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More – Read 4 Review event

I’m so pleased to invite you to take part in the Read 4 Review event for More: The Evermore Series (Book1). 

More - Cover - Final

If you’d like to take part you can sign up here: http://eepurl.com/by3TmL

You’ll be sent everything you need to know, including an ARC copy. All participants who leave a review on Amazon will be entered to win one of five signed paperbacks of More, a $10 Amazon gift card or a $25 Amazon gift card.

In case you need a little reminder…

Miserable and dejected in her marriage, Isabel Fields encounters a stranger in a bar promising an opportunity to change her life. Nonetheless, she must make a decision she thought was reserved for other women. 

Sexual dominant, Sebastian York, specializes in igniting passion in his lovers, but women always come and go, and he’s never had a woman to call his own.

Leading Izzy, a natural submissive, on a journey of sexual awakening, their casual arrangement soon grows too confining. Seb satisfies everything Izzy has craved and she instinctively bows to his dominant personality, fulfilling his every desire.

Their casual arrangement ignites Isabel’s long-buried passion and touches her heart, but Izzy struggles with the emotional turmoil that plagues her soul.

Sacrifices will have to be made by both, putting their love to the test. Izzy stands to lose the marriage she dedicated years of her life to, but has a chance to gain a relationship she’s always longed for. All depends on whether Sebastian proves to be the love of Izzy’s life, or leaves her wanting more…

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My first author interview

Stephy from Troll River Publications, my publisher (little happy dance) asked me a few questions for her newsletter. I thought I could share them with you here.

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TRP: How would publishing this book change your life? (What are your goals as an author?)
RDL: My goals seem to keep changing! Number one was to write the book. Then it was to share it, quickly followed by publishing it.
Today, I want to publish my first novel, finish the edits of book two and start the draft of book three. I can remember a time when I thought that writing was just something I did to escape. I told a friend that I could never see myself as a full time writer. Now, I’d like to be a part time writer or even full time! I reserve the right to change my goals when the next book is released!

TRP: Have you been published before?
RDL: Nope! This is my first dance and I’m very pleased that TRP is my partner.

TRP: What about Troll River Publishing made you want to sign a contract?
RDL: When I first started scribbling down my story, I never intended to share it, yet alone have it published! A few words of encouragement and a very lucky meeting over social media led my manuscript to Stephy and my horizon changed.
The fact that Stephy wanted me to self-publish was a shock when we first started talking. She told me that I could absolutely do it on my own and that I should. Her abundance of support and positivity towards me was fantastic and a huge boost for little old me, sat in the UK wondering what I should do next with this story. When we started getting down to details I realized that she would do all the ‘stuff’ I was hugely daunted by and didn’t have a clue about. If I was going to ‘do this’ and publish my words, I wanted it to be the best I could make it. After talking with Stephy, I knew that I’d be able to do a 100 times better with her as my publisher than on my own. That’s why I signed.

TRP: What have you enjoyed on your journey to publish your work?
RDL: An unexpected pleasure along this journey has been seeing my characters develop and come to life on the page. Izzy started off as this little voice in my head and before I knew it she was real to me. My escapism of writing gave Izzy her own escape and chance of happiness.
Although there is some significant turmoil for my characters, love is at the bottom of it. I’m a sucker for a romance story and lost count of the characters that have captured my heart over the years. Now, I have my own characters and hope they can capture a few hearts on the way.

Izzy Seb

(Izzy and Seb from my Pinterest inspiration boards)

Something that has been instrumental in getting me to the publishing stage is the support and friendship offered by my critique partners. They have been a lifeline that I am thankful for everyday. Hugs to you girls!

TRP: What has been the greatest challenge in the journey of writing and publishing?
RDL: Challenges… oh there have been a few! I still remember the first time I sent my book baby out to a fellow TRP author (and now great friend) to give it a read. I’d read her short story and wrote a review and she asked me to read and review her first novel.  I spent the whole morning working up the courage to ask her to read my manuscript. Of course, as wonderful as she is, she did. That was a huge step for me.

After the initial panic of sharing, having the words edited and learning just how much work goes into turning your first draft manuscript into a book worthy of publishing has been a big and wonderful challenge. I used to think writing a book was a solitary thing. It was my escapism. But turning those words into a beautiful story takes effort from a lot of other people, and I thank everyone who has helped me on my journey. It’s been the most exciting, demanding and daunting time of my life, but I am super proud that I’ve come out the other side (just!).

The joy of critique partners

cat-reading-bookCritique partners used to be the names I read on the acknowledgement page of the books I read. I’d run my eyes over the words of thanks and love for the help and support given by the crit partners.

