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When a young hunter finds his sister has been kidnapped by marauders, he heads out to rescue her only to get captured himself. Tormented and toyed with by a group of sexual sadists, how will a young man hold on to his sanity long enough to escape?
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We all have little things that drive us crazy. Some of our pet peeves are perfectly reasonable, some…not so much. Today I’m going to share the one thing that really drives me up the wall.
First off, if I’m in this situation, I’m probably in a face to face conversation which means something has gone terribly wrong forcing me to emerge from my cave and make eye contact with people. These conversations go a little like this:
Person: So, what do you write?
Me: Right now I’m working on a romance series that takes place at a school for paranormal creatures.
Person: Oh, so like Harry Potter?
Me: No. They are all adults, attending a university…and they’re gay.
Person: So like Harry Potter fan fic?
Me: No, it’s nothing like Harry Potter. There are all kinds of paranormal beings, werewolves, vampires, etc.
Me: *sighs in relief thinking they finally get it*
Person: So it’s like Twilight?
WHY? Why do people take any one aspect of a story and compare it to popular fiction? Are they trying to tell me it’s all been done before? Yes, vampires have been done before. Aliens have been done before. Magic has been done before. But when you take one aspect and just assume my book must be just like the first book you can think of that also has that in it, I kinda want to strangle you like a cartoon Homer taking out Bart. And since I’m an anti-social hermit, there is a chance I just might do it. I bet no one in prison will suggest my stories are derivative!
Justin Smith was small for his age and constantly bullied. But as difficult as life was, he was surviving it. Then one day a new guy comes to his school and flips his world upside down.
Francis Scott is trying to start over. New school. New house. New life. But when he sees a student being bullied, his past comes back to haunt him and for once, he gets to do what's right.
Get for free on Amazon Nov. 17-19
So as I lay in bed sick, YouTube has decided to take me to some very strange places. And one of those places was a Dr. Drew video where a conservative calls a trans woman "sir" and in response, she grabs him by the neck and threatens him with bodily harm.
And that's not even the part that bothers me. Because sometimes when people do things that upset you, you respond in ways you probably shouldn't. That's just part of being pissed off.
What bothers me is no one is reacting as if she's responding in a way she probably shouldn't. Even in kindergarten they taught us it's not okay to hit people cause they upset you. That still holds true when you're forty.
Watching this play out made me realize my offense is irrelevant. I brought it up before because I saw it like stepping on someone's foot. People don't mean to step on each other's foot, and if you point out they did, they'll probably be more careful not to do it in the future. But that changes behavior, not ideas. They might decide if what they said offended me then they shouldn't say it, but that doesn't open up the dialog necessary to change their minds.
So yep, while I'm sure I'll be offended again in the future, I'm resolved not to let it show.
Reluctant Concubine by Dana Marton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There were aspects to this book in regards to characterization and world building that made me rage. Like literal, fist shaking rage.
But with that being said, all in all, it was a good story. One I read from beginning to end in a fairly short period of time and enjoyed.
So if you can get past the main character being naive to the point of idiocy and few questionable world building choices, then what's left is a pretty good tale that's I'd definitely recommend.
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Close Liaisons by Anna Zaires
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I absolutely loved this book. Some people described it as a mashup between Twilight and 50 Shades with an alien twist and I'd agree with that description. One caveat though, I liked this book better than both of those combined. I feel like she took the controlling alpha trope and raised it to a new level.
Mia is a mouse. And some people have an inherent dislike for female characters that aren't "strong women", but what made me like her was even though she was terrified out of her wits, she still acted. It's easy to be heroic when nothing scares you, it's way harder to be heroic when you're shaking in your boots. Several times she's certain she's about to die, but that never stops her from doing the right thing. For that I have much respect.
Korum is a prick. And he's bigoted against humans. And his power is all-encompassing. He is the alpha male poster child. But his massive flaws as a human being are tempered, first by the fact that he isn't a human being. And second by moments of care and sparks of compassion. If you have to be kidnapped, there are worse places to land.
The book was in perfect balance. Character, plot, scifi elements, it all worked for me. You know when you read a book and realize that you'll probably read everything this person ever wrote and like all of it? Well that was this book. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and beyond.
