Moscow - it's all about me!

Storm Chase has written a book, and Kiko Brad is convinced it's all about him! Because he has balls of steel... A hilarious drunken Russian monologue about Wildcat In Moscow, a contemporary romance by Storm Chase.

Wildcat In Moscow, a contemporary romance by Storm Chase. Available from 

Monday, 30 September 2013

Coming Soon: Murder In Moscow

Murder in Moscow, the sequel to Wildcat in Moscow is back from the editor, so now I'm just checking through it one more time before I put it up. Sooooooooo excited!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Tom Conrad: That Russell Brand strategic marketing plan… or how NOT to market your ebook?

Today guest blogger Tom Conrad reveals his hilarious PR strategy that's built for an epic fail...   

In an attempt to sell my latest novel on Amazon, I’ve adopted a new sales strategy. It’s twofold.

Onefold:  Tweet Russell Brand.

Twofold: Tweet anyone who has a reputation as being a bit of a coxpert or altogether coxom.

You see, my new ebook: That Coxom & Blondage Affair is all about internet dating. It’s a little bit cheeky and a little bit wayward – much like English comedian Russell Brand: a silver-tongued cavalier/coxom chap if ever there was one. In fact, Russell is so cheeky and so coxom, this week saw me bombarding him with a barrage of hopefully amusing tweets (I sent 3, but for the purpose of this post allow me to descend into complete hyperbole). My plan was to forgo the strain of having to tackle my twofold option: sending 500 tweets to other random strangers; those who had a similar swashbuckling “coxpertise”.

And so I tweeted Russell.
TomConrad1980: @rustyrockets I’m not a charity; I’m not particularly worthy; I might not even be a good writer, but… US: http://amzn.to/18HFYvf  #coxom
Admittedly, and even as I composed my first tweet, I knew this unruly approach wasn’t exactly a plan of Hannibal contrivance (A-team, not the military commander or man-eater), and yet I guess I momentarily thought Russell would read my self-deprecating, but ultimately intriguing tweet, further clicking the link as he began to rather like the overall sound of That Coxom & Blondage Affair:

Russel Brand checking his @connect page:
‘Cor blimey, this Tom Conrad fellow has something ‘ere?! And you know what I’ll do, because I’m basically a generous sort of guy; one who believes we’re all unified beings of light and consciousness… well, I’ll put a tweet out to my 7 million followers, one for them to check it out. If even one per cent clicks and buys That Coxom & Blondage Affair, this ‘ere guy Tom Conrad (also originally from the dirty grey streets of Essex) will pocket £70,000, that is assuming he’s making 70% royalty on his ebooks.’
That’s kind of what I hoped Russell Brand might say and do.

Unfortunately… he didn’t. At least not yet. So far there’s been no RT success of viral proportions, and it very much seems – regretfully for me and my dreams of notoriety – the world and their tweeting blue bird have a similar strategy for celebrity endorsements: clogging up celebrities’ pages with similar pleas. Of course, I remain ever a naive optimist at heart and so I’ll stay naively optimistic, preparing to bombard other cheeky coxperts who might see the jolly humour in my book’s title.

Actually, perhaps I’ll see what Steve Coogan is up to?

You can buy That Coxom & Blondage Affair by Tom Conrad on Amazon USA and Amazon UK:
Follow Tom Conrad on Twitter: @tomconrad1980
Like Tom Conrad's page: https://www.facebook.com/tomconrad1980

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Broken Heroines and Heroes: The Stuff Of Romance or Disaster?

I enjoyed writing all my stories but Chocolate: An Erotic Romance in Siberia was a real challenge because it's pretty much outside the scope of standard stories.

Most authors craft their books so that the reader can immerse herself into the tale.  This means identifying with the heroine and falling in love with the hero.  In Chocolate, that's probably a bit of a leap for most people.