Now, on my newbie author journey, I have them too!

I came into this writing world with a manuscript that I was really proud to have produced. With the help of my crit partners, that manuscript has taken form and shape and will be a much better story for any potential reader.

I’ve been able to have their opinion and help on the plot, the pace, the motivations of my character. What doesn’t make sense, what needs more work, have I been specific and conveyed the feelings of my character?

I’m lucky to have crit partners who all excel in particular areas. They will look out for the gaps in my story. Is my hero Alpha enough through the story? Is it authentic and convincing? Should my heroine be thrown under the bus?

My manuscript is my baby and I know my characters inside out. But I often make assumptions and don’t show the reader what I need. My partners pick up on this.

reading-book-club

The other exciting thing is that I get to read exciting snippets that turn into wonderful stories that engross and entrance me. We laugh and giggle over new scenes, I make suggestions and we bounce ideas around. We go back and forth on all our projects and it’s such a fantastic support to have them looking out for me. I hope that they feel the same!

When I was first scribbling away on my note books, I never thought I’d need a crit partner. This story was going to be mine and mine alone. It has been invaluable to me. My writing is better for it. I can’t thank them enough. Long may it continue!

 

Elizabeth SaFleur – Book 2, Elite Doms series – Untouchable

If you have read my previous posts (Thank the Holidays for Holiday Ties) you’ll know that I love this author so I’m happy to shout about her new release Untouchable. I’ve read it and think it’s a fantastic story which I couldn’t put down. Being British, my biggest question was over her heroine’s name. London. But, it completely suits her and I forgot all about my initial scepticism by the end of the first chapter!

This post is re-blogged with the permission of Marilyn Lakewood.

UntouchableAuthor Elizabeth SaFleur stopped in to tell us about her latest steamy erotic romance Untouchable, book 2 in the Elite Doms of Washington Series, which is now available for
pre-order at Amazon. Elizabeth writes sensual, heartfelt stories with BDSM elements and her newest book Untouchable has it all! In Washington D.C.’s political arena, no one is who they seem.

Wealthy, corporate attorney Carson Drake fascinates public relations princess, London Chantelle. But their assumptions about love could crush their budding romance—even more than their long buried secrets and a blackmailing co-worker.

Points of interest about Untouchable:
1. Lawyer out-negotiated by PR counselor
2. Wax play, flogging, spanking, caning
3. Heroine blackmailed by co-worker
4. Washington’s secret & powerful BDSM watchdog organization, The Tribunal, emerges
5. A hardened heart, melts (more than once)

Available for Sale at:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V8CZ3KG
Forthcoming soon at Barnes&Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, and Apple/ibooks.

Elizabeth also answered some questions about her writing…

ML: What do you love about writing?

ES: This is going to sound really pompous, but I love creating a world that didn’t exist before. Last year, Untouchable’s heroine, London Chantelle, didn’t exist. Two years ago, hero Carson Drake didn’t exist. It’s really fun to tell a story involving people who live only in my imagination. I know all books are generally rehashing similar storylines. But I love the idea of bringing new characters into the world. It’s fun.

ML: Do you have any advice about the writing in the romance genre?

ES: The best advice I could give to any writer in any genre is to love your story and your characters. If you don’t enjoy the story, and write it the way you’d want to read it, then the book will ultimately suffer. Trust your instincts and write the stories you want to be told.

ML: What helped shape the characters of Untouchable?

Honestly, my 30 years in public relations in the Washington, D.C. area helped shape both London and Carson (and the entire Elite Doms of Washington series).
In PR, your job is take care of everyone around you and make them look good, even if it means you have to fall on your own sword. London has a strong nurturing and self-sacrificing side that makes her perfect for being a PR rep. But, she also is easily taken advantage of, which is where she runs into trouble in Untouchable. Washington comes across as an exceedingly polite place. But, once you turn your back, the town can be vicious.

When painting Carson’s character as a lonely, corporate attorney, I tapped into my experiences with the dozens of attorneys I’ve met and worked with.  Like so many people I’ve met in the legal field, Carson is bound by the rules yet chafes against them at the same time. Carson also learns that love isn’t black and white. Attorneys like black and white. 😉

ML: If it’s made into a movie, who would you like to play the lead roles?

ES: I wish I had celebrities as inspiration, like I did with Lovely, the first Elite Doms book. For Untouchable, the following provided inspiration. I think it’s the look in their eyes.

I wish I knew who this gentleman is, because he has Carson’s look and energy.

