Tag Archives: Reading

Looking back on RT 2015

RT logo

I’m back in the UK and it’s grey and miserable. Last week (May 12-17th) I was at the Romance Times convention in Dallas. Quite a change of scenery for me!

Now, it’s not everyday I decide to travel around the world to attend a book convention. Circumstances allowed for it this year and I had an opportunity I couldn’t say no to. And it was fantastic.

What I loved about RT was the workshops and opportunity to sit in and hear from authors, bloggers and experts. It was an educational experience as much as an opportunity to fangirl. I sat in with Mark Coker from Smashwords about future trends and listened to a great author panel on working the tension into writing (while being distracted by Jelly Beans). Then there were more author panels including the likes of J.Kenner, Megan Hart, Christina Lauren and Shayla Black.

My note book is full of tips but more than that, I got to meet and speak to these authors who were all really friendly, fun and approachable.

Then there was the book fair. OMG this was epic! The list of signing authors was huge. This was my chance to meet and talk to authors who I’ve read and adored for years. Did I have to get there early before they opened the doors, yes. Did I have to wait to speak to authors, no more than 10 minutes for one or two.

IMG_4435I knew who I wanted to see and knew which aisle to head for. That was my game plan and I saw everyone I wanted to before it got busy. Tiffany Reisz was the top of my list. She is my all time favourite author. I took several books for her to sign (my treasured possession now) and she was happy to chat and have a photo. This made my trip!

But I saw others as well. Cherise Sinclaire, Lexi Blake, J S Scott, Liliana Hart, Shayla Black, J Kenner,  to name a few. I also found some other great authors happy to chat and share and my TBR list is now over flowing!

Seeing all these authors all under one roof was amazing and something I’m not likely to do anytime soon. Would I have preferred all of my favourite authors in a smaller, more intimate setting? Of course. But that’s not going to happen. Smaller signings are fabulous and I’m looking forward to going to Leeds next year for Orchard Book Clubs second event.

What I’d love to see is the convention and workshop format where authors answer questions and em part knowledge. This, coupled with the smaller signings would be a winning solution for me as a reader!

If you get the chance, I’d say go to a big event – RT is in Las Vegas next year. It’s certainly an experience!

The swag I collected is fantastic and I’ll be giving a lot of it away on my blog over the coming months, including some signed books so sign up to my mailing list for your first chance to enter!

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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!

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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.

 

To read or not to read?

9780778313533_smp.inddI’m sat by the fire, snatching some time to write. After having a lovely, busy Christmas, I’m relishing some quiet time to spend to myself, or rather my writer self!  Time always seems against me, and not just me but the other writers I talk to. Day to day lives seem filled with busyness and there is always something I should be doing.

The time I have to write I hold dear. It’s my time to escape and bring my characters to life. It’s my time. But I often find myself struggling to find it. Half an hour here, a couple of hours on a Saturday night (I know, but i’d rather be writing!) When I look back, no wonder it took over two years to write my first manuscript.

I know I’m not alone in my plight to find time to write. There are scores of authors and indie authors juggling jobs and families and writing careers. A fellow British author, Emma Hart writes full time, but is a mother as well and am constantly astounded at how quickly she can write and turn her books around.

However, there is one thing that no matter how busy I am, how tired I am, I will always be drawn to. Reading! My joy from reading hasn’t always been there. Up until five years ago I rarely read. But now I can often read for hours with the only conversation being ‘I’m just getting to the end of this chapter’ or ‘I just need to finish this bit’.

There are some books and authors that are etched in my memory and I will always consider an influence on me and my writing.

Tiffany Reisz – The Siren is firmly at the top. I read this when I was early in the scribbling of my book and I fell in love with Nora. If you haven’t read it, do it NOW.

Along my journey, I’ve been introduced to some new authors and more recently several which I’m thrilled and lucky to also call me crit partners. They have opened my eyes to a world of writing process which I’m now trying to get to grips with. But I have also be privileged to read their work.

I’d love to have all the time in the world to both read and write. But who does? I’m always weighing up if I should write (yes, I should be!!) or to read. When I do read, I read obsessively and I can’t help being drawn to my kindle and the next story from a favourite author, a section to read from a crit partner or just a book I’ve seen and taken a fancy to. So, although I’m immensely pleased to be writing my series, please forgive me for disappearing from time to time into my reading world!

I will however try and remember something that Patricia A Knight recently told me:

Remember, sometime down the road you are going to be someone’s favourite author. Write for them.

Thank you PAK!

Her Verdantian series was my latest indulgence, four wonderful stories back to back!

Hers to command