Star, my heroine, is a victim of childhood abuse who has embraced a career as a call girl.  Alexei, my hero, is totally switched off emotionally.  He's not nasty; he's just not very human. The two are very unlikely to elicit immediate sympathy or inspire any sort of empathy - and that's what made it such fun to write.

What I love about Star is that despite everything,
she has maintained a sense of humour, as well as a capacity for love.
What I love about Alexei is that he is such a challenge. He rescues Star from a very nasty situation simply because he sees her as a project where he can fix her up, enjoy her professional services for a few months, and then move on.  He's certainly not a nice guy; but that's what makes him interesting.

At the start of the story, both Star and Alexei see their relationship as one based on commerce. Of course, it doesn't work that way.  Along the way, these two broken people heal each other, develop a strong mutual bond of trust, and finally fall in love. And that's romance, right?

PS To learn about Alexei's deep secret, and to find out why these two learn to trust each other, you'll have to read the story!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Debbie Manber Kupfer talks about NaNoWriMo

Ever since I was small I’ve always written. As a child I filled notebooks. At one time I had a whole series of school stories each in own exercise book. Somewhere in my basements these books still and along with these childhood “books” is my first attempt at a novel. It was a kid’s fantasy. I remember it had a rather cool ogre in it.

I wrote it in my twenties in exercise books. At the time I was living in Israel in a tiny one-room flat. I scribbled away in those notebooks, but somewhere along the way I got lost. Life took over and I stopped writing.

I moved to America, got married, had two children and finally found a career I love (I write puzzles for puzzle magazines). In the back my mind I knew I still wanted to write a novel, but thought I had plenty of time. When the kids are grown perhaps.

Then about two and half years ago I found a lump in my breast. Cancer. I was terrified. But it is amazing what you get used to. I went through chemo, surgery, and radiation and today I’m happy to report that I’m cancer free. But my cancer taught me something, if you truly want to do something you shouldn’t wait. You never know how long you have.

Last October the idea for “P.A.W.S.” came to me in a flash. I clearly saw a young girl being passed a silver cat amulet by her dying grandmother. I knew her story and that of her grandmother was important and something I had to tell. I told my daughter the story, who said “Mom, you have to write that.”

But how? For me the answer was NaNoWriMo where writers take on the challenge of writing 50,000 words of fiction in one month.

I set myself a daily target of 2000 words and just sat down and wrote. No editing, no distractions (I forced myself NOT to go on the internet each day until I was done with my daily words.)  

You can do it too! November is coming. Join me!

Check out Debbie's blog and Amazon author page.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Jenn Roseton: How To Make A Simple Ebook Cover in Picmonkey For Free

If you’re an indie writer, you might be wondering what to do about the cover for your book.  Should you hire a cover designer (cost ranges from $40-400 or even higher), hire a provider on Elance.com or Fiverr.com (cost ranges from $5-40) or try to do it yourself?

Whichever path you choose, you’re going to need an image for your cover.  If you hire a professional cover designer, they may choose an image for you.  But if you’d like to see what kind of images are available, here are some sites you can browse:

www.morguefile.com - free images

There are plenty more stock sites out there, but the above should get you started.  If you purchase an image from a stock site, make sure you read the license carefully, so you know you can legally use it for your ebook cover.

I’ve made a couple of my book covers myself, and I’ve found the easiest tool to use is www.picmonkey.com.  It’s a free online photo editor.  To make your cover, just click Edit Photo and upload your image.   You can choose from cropping, resizing, adjusting the colors, and even overlaying one image on top of the other.  You can also add text, a frame or textures.  While a lot of features on Picmonkey are free, some cost a fee such as themes and certain fonts.  Once you’re happy with your cover, you can resize it to Amazon’s specifications and save it to your computer.

You can also create collages, memes or pins (for Pinterest).  I’ve found Picmonkey a lot easier to use than Getpaint.net as it’s basically just point and click.  If you’re not sure how to apply a certain feature to your image, just google what you want to do and you’re sure to find either a helpful Youtube video or written step by step instructions.