Carson

This gentleman also provided much inspiration for Carson over the months. Does anyone know who he is? Let us know in the comments, if you do!

carson 2

For London, this woman is perfect. Again, I don’t know who she is. (Anyone?) She has that sexy, startled look. LOL Plus, her hair is perfect. Carson loves her hair.

London

Pinterest provides me a wealth of inspiration. Check out my Pinterest boards, if you haven’t already.
(Link: http://www.pinterest.com/elizabethlovest/)

ML: What are you working on next?

Oh, so many projects are in the works! I have a novelette I’m trying to complete for a beach-themed anthology. This story is a little different for me, as it’s set in the Virgin Islands. Another short story is due this spring for consideration in the BDSM Writers Con anthology. And, of course, there are five more books to write for the Elite Doms series. The story of Mark Santos (Jonathan’s driver and friend) is next. He’s an ex-Green Beret with a heart of gold who will lure his late brother’s widow, Isabelle, from her grieving. I will let you imagine what that might entail. 😉

Thank you, Elizabeth, for stopping by today. 🙂

To find out more about Elizabeth SaFleur’s books…
Author Website: http://www.elizabethsafleur.com/
Publisher Website: http://www.trollriverpub.com/
Author Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/elizabethlovest/
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElizaLoveStory
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethSaFleur
Author Google+ profile: <span “font-size:12.0pt;font-family:”times=”” roman”;=”” color:windowtext;text-decoration:none;text-underline:none”=””>google.com/+ElizabethSaFleur
Author Goodreads:<span “font-size:12.0pt;font-family:”times=”” roman”;=”” color:windowtext”=””>https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8409162.Elizabeth_SaFleur
Author Amazon profile: www.amazon.com/author/elizabethsafleur

Orchard Book Club – My first author event

So my list of firsts continues this month as I will be travelling to Peterborough for Orchard Book Club’s Author Event!  My first author event.

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I first signed up to this (and am dragging my bff with me) months ago and will be attending as an avid reader. Going to finally meet some of the authors I’ve read and fallen in love with is a huge thrill and I’m going to hope I don’t go too ‘fan girl’ over them.

Kitty French and Jodie Ellen Malpas are the two top authors that drew my attention to Orchard Book Clubs Author event. 

I remember reading Kitty’s first book Knight and Play. It was in her early days and she is now a hugely successful best selling author. I can’t wait to read Genie which has just been released.

Jodie Ellen Malpas is another author I found when she’d just released her first in the This Man trilogy. Of course this series was amazing and she’s gone from success to success with Jesse (The Lord of the Manor!) and more recently Miller!

knight and play this man

But since buying my ticket, I’ve been lucky enough to read and connect with other authors and I can’t wait to meet them as well!

Louise Bay was kind enough to answer questions about her wonderful series on my blog. And Cameron Lincoln… Well what can I say? Those magical words that light up my twitter feed. I’m looking forward to seeing his suit too.

I’m also looking forward to meeting with other fans and readers. After all, reading was what sparked my interest in writing!

I’m hoping to return with books and signatures and maybe some swag and a selfie or two. Plus hopefully another author or book to add to my growing list of TBR.

 

Fantasy Versus Reality in BDSM – Elizabeth SaFleur interviews Dr Charley Ferrer

The wonderful Elizabeth SaFleur has this brilliant new interview on her blog and is happy for me to share with you here. If you haven’t checked out The Golden Flogger Awards, you can certainly find your next BDSM read there! And maybe I can manage a little trip in August to New York for the BDSM Writers Con… I’ll let you know. 

Enjoy Elizabeth’s blog!

Fantasy Versus Reality in BDSM Fiction – An Interview with Dr Charley Ferrer 

February is the Month of Love at Chez SaFleur, and not just because Fifty Shades of Grey makes its cinematic debut. In addition to our uber giveaway here, we’ve invited some special guests to talk love, dominance & submission and erotic fiction.

Today we feature a very special guest – Dr. Charley Ferrer, a world-renowned Clinical Sexologist and Sex Therapist. Dr. Ferrer also is an author of thirteen books on self-empowerment, women’s sexuality and BDSM. As a BDSM expert, she lectures throughout the U.S., Latin America and China on dominance and submission.

Dr. Ferrer also is CEO and founder of the BDSM Writers Con, which brings together authors and BDSM and D/s lifestyle presenters to provide education on the various nuances of the real BDSM world. Their tag line is “Where reality and fantasy come together!” We couldn’t host a better person than Dr. Ferrer to discuss the topic of truth versus fiction in erotica and erotic romance.

Note: BDSM and D/s sometimes will be referred interchangeably below. This synonymous use is only for editorial brevity sake.

Welcome Dr. Ferrer and thank you for being here.

