Tag Archives: writing

Why my book covers are so important to me

Every author loves their book covers. It’s the graphical representation of the story they have poured their soul into. The cover can often sum up both the author and the story; they can be tempting, exciting, beautiful and stunning. Covers can attract readers or put them off. But for me, my covers are a personal triumph.

If you know my writing journey, you’ll know that I never intended to publish. Then, when I finally thought I might self-publish, I knew that I’d want to work on the covers myself. So that is what I did.51dyujQsApL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_

I know in my genre the image of rippling abs or a passionate embrace is more expected, but that’s not what I wanted on mine. In More and Forever More, Sebastian sends messages to Izzy through flowers. The language of Flowers by Mandy Kirkby was a gift from a friend many years ago and sits on my shelf for me to refer to now and then. I used this for the research in the story as I wanted Seb to say very particular things in the flowers he sent. And the flowers on the covers are the exact flowers he sends to Izzy in the book. (I’m not going to give away any spoilers!)IMG_6796

I went to my local florist, spoke to her about what I needed, the specifics, what was in season. I had to do a few tweaks as to what I originally wanted, but we got there. I went to collect the flowers a few days later and took them home to photograph. The flowers were beautiful and I enlisted the help of my friend Vic to support me in setting up the photos in my little office.

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The added bonus, and personal touch on the cover of Forever More, is that the flowers are resting on my wedding dress. I loved my dress and thought it was the prettiest dress in the world. Now, it’s on the front cover, of one of the books that I wrote. *Grins widely as I type this.*

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I had only intended to write these two stories, much to my publisher’s horror. But, she had faith in me, and my third book in the series will be having its cover revealed next month. My design skills got me though my first two books, but I’m glad to hand over that job to a much more talented lady (L J) this time around, and she’s done a fantastic job.

Music and words

Music and words

So who is listening to Adele’s new album at the moment? I had to listen to each of the songs a couple of times before I fell in love with the album. It’s now on repeat when i’m sat at my desk working (not writing!). Listening to her lyrics got me thinking about the songs I had in mind for More. I put this collection together a while ago and shared it with Peggy from Reading Keeps Me Sane Book Blog.

When I’m writing, I’m completely obsessed with the story and my characters. I fall into little day dreams about a scene or a new plot line. And when I’m listening to the radio, I’m listening out for words and songs that resonate with the story I’m crafting.

These are some of the songs that I’ve collected that for me, tell the story of More.

I’m a huge fan of Sam Smith. His music will feature through all of my books. The words always resonate with me and some of his words make me think of my characters.

Here is the first of Sam’s songs that feature on my soundtrack for More.

Make It To Me, Sam Smith

This next track I fell in love with as soon as I heard it. Again, the lyrics seemed to be echoing just what Izzy was going through and it’s been stuck on my own little playlist.

Wicked Games, Parra for Curva

This is a bit more of an upbeat song, although I think it captures the desperation that Izzy feels at times.

Poison, Rita Ora

More is an emotional love story and the heart of it, the pain that love can cause. Paloma Faith has a wonderful voice and this song has been on repeat for much of the editing process of More.

Only Love Can Hurt Like This, Paloma Faith

The second Sam Smith track…

I heard this first with the hype around the new Bond film, it hasn’t been off the radio. I listened and fell in love with the words and the song. There is some debate though, if this is the song for Izzy or for Seb.

I’d love to know what you think.

Writing’s on the Wall, Sam Smith.

 

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!).

Cover Reveal – Undertow – A new release in erotic romance

Undertow - eBook Cover

My first short story and my first cover reveal – OMG!

Undertow is a collection of four short hot and steamy romances. Get ready to meet Cole, Aeron, Bret and Max. Four very… interesting men.

I loved writing The Break. As a newbie writer, putting pen to paper for characters other than those from my Evermore series was daunting. I’m so pleased with this little story and hope you enjoy it.

Undertow is available on Amazon now. My email subscribers will receive The Break for FREE. Just sign up here.

