I'm all about romance and erotica writing.

Hard Time

By Cara McKenna. I read Hard Time this weekend on my Kindle. Librarian meets con in the prison literacy program. Extreme hotness ensues. You’d think that would be a rather predictable story, but it wasn’t.

Annie is an extremely believable heroine. The story is told in first-person, which I generally dislike in a romance novel, but it worked here. We are with Annie every step of the way, from how she was initially petrified to even walk into the prison and start helping the men, through her lust at first sight moment when she sees Eric, to her coming to care about these guys and their issues. She has all sorts of conflicting feelings over Eric, his reason for incarceration, his family, her family, etc. I really felt like she could have been me ~ that’s how well McKenna pulled in the reader.

I thought I would be able to figure out what happens later in the story to create a major conflict between the protags, but I was incorrect. That’s a good thing!

And now for the bad. Remember how Elmore Leonard advised not to write what readers tend to skip? The romance between Annie and Eric had to be clandestine while he was in prison, OK. So, we read their love letters, which at first was fun, but I began skimming them. Because reading about reading about feelings? Kinda very far removed from feeling anything. And then when they texted and had phone sex? Um just no. Phone sex is hard enough to get right when you’re actually doing it, but reading about phone sex? No. Not happening.

So, there was that. (The takeway for romance writers is to be very careful about sticking long letters/emails/text convos into a story.) But overall? FOUR STARS for Hard Time.

Sugarplum Sizzlers

I made a bundle! A bundle of Sugarplum lurve. Check it out…

Sugarplum

Apparently it’s a thing to entice readers to buy your books by “bundling” a couple together and offering the bundle for less than the books cost separately. So, I did that with my romance novels Fiona’s Fling and Bettina’s Bonus, calling the double feature Sugarplum Sizzlers, and am waiting for the avalanche of sales to roll in. The best thing about bundling is it gives you an opp to make a new cover and title without actually having to write another book. Yay! My favorite!

More bundling ahead… after all, WINTER IS COMING.

(I don’t even know what that means, but it’s a thing too, so I’ll go with it.)

Go Granny Go!

Check this out, romance fans!

 

A great-great-grandmother from Utah discovered a new passion when she penned her first novel – a salacious romance so explicit it shocked her own family, they said.

 

I’m excited for Georgia Gorringe and hope she sells lots of books. I’ve just downloaded the Kindle verson of No Good-Bye and will be back soon with a review. It annoys me a little that there’s this apparent underlying assumption that someone in her 80s wouldn’t have explicitly romantic and erotic ideas to fictionalize, but hey whatever gets you some press, right? It’s all good!

By the way, I’ve signed up for Kindle Unlimited, which gives you 10 books at a time for free (with participating books) for $10 per month. A friend recommended the program, and I think it’s a great deal for voracious readers like me. So far, all the books I’ve wanted have been available on KU except one.

Write on!

Recap

So, during this past month not only have I put up a few new stories (Bettina’s Bonus and Daisy’s Dragon), but I’ve also done {shudder} marketing. When I say marketing I mean that I’ve posted about these stories on my blogs, run a couple promos, and … um … well, that’s about it.

But that’s a lot for me, as I have a day job and a cat. Plus when I’m in the mood to write, I want to write, not harangue peeps into buying my stuff. 

Upshot: I made $7.33. 

Which is great because I had to buy two new tires yesterday.

Details: I made 8 sales (some of which are not reflected yet in that $7.33 because they were via Kindle Unlimited). My promo of Gracie’s Gamble generated about 60 free downloads. My promo of Rachel’s Review appears to be doing about the same. The promos do not seem to translate into anything significant with respect to further sales or motivate the peeps who took the freebie to write reviews. Also, a few of those “sales” were to friends, so I’m not sure they really count.

The idea is/was that I would get noticed by strangers looking to read romance/erotica and they would enjoy my writing and post reviews, which would generate further sales in a sort of exponential snowball, making me feel like I had a valid option to earn money post-retirement via writing.

I don’t see this happening. At all. I mean, that’s OK because I had fun writing these stories, but even so. I could be doing other things. (Things that might generate income, or are just more fun.) I don’t feel internally compelled to write erotica. Sometimes I feel compelled to write poetry with an erotic element, but that’s different. Plus it wouldn’t sell either. I do feel compelled to write generally, but more along the lines of quirky short stories and such, no particular genre.

I don’t know if the Anna stories will continue at this point. I have many started. There are a couple Sugarplum romances in various stages, but I am painfully aware that they are simply run-of-the-mill hot contemporary romances with nothing special to distinguish them from any other contemporary romance you might grab off the shelf at the drugstore. Plus those stories have big publishers to market them; we indie writers with day jobs don’t have much of a chance to compete with that. I went out of my comfort zone to write Hana & Gregory (a “fractured” fairy tale) and Daisy’s Dragon (erotica between a girl and a dragon), which were interesting experiments, creatively speaking, yet are just sitting on my shelf, not selling.

So, that’s where I’m at right now.

*FREE BOOK!*

Rachel’s Review is free today, woohoo!

Please take advantage of this limited-time mini-promo and grab your copy of this sexy Sugarplum short story.

It would be fabulous if you could take the time to write a review of the book after you’re done. 

And if you like it so much you’re compelled to buy another one of my books, you deserve a big virtual hug. :)

Remember that all my books are enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program, so if you are too, then they are ALL free EVERY day. Yay!

Hurry and get Rachel’s Review right now!

Thanks!

Big News!

I know I have been unforgivably neglectful of this blog.

(But… forgive me anyway?)

Actually I have an excuse. No, not a new boyfriend (as if), but lots and lots of new writing. Yay! 

Please check out Bettina’s Bonus, a full-length HOT contemporary romance starring Bettina Wells, secretary to Fiona Murphy (remember Fiona?), and Bettina’s blind date gone all kinds of wrong, yet ending up every kind of right ~ Greg Forester. 

Also, take a peek at Daisy’s Dragon, a mini-novella (or long short story, if you will), starring Daisy Atherton-Smythe and the Lost Lord of Thunderhaven ~ a sexy dude named Ian who’s been cursed by a witch and turned into a dragon. OH NOES! I bet you’ll never guess the one thing he needs to do to regain his human form. 

Yes, it’s true: I have ventured into the land of the supernatural. And I’m having so much fun! More dragon stories will be coming up as well as other exciting writing.

Stay tuned, my friends! :)

Hello, It’s Me

Happy New Year and all that jazz! :)

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. Apparently I took quite an extended blog break. It was unplanned, but, ya know, life happens, as “they” say. Who are they anyway? Has anyone ever met them? Hmm.

As I was on hiatus, I received a lovely, detailed review of my novel Fiona’s Fling right here in comments. I always appreciate reader feedback and here’s a big shout-out to Ann for taking the time to submit her thoughts.

I don’t know if it’s because Anna has such a nice way of spinning the sex into something that is hugely erotic, or if it’s because I have learned a lot since I last read romance novels, but, either way, I am getting fucking HOT reading this book!

Awesome! :)

I haven’t been getting critiques on my romance writing, so all comments are welcome and will be taken into consideration for future work. I have several projects simmering on the stove at the moment ~ a couple full-length novels and a few more short stories, too. 

Don’t be a stranger!

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