ES: The BDSM and D/s lifestyle finally has cracked the mainstream – being discussed in the media, at cocktail parties, and in my case, even corporate boardrooms in Washington, D.C. What do you think has caused this new openness to discuss the lifestyle? It can’t all be the Fifty Shades phenomenon.

Dr. Ferrer: Fifty Shades has opened a door. But people have been pushing against that door for years, not knowing how to open it. Many people have been curious about BDSM but haven’t been able to define that curiosity and haven’t felt comfortable in exposing their interest.

Yet, D/s exists in our lives everywhere. People just haven’t named it as such. Have you ever given a hickey or gotten one? Why did you do that? It’s because you’re telling the world “this person is mine, don’t touch.” People will even brag about their hickeys, like a sub can often brag about their marks. They are proud to show they “belong” to someone. It’s the same thing in D/s, though the marks might go everywhere.

Another analogy is why put a wedding or engagement ring on a person? It’s a symbol or stamp of belonging. The vanilla world has rings. The D/s world has collars. We are practicing the same behavior but calling it two different things. In truth D/s has been in everyone’s life from the time they were born.

collar

ES: As someone who been active in the BDSM scene for many years, do you believe the understanding of the BDSM lifestyle and dominance and submission is then growing more accurate or less?

Dr. Ferrer: So much information is available. But too many people are turning to the wrong sources. Many people only see BDSM and D/s at the surface level due to what is right in front of them, like the Fifty Shades books. In particular, that book portrayed lifestylers as people who must be fixed. Yet, truthfully, this lifestyle is full of healthy people exploring themselves.

Eighty percent of the new people exploring the lifestyle are engaged in the “candy store effect,” enjoying new toys and dressing up. The other twenty percent of new people are dabbling deeper and asking themselves, what does wearing (or giving) a collar mean? Do I want it? Where should I look? Where would I research? Those are the people that aren’t in it just for the thrill of the moment but because it calls to their fundamental nature.

The question to ask [when interest is piqued] is this: Do you want to stay on the surface or do you want to investigate and explore the lifestyle and explore you – because that’s what you’re doing in this life.

In BDSM, you’re connecting with another person. But you’re also connecting with yourself. It’s not just about a spanking. It’s about what it means to you and what that spanking opens up in you. If you kneel in front of Dominant, what does that mean? How do you feel?

ES: Let’s talk about BDSM in erotic fiction. Real-world BDSM lifestylers want writers to depict the scene accurately. But, honestly, sometimes scenes can be interesting to witness as watching paint dry (unless you’re involved, of course). I can see why some writers might “spice it up.” Don’t readers want the fantasy anyway?

Dr. Ferrer: We all want to read books for some fantasy. But keep the fantasy balanced with some reality – such as how the relationships unfold. I see too many books where the writer obviously isn’t comfortable with BDSM. For instance, a female submissive in a story will see a Dominant they are attracted to and just throw themselves at his feet. That’s not how it happens, and scenes like that give the wrong impression of the lifestyle.

ES: So, where’s the balance?

Dr. Ferrer: First, remember that though you’re writing fantasy, this is an actual subculture and sexual orientation and lifestyle you are portraying. Please show respect to the men and women who embrace it. Second, know what you’re writing. Are you writing harder-edged erotica or softer erotic romance? Are you including hard-edge play like consensual rape scenes or even nonconsensual scenes, or softer D/s romantic stories? If you’re writing harder erotic stories, the stakes are higher for being accurate.

It also depends on your audience, who you’re writing for. You can include billionaires and fancy clubs, but let people know your book is fantasy and that you’re taking liberties with the lifestyle. Too many authors declare their D/s books as “this is how people are in this lifestyle.”

(Note from ES: I’ve talked with people in the lifestyle who’ve declared their way of engaging BDSM is the way, too. But that’s another blog post for another time.)

ES: What have you read in BDSM fiction that has you cringe?

Dr. Ferrer: Too often I see two kinds of Dominants: the Dom who knows everything and the Dom who doesn’t know anything.

Please don’t have your Doms be omnipotent. That’s a stereotypes that gives the wrong impression. Dominants don’t know everything automatically. They aren’t psychic. They need the submissive’s input. They can be wrong or make mistakes. Doms are humans. In reality, BDSM relationships go wrong when one person believes the other one to be perfect.

Then there is the Dom who is insecure and second guesses his or her every move. They don’t know where or when to push.

Rarely do I read about two Dominants talking and checking in with each other. But this happens in real life. Doms mentor and train each other and help each other resolve issues with submissives; just as friends do in the vanilla realm. And it’s not just how to throw a whip better. We get into the psychology.