The Break isn’t the only novella you’ll get to enjoy in Undertow. If you’re not already familiar with the other fabulous authors then go check them out. Kris Michaels, Elizabeth SaFleur and Patricia A Knight.

Undertow - Facebook Cover

Dear Readers,

Welcome to a Troll River Publication collection of short stories. This is the perfect introduction to some of the lovely authors in our romance group. Their styles are unique to them. But whether in the far distant future on an alien planet, jostling down the streets of Regency London in a carriage or fighting the congestion of modern Washington D.C. traffic, their stories share a common theme: strong heroes, hot sex and happily-ever-afters.

I’ve put together a sampler box of their short stories that are perfect for those lazy days at the beach, or poolside, when you want something to read that’s not too heavy, never sad and guaranteed to end well. So, slather on the sunscreen, slip those sunglasses on and let us entertain you.

Warm regards,

Stephanie McKibben
Troll River Publications


 Blurbs and Excerpts 


Backwater Blessing
by Kris Michaels

Blurb:
When Cole, Mr. FBI, and Logan, local cop and reigning Ice Princess, hook up to solve a case of Mississippi corruption at the highest judicial levels, sparks fly. Their attraction is hotter than the sultry southern sun. She wants to hate him—but she can’t. And Cole would never commit career suicide by staying in a backwater Mississippi town…not for any woman…especially not for Isabella Logan Church.

Excerpt:
A single eyebrow arched and a small smile tugged up the corner of Cole’s mouth. Logan leaned forward and brushed her lips against his. He held still and that control won him some points in her book. The Fed had restraint. The question was how much?

Deliberately she pushed her bikini clad breasts against his hard muscled chest and lifted her hand to caress his cheek.

“If you are worrying about me being able to sell it…don’t. I don’t have to like you to act like I am making love to you.” Her purred words sounded breathless and needy even to her own ears. She turned and walked out of the cabin before she did something stupid. Like crawl up his big sexy body and kiss him until his federal reserve broke.

 

The Break
by Rachel De Lune

Blurb:

When Victoria Abbott makes the hard journey back to her quaint, seaside hometown in Wales, she’s unprepared for the guilt that claws at her. At the same time, she’s instantly calmed by being on the sands where she spent time as a child. Her self-imposed rules never before gave her a shot at true happiness and she’s not sure if she can face a second chance. But when she walks into Aeron Morgan’s life, all that changes.

Aeron Morgan has all he wants from life. A financially successful business and the house of his dreams sitting on the cliff overlooking Oxwich bay. Until Victoria Abbott walks into sight. Not content with a one night stand, he wants Victoria to accept him and his darkest desires, forcing her to become the woman he knows is under her suit of armor. With her independence on the line Victoria grapples with choosing her dreams over what she’s worked so hard for all her life.

Excerpt:
I tease my skirt a little higher, revealing some flesh before slipping the first button on the front of my dress. Without knowing, I chose the perfect outfit. Once the second button is free, I look up at Aeron. Lust gleams from his eyes, and they drink in the body I’m slowly revealing to him, button by button.

I slink closer, standing a fraction out of reach as I undo the last button. I slip the dress slowly off my shoulders and let it drop to my feet. I step out, and close the final gap between us. He straightens and once more he sweeps my body with lust filled eyes. I take a breath and unhook the back of my bra and slip it off my shoulders. Hooking the sides of my thong, I inch my knickers down my legs as seductively as possible. The appreciation on Aeron’s face is all I need to bolster my confidence. I bend down, collect my knickers from the floor and strut to him. Dangling them over his lap, I drop them.

“Straddle me.” Aeron’s smoky voice is deeper than before. My little strip show has definitely affected him. The knowledge he is aroused spurs me on. Swinging my leg to sit on his lap, I position myself on his thighs. He has a clear view of my pussy. He hasn’t tried to touch me. His hands remain firmly by his side. I’m amazed… and disappointed.

“Make yourself come for me. I’m going to watch you come undone on my lap before I take you.”