Jenn Roseton believes that romance and happy endings go together. When she's not writing sexy contemporary romance, she indulges in delicious gourmet chocolate.  Her last book, Curves for the Sheriff, was a Top 10 Western Romance bestseller on Amazon.  You can find out more about her books, including two free reads, at her website.  

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Jayne Lockwood: Erotica vs. Romance – My Battle Between the Sheets

Jayne Lockwood is the author of The Cloud Seeker, a romance with twists and turns.  I recommend it!

First of all, many thanks to Storm for allowing me to appear on her wonderful blog.  It's a great opportunity and I hope I don't blow it.

As a former erotica turned contemporary romance writer, I've often struggled with the above conundrum.  It would be easy to put in gratuitous sex scenes and slap an erotica tag on any book I've written, but without sounding like a pompous arse, that would comprise the integrity of the story.  In some cases, as with The Cloud Seeker, it would be distasteful, considering the other themes of 9/11 and grief.  But at The Cloud Seeker's heart is a passionate romance between two awkward people, and the sexual frustration that Max feels as he fights his feelings for Cat, the wayward woman whom everyone else thinks is a bit "odd."

And in Closer Than Blood there is also a theme of frustration and denial that eventually is resolved in a very sensual way, but I would be reluctant to stick an "erotica" tag onto the book because sex isn't the main theme.  That privilege belongs to desire, which isn't the same as making like rabbits for the hell of it.

But erotica has come a long way in the last twenty years.   Most of it is read by women and on the whole they expect a romantic element, imaginative sex scenes and, heaven forbid, a plot!  Oh and, crucially, excellent writing.  This does not mean the artsy, dusty erotica of years ago, but well-crafted and fun to read stories by any number of gifted authors.  Unfortunately, only a few of them receive any credit and, gallingly, some have only become successful through clever media marketing, even though the product really isn't fit for purpose.  But that's the subject for another blog post!

Women are no longer afraid to say they enjoy reading rip-roaring sex, as long as it's consensual and believable.  No multiple orgasms just by looking into his baby blues.   Other issues have to be tackled first.  A credible plot has to develop along with the couple's relationship.  The characters have to become three dimensional so the reader actually cares about them before they get down and dirty.  And when they do, it has to mean something.

So you can have romance without erotica, but I'd argue that you can't have erotica without a splash of romance, because if it wasn't there, it would be porn.  As an author reluctant to pigeonhole myself, I would say that my fiction is contemporary, romantic, erotic and unpredictable.  Over the years the lines have begun to blur between the two genres and I'm happy to say I live in both camps. My only insistence in my own writing has to be a happy, or at least satisfying, conclusion.   It is romantic fiction after all!

To find out more about Jayne's work, visit her blog 
Or find her on Twitter, FacebookSmashwords Goodreads Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk:  

Monday, 2 September 2013

If Lost Weekend Is So Great, Why Aren't I Selling More?

A total stranger last week said that Lost Weekend was, "What a wonderful erotic love story with lots of twists and turns that I didn't see coming .... Couldn't put the book down ...." and another said, "This is a hot little story that packs a big punch. If you want to try erotica, but are slightly intimidated by the choice, this is a great starting place."

As a matter of fact, Lost Weekend is rated a 4 over 11 reviews on Goodreads too - and I'm including "Arnellie Abella" a hollow reviewer with 0 friends who appeared for a flash, rated a bunch of erotica romance stories with a 1 star and then vanished.

So why aren't I selling more?  Is it because it has the phrase "erotic romance" in the title?  Or aren't I getting out there enough?

I suspect it's the latter more than anything else so I'm talking to publicists to see if I can raise my profile.  And I'm looking for blog tours in September.  Let me know if you have a space to offer me!