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Marketing is by far the hardest part of being an indie writer. First off, writers tend to be less social than most of the populace. We spend day after day at our computers typing away about alternate worlds and then we're supposed to come out of our cave and impress people. Pfft. Good luck with that. So today I'm going to share another lesson I've learned through fucking up. May it help you avoid the same mistakes.
I, of course, assumed the problem lied with the book itself. Because I'm dumb. I didn't think for once that the blurb I wrote at 4am with one eye open might be the reason no one, anywhere wanted my book. Nope, didn't occur to me once.
There are several issues with this blurb. Most of it having to do with me paying absolutely no attention to what the people who'd read this kind of book want to be promised is contained within. People reading the Love Unleashed series want brutal, aggressive and sexy. I promised them "love and friendship". *pukes* I'm sorry, I must have gotten this book confused with my fluffy bunny romances. My bad.
So, how did I discover I was a moron? When I published Marked and it performed the way I was expecting Ravaged to perform with none of the benefits Ravaged had, like being a prequel to Pillaged.
This one I wrote around 10pm when I had both eyes open. As you can see it contains more words that will jump out at the kind of reader who will want to read this book: BRANDED AND DEGRADED, COLD AND ALOOF OWNER, FEAR OF BEING DISCARDED, LIFE DEPENDS ON PLEASING HIS MASTER.
These things scream "buy me, buy me" to the type of person into that stuff. In the other one, the type of person into "friendship and love," which is vague as hell, isn't looking for a sexy slave story. And to write that the lord "would do anything for him", was I drinking? I made my hero sound like freakin Bella.
But moving on from past mistakes. This is how you avoid doing what I did:
So that's it. All the tips and tricks I have for writing blurbs better than I did. If you have any other secrets feel free to put them in the comments.
If you're not a writer or don't frequent writing sites, this post won't mean much to you. But if you are a writer that hangs out on writing sites, I'm sure you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
Someone wondered how the misidentification of passive voice started, this was my answer:
My guess is at some point someone said, "Hey, a lot of your sentences are passive, for fiction you should use more active sentences."
And they were like, "Passive?"
"You know instead of She was bitten by the dog say The dog bit her."
And they saw the lack of "was" as the difference between those two sentences and went forth to spread the word that "was" is evil.
So armed with this new found knowledge, these internet warriors scratched out sentences like "She was running out of time" and replaced them with "She ran out of time" because it's more "active" ignoring it no longer makes sense. Or if they realize it doesn't make sense, something super awkward like "She began to run out of time."
As people killed off the wases ruining their great literature, they realized right next to them were -ing words. Those were also removed when the sentence was fixed, so clearly those were bad too.
Then someone somewhere saw verbs with -ing were gerunds and therefore their foe had a name! (even though it's only a gerund when being used as a noun so actually applies to zero percent of the cases they are against)So they decided, in the name of good literature, the gerunds and the wases must be destroyed!
And then self-publishing got big and people needed platforms. But other people didn't care what they had to say...unless they were teaching writing. So taking their shoddy knowledge, they made blog posts, which they later turned into e-books. And the grossly incorrect fallacies spread. And now they had authority! It's in a book! It's on a website! It must be true!
Sure they could have been spending that time learning about story structure and characterization, but that shit's hard. Easier to do a "find all -ly" in Word.
I have two books on sale. The first one is the College Pack which consists of three stories. All of which take place in a college setting. Frat House Rulez, Games We Play and Maid for You.
College Pack - Amazon
The other is Love Unleashed. Three stand alone stories about D/s romances that all take place in the same brutal alternate reality. This collection contains Pillaged, Ravaged and Seized by a Mercenary.
Love Unleashed - Amazon
Power Play by Charlotte Stein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a book about a woman who is unexpectedly thrusts into power (in more ways than one). I picked up this book because when I read the sample, it was one of the best erotic openings I'd ever read. And the book as a whole didn't fail to disappoint. The sex scenes were creative and well-written, the characters were interesting and likeable. My only complaint was that the middle fell a bit flat. And the ending went on longer than I thought necessary. But with an amazing intro and a satisfying ending, those issues were small. All in all, this was a great book and I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for some good femdom erotica.
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Romance writer and coffee aficionado. Watch her do anything but write.
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