 

Riptide
by Elizabeth SaFleur

Blurb:
Cheated on, dumped and fired—all by the same man—Ava Hollins’ only goal on her Caribbean vacation was to forget men existed. When she wins hot, wealthy, resort owner, Bret Wright, during a charity “man auction,” she’s not sure what to do with her suddenly acquired “love slave.” Fortunately, for Ava, Bret knows exactly what to do with her.

Excerpt:
Bret kept his eyes on Ava’s face as he looped two lengths of rope around her rib cage, one on the fleshy mound of her breasts, the other underneath. A gentle yank and the two pieces squeezed her breasts outward. The rough rope bit into her skin, and her breathing sped up.

“If you ever feel dizzy, tell me,” he said.
All she could do was nod. Her power of speech had fled.

“If it comes to it, I’ll cut the rope. Do you understand?”

“Yes.” She barely breathed the word. She tuned into the full length of his body now pressed closer against her, as if he meant to keep her steady and present. Even with rope biting into her skin, she loved being this close to his body. And, what a body. Even clothed she could tell some serious muscle lived behind those pants and shirt.

More pulls around her ribcage shifted her focus. She dropped her chin, fascinated by the beautiful knot he’d formed on her sternum. The ends dangled, tickling her belly. He lifted her chin and looked deeply into her eyes. Keep your eyes on me, they transmitted.
Yes, sir.

His hands returned to their work. In seconds he had her wrists crossed and tied together with another short length of rope. He tugged her closer. She blinked but didn’t dare break his gaze. He sealed his lips to hers, and his tongue moved slowly while his capable hands explored her body, fingers slipping under the ropes as if checking the level of restriction.

He released her mouth. She felt more, gentle, scratching pulls on the rope. A downward glance revealed her chest and belly encased in an intricate diamond pattern make of jute. She inhaled deeply, testing the restriction of her rope top. Could she get out of it, if needed? She expanded her chest again. No, I can’t. Moisture gathered between her legs in response. She looked back up at his face, now tilted in question. Without him having to ask, she knew what he sought.

“Amazing,” she said.

He smiled. “I’m glad you appreciate my work.”

The relief in his eyes spurred her courage. “Will you do more?” she asked.

“Oh yes, baby. So much more.”

 

Undertow
by Patricia A. Knight

Blurb:
Former Army Ranger, Max Harper, didn’t know the young woman playing fetch on the beach with his therapy dog—but he wanted to. From his first meeting with Holiday Jones, her fresh beauty and soft heart swept him away. The wounded veteran knew he wanted forever with Holiday. There was just one small problem. She thinks he’s someone he’s not. When his down-to-earth Holiday learns who Max really is, love might not be enough—for no matter how generous a woman’s heart, it’s difficult to forgive deception.
Excerpt:
After he covers Miss Kitty and her surrounding cast in white foam, Max sits back and inspects the area he’s prepped. He rinses his hands in the water bowl, dries them on the sofa cushions and then selects a razor as if he were an open-heart surgeon selecting a scalpel.

I wiggle a little and whimper, “Max, pleeease, finger fuck me…please, please, finger fuck me.”
He shoots me a happy little smile, flourishes the razor and begins gently scraping my groin with the care of a jeweler faceting a diamond. My inner slut gets on stage and shouts cuss words. I have no excuses. She has a potty-mouth. By the time Miss Kitty is as bald as Vin Diesel, Max has teased me to the brink of orgasm. The soft strokes that almost touch my clit are the worst. When Max finishes and drops the third razor in the water bowl and rinses his hands, I could come if he breathed on me. Max simply grins, parts my swollen lower lips with his thumbs, and exposes my aching clit. “God damn, Holiday. You’re so pretty.” He holds me with an intent stare and gravely announces, “Rangers lead the way,” before closing his lips and tongue over my clit and sucking gently.

I go off like the A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima in those old newsreels from WWII. Yeah. That could have been me. When I regain conscious thought, Snafu is raising a ruckus at the door, barking and scratching to be let in, and Max slumps on the ottoman in front of me with a look of gloating male satisfaction.