In the erotic fiction genre, there aren’t many books that portray dominant women well. They treat all Femme Dommes like they are pro-Dominatrix in a club. And those female Dominants are portrayed as whores, only in the scene for the money, and secretly submissive. Or as in the case of a ménage, she’ll have another lover who’s “her Dom” while she dominants the submissive male.

Another error is Female Dominants switch midway through the story suddenly become submissive. Why can’t she just be dominant? Woman are strong…really! *smiles*

ES: What about tropes? They exist in fiction often because they help readers identify with the story. Yet the BDSM community is so varied. I have yet to meet a person who fits a stereotype in this lifestyle. What happens if a writer is accused of writing someone that “couldn’t be true” because he or she didn’t fit a stereotypical trope?

Dr. Ferrer: The idea is to make your characters human. You could include some very simple words to give that person a unique persona to make sure they are not your stereotypical alpha Dom and show he or she is a realistic individual.

Interesting pieces to play with in your stories are around what the dominance brings to the relationship. What does the sub get? What does the Dom get? Sharing, being vulnerable, growing stronger, these are all themes around opening one’s self.

Whenever a submissive man comes to me and says “I want to be yours, connect with you.” My first question is why? Why am I different? What are you bringing to me? The truth is, you’re bringing to me what your submission means to you. You’re opening up a side of yourself you don’t share with other people.

It isn’t just what the Dom wants; it’s also what the sub wants to give. Then, the dominant wants to take the sub to another level. So, how does it make you feel to take them there? What’s in it emotionally for the dominant?

These are interesting things to explore in writing. Get into what happens between the two people because there is a reason why people are into BDSM to begin with.

ES: What about education? Is it the responsibility of an author to say, include safe sex talk or BDSM education?

Dr. Ferrer: Teach but don’t preach. Protocol is important in real life, so you’ll want to include some of it in your writing. But, you can teach readers about real-world BDSM by setting up proper scenes without having your characters say certain things out loud. If you have a character kneeling and your Dom wants her to have a proper pose, he might run his hand up her spine to straighten her. This is a “show don’t tell” moment educating the audience that there is a preferred pose. You don’t need to go into why you need certain things, such as a safeword. Just ensure there is one!

blindfold

ES: Any other advice for authors of BDSM and D/s stories?

Dr. Ferrer: My first advice is to write a story you want to read. Don’t write for someone else. Write for you and your story will resonate with the other millions of people who think like you. If you’re just writing to a publisher’s specifications, it will show. And if you don’t believe in like BDSM don’t write it! Also, write well rounded characters, and don’t have someone be broken, just to be broken.

ES: What would you like to see explored more in erotic fiction involving BDSM?

Dr. Ferrer: Sensuality. The BDSM Writers Con will have a session on the topic of building sensuality into your books. If an author isn’t comfortable with the BDSM topic, it shows in the writing, especially around the lack of sensuality.

For instance, a whole page could be written on how a Dom connected with his or her sub before cuffing them to a St. Andrews Cross. The Dom could brush against them as they leaned the sub against the cross. He kisses her wrist before locking the cuff. Make it more sensual, because in reality, it is. If someone hasn’t actually engaged in a St. Andrews Cross scene, they might not get those nuances. It would be like telling a virgin that sex feels great. So, get educated and be sensual.

ES: Speaking of BDSM Writers Con, was there a pivotal moment when you thought, we have to start bringing readers, writers and BDSM experts together?

Dr. Ferrer: I’ve been teaching and educating for almost twenty years one-on-one and to groups. But a few years ago I read one of Joey W. Hill’s books. It was so well done, I had her on my radio program. It was from that interaction that the idea was born to get writers involved in writing about BDSM more accurately.

BDSM Writers Con is the only event educating authors and writers about Dominance and submission as well as marketing and writing craft. Authors and readers receive valuable information on various aspects of the D/s lifestyle during this four-day conference. Cecilia Tan is our keynote speaker this year, and we’ll have dozens of live, hands-on demos, a BDSM Club night and a book fair. Plus, we’ll be announcing the winners of our Golden Flogger Awards for best BDSM book of the year, sponsored by De Tail Toys.

Many thanks to Dr. Ferrer for stopping by and helping us become better writers of BDSM erotic fiction – and perhaps helping educate a few readers who now know what to look for.

Note to readers: BDSM Writers Con is for you, too! If you’d like to learn more about this lifestyle or just want to meet some of your favorite BDSM writers, it’s a welcoming and safe place to attend.

Check out their Kinky Chats to hear from various BDSM writers here.

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