Check out Lost Weekend: An Erotic Romance in Wales and connect with me on Facebook.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Guest Post: Bella Harte 5 Minute Marketing for Authors

Bella Harte is author of The Seraphoenix Saga.  Here she talks about must-know PR....

While this subject is as broad as it is long, this is my personal take on the matter in less than 5 minutes, and what may seem obvious to some, others may have inadvertently overlooked.

In my humble opinion - most importantly you need to arm yourself with the following basics:
However using so many will eat away at your time, which is precious enough.  So stick with a few and update, update, update. Interact as much as you can, by following, friending, commenting, liking, tweeting and offer to host authors on your blog. If you promote them, the chances are they will promote you. 
Be open to guest posting too, this is another way to garner a wider readership. 

Two rules not to forget:  Be interested in others, if you’re not interested in them, how can they be interested in you. Secondly always say, thank you.

Online Book Blog Tours are another great way to promote your novel/s. There are many choices available; I actually work with Lady Amber’s Tours to promote many different authors and genres with Blog Tours, Book Blitz’s, Day Release Blitz’s and Give-Aways.  When there is a potential team of over 200 bloggers working for you all over the world, this equals great publicity. 

Offer ARC’s, Advance Reading Copies of your novel to Bloggers, not only do you get feedback prior to general release, you also get featured reviews. 

Another idea, when Tweeting use a hashtag that’s associated with your novel. For example I use #YAPNR #YALIT & #ASMSG these denote: Young Adult Paranormal Romance – Young Adult Literature – Authors Social Media Support Group.  Plus you’re more likely to get retweets if you’re more targeted with your approach to tweeting. Try not to ‘spam tweet’ no-one wants being bombarded with an endless sales pitch of ‘buy my novel’  - be a little more engaging in your approach. Build rapport, not a wall.

There are so many other ways to target your audience, but sadly my word count is up. (Actually I think I blew it! Many apologies  )

If you have any questions or would like to tell me that you already knew this and wanted something else, please leave a comment.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Guest Blogger: Charlotte Howard on Self Publishing

You probably think that as I have no authority when it comes to telling someone how to self-publish successfully. You’d be right. I have a publishing contract, and my attempt at self-publication failed miserably. So rather than telling you how to do it, I’m going to tell you how not to do it by pointing out all the mistakes I made.

1.      Ignore the word count and tell yourself 48,000 is a full-length novel.
2.      Don’t edit it at all, in any way, shape or form.
3.      Definitely don’t get edited professionally!
4.      Take your family and friend’s critics as gospel and ignore everyone else’s comments. Especially those Negative Nellies.
5.      Self-publish just because you got rejected by the ‘Big Six’
6.      Sign up to Amazon KDP and give them full exclusivity just for the free promotion days.
7.      Create your own book jacket using Paint or Word.
8.      Over price it at $14.99 even though all the other books in the same genre are at $9.99
9.      Don’t do any marketing, don’t create Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, or a website.
10.  Expect to be an instant best-seller and make millions so that you can retire after writing one book.
11.  Cry when it fails, blame those idiots who left negative reviews, and refuse to write ever again.

Do all of this, and you too can join the club of thousands of failed writers!

Or… You can do the opposite, make your book the very best that it can be, and reap in the rewards by self-publishing successfully.
Charlotte Howard is the author of Seven Dirty Words (US$13.46) available in print & e-book, on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and IndieBound. ISBN 0988493330 

After my failed attempt, I picked myself up, joined my local writer’s group, and spent longer editing my book than I did writing it. Voila! One publishing contract, one book and one sequel waiting to be published…

Monday, 12 August 2013

Coming Out Of The Closet

You may have guessed that Storm Chase isn't my real name. When I started writing romance erotica last year, I picked a pen name for several reasons.

First, I write for newspapers and magazines for a living and I wanted a separate personality for my fiction.  The reason I didn't want to capitalise on that is because I live in Malaysia, a Muslim country. Although I'm not Muslim, I didn't want to attract too much attention to the fact that I also write erotica. People here can be very weird about that.

When I was accidentally outed by a magazine a few months ago, I waited to see what would happen. Nothing spectacular happened, except that people began writing to the real me rather than to Storm Chase. This is a relief!

I also discovered it's pretty difficult to interact on Facebook as a Page because I can't befriend fellow authors, only fellow author Pages.  So to consolidate my fiction writing, I've decided to close down my Storm Chase facebook page and to move everything to my real profile.

So here it is: my name is Ellen Whyte, and I write romance erotica, contemporary romance with a hint of crime, as well as cat stories and word histories. If you want to come and hang out on Facebook, you'll find me here.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Should You Opt For Traditional Covers For eBooks?

When I set up my publishing plan, I thought long and hard about covers. For romance, and romance erotica, it's traditional to have a man who has lost his shirt, and a sexy looking girl who is about to lose her top. Problem is, I don't like those covers. I think they're tacky, tawdry and everything nasty that starts with a T.

So the question was: should I go for industry standard or not?

I looked at the online shops and discovered that all the ebooks look the same. That decided it. I made my own design.

I've been earning my living by writing for 16 years but cover design is new to me. I struggled and threw away umpteen designs before hitting on a look that I liked. My covers have lots of white space. This goes totally against the trend but I'm hoping it makes them visible and (really hoping here!) iconic. What do you think?

Storm Chase romance and romance erotica are available here, in Kindle, Mobi and other platforms, and for Paypal, Visa etc.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Guest Blogger: C.N. Faust "What Keeps The WHeels Turning"

Does anyone remember Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves?  If not, go rent it. Right now. I will wait.

There, now that you have caught up to at least the early nineties, do you remember that scene where Alan Rickman says he is going to cut out that guy's heart with a spoon, because it is dull and it will hurt more? That's exactly how I feel when dealing with the publishing world.  

In a world where I feel one bad review could be my ultimate downfall, what inspires me to keep going? The answer is usually "peace and quiet". Any author knows what it is like to try and write their next bestseller in a dark room crowded with characters who are bickering about who took the last orange soda. (What? You mean your  characters are not that petty? Well good for you.)  

Other than the desire for peace, my greatest inspiration comes from the people who have read my books. I will never forget the first time I finished the memorable kiss scene between my two main characters. My friend, who had been the first to read it, all but threw the manuscript and was near tears because they did not end up together. That is the kind of reaction that keeps me going. I thrive on emotional drama, and the more astonished / angry reactions I receive, the more I am inspired to go through with a project. 

Many authors will say they just write "for them", and to a degree I believe that is true. You may write "for you", but face it. You live for that reaction. 

C.N. Faust is an author of lgbt fantasy-horror by day and the co-publisher of Orcs and Aliens magazine by night

Guest Blogger Bonnie Elizabeth: Inspiration: Why do you Keep Writing?

If you are a cat lover, you will know Bonnie as Chey's, Gemini's and Ichiro's servant from Cat Post Intelligencer. When Bonnie isn't slaving for her cats, she's busy writing.  Here is her post in Inspiration.    

Writing comes naturally to me so finding ways to keep writing comes easily. I have subjects running through my mind in the shower, at night, when I wake up in the morning. When I work out during the day, I’ll have ideas that pop up. The difficulty is not in finding something to write about but to find the time to keep notes on things that seem like subjects I want to tackle.

I have a file full of ideas. If an idea won’t go away, when it keeps coming back and crossing my mind, then it’s time to start a story. I do work from an outline or rather a sort of outline. I like writing a few paragraphs about what I think the story is about. At that point if there are things I need to learn, I’ll look into them. Sometimes I start working on names.

If things stop, then there are always other projects to start outlines on or finding names or moving forward with. I have a series of books as well as writing some stand alone books, so it’s easy enough to come up with another problem for my series characters to deal with. These problems are often things I come across in other books, wondering how would Meg (my main character) deal with that?

Ideas for short stories are harder for me. I’m rather long winded when I write so the novel or novella is a much better length. I like to know why things happen and putting all of that into a short story is harder for me to tackle, but it’s something I’d like to work on.

Every writer works differently, so good ways of coming up with ideas and being really inspired by them to write a story works differently for everyone. Paying attention to the news and reading books you really like is a good way to consider what you want to write.
I heard about a writing exercise where writers randomly looked up five words in a dictionary and had to use a story using all five of those words. I haven’t tried it yet, but I hope to sometime. Exercises like this disengage the mind from story telling and rather engages it with problem solving, which can let ideas flow.

Everyone should experiment with what works for them and then keep writing. The only thing I like better than writing my own work is reading someone else’s.

Check out Whisper Bound, Bonnie Elizabeth's book at Amazon and her author blog Big Fat Orange Cat

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Eek! The Horror! When Editors Don't Do The Job

I don't know about you, but when I've written a story, I just can't see it anymore. I need a second pair of eyes to make corrections.
When Wildcat in Moscow was finished, I did a deal with a start-up publisher who edited it.

Man, what a disaster!

I read it the other day and found a dozen missed mistakes.  Now I know what the company didn't last.

I've corrected them and updated the book, complete with new cover. Still, I wonder how many people saw these problems and thought, "Hmmm, that Storm can't punctuate for toffee!"

Editing is tough and what I do now is:

  • Write the book on my PC 
  • Convert it and read it on my iPad 
  • Edit 
  • Send it to my brother (Hi Ian!) for feedback 
  • Edit 
  • Send it to Julie (Hi Julie!) who points out all my errors 
  • Edit 
  • Leave it a week 
  • Edit 
  • Publish 

It's a pain but I think I got all the typos now. What do you do to make sure your books are in good shape?

Read the first part of Wildcat in Moscow, a contemporary romance here.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Guest Blogger Michael Brookes: Why write guest posts?

Michael Brookes is a games developer but you probably know him as the host of The Cult of Me and the author of  Faust 2.0.  Here he talks about the role of guest blogging for authors.

Selling books is networking, it's all about finding new people who might be interested in reading what you have written. First and foremost you must write something worth reading, but when you have done that, what next?

There are a number of ways that you as a writer can make your name known and guests are a good way to do that. For authors who don't have their own blog presence it provides a mechanism to get involved. For authors who do have their own blogs you can host guest posts and gain interesting new content that attract s new readers to their blogs. Writing guest posts also puts your content onto other blogs, extending your reach beyond you own followers.

So you've been invited to write a guest post, what should you write?

That depends on two things. The first is to play to your own strengths. Guest posts shouldn't be an overt plug for your book, but that doesn't mean that you can't take lessons you've learnt while writing or releasing the book. If you've researched and discovered any interesting facts then they can form the basis of a post. If you write in a specific genre then you could write about that, for example I write horror stories, so one of my guest posts has been about the nature of evil.

The other consideration is the blog you are writing for. Speak to the blog owner, read their posts and get a feel for what their blog is about. Target what you write to their readership so that they may take interest and then investigate your other writing.

Most of all have fun. As with all writing, guest posts should be a pleasure, not a chore.

Is it the rebirth of an ancient evil in a new realm? Or something much worse?

A sexy looking avatar grants wishes for people across the web, but nothing is truly free, and for those who accept, what price must be paid?

Sarah Mitchell must discover the truth of this creature and stop it while it can still be stopped, but why is a mysterious lawyer dogging her every step?

Faust 2.0 is the first book in the new Mitchell & Morton series.
Available now on Kindle:
Amazon (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Faust-2-0-Morton-Mitchell-ebook/dp/B00CTA3YIE/
Amazon (US): http://www.amazon.com/Faust-2-0-Morton-Mitchell-ebook/dp/B00CTA3YIE/