“I woke the dog?”

“You were pretty loud, babe.”

“Did I scream your name?”
He gravely shakes his head. “No, babe. You didn’t scream my name and you know what that means.”

My eyes widen.

“We have to do it again.”

Max kept his promise.


Disclaimer – the final manuscripts are still being edited so some language may change. 

June 2015

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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.

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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!

 

London or New York – Louise Bay takes us to both

Louise Bay was a new author to me a few months ago, but her book cover and title, plus the comments and reviews had me downloading the first in her Empire State series.
A snip of my Goodreads review for A Week In New York to wet your appetite!
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A week in New York. Sounds perfect for me and throw in ‘Sex God’ Ethan Scott and I wouldn’t want to leave either.
I loved Anna – she was sure and confident of her own rules as well as being sassy and sexy. This seemed to simply increase the chemistry between her and Ethan. And there was a whole lot of chemistry!!! HOT HOT HOT.
Both points of view really helped the story line, and although there weren’t any cliffhangers or skeletons waiting to pop out, it kept you turning the pages to see how the first in this trilogy unfolded.
I certainly wanted to read more of Ethan and Anna and couldn’t wait for the next instalments. Now, as I don’t want to spoil the story, I have been lucky enough to have Louise answer a few questions I posted to her! All Ethan or book related of course…
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1. What part of Ethan’ character did you enjoy writing the most?
I loved writing Ethan because he is generally so clear about what he wants. I suppose I like his interactions with his sister Jessica in particular. You discover things about him that otherwise you’d never know!
2. Do you ever disagree with where your characters wanted you to take them during the story?
Not with the Empire State Series but with the new series I’m writing, the second book has turned out very differently to how I was expecting. The characters very much drive my writing and as much as I plan, they tend to take over!
3. Did you have the Empire State series in mind when you were writing Faithful and Hopeful?
I knew I wanted to do something with Anna at the end of Faithful but I wasn’t sure what. The story came to me while I was writing the last third of Hopeful. I was having to push it to the back of my brain and it was desperate to get out!
And how do your stories come to you?
In all different ways. Each book is different. With the Empire State Series, I wanted to do a story with Anna (who first appeared in Faithful) and I wanted a chunk of it to take place in New York – I love the city and although I used to go every year, I’ve not been for a couple of years so I thought it would be fun to revisit it in a book. So I kind of meshed those things together.
With Faithful, it was much more personal, the first scenes are based on real life events – although there is a huge amount of artistic licence!
Hopeful is a retelling of my favorite book – Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I’d wanted to do that since I started writing Faithful. I’m not sure I would have written a second book if I hadn’t felt like telling that story in a modern context was unfinished business.
With my new Lightning Series, I started with the female character and things grew around her.
4. I’m a sucker for a Happy Ever After. Did you ever think they might not get there?
Not Anna and Ethan, they were made for each other!
5. If you could choose anywhere,  where would you like to go on a date with Ethan in each city- London and New York?
There are not many places I wouldn’t go on a date with Ethan Scott. Anywhere would be just fine!
I think what Ethan arranges for Anna and himself for New Year is pretty close to perfect. I had so many ideas on what that evening would be like! There’s too much to do in New York!
In London, maybe I’d cook for him at my place?!

Clearly, you now want to go and download this fab series… Buy links are below:
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Week in New York
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Autumn in London

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New Year in Manhattan
Amazon

US: www.amzn.com/dp/B00S5Q1W2G
UK:
www.amzn.co.uk/dp/B00S5Q1W2G
Canada:
www.amazon.ca/dp/B00S5Q1W2G
Australia: www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00S5Q1W2G
Barnes and Noble
www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-year-in-manhattan-l…/1121066716
Nook
http://www.nook.com/gb/ebooks/new-year-in-manhattan-by-louise-bay/2940149975976
Kobo
store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/new-year-in-manhattan


A little bit about Louise…

I write sexy, contemporary romance novels – the kind I like to read. My books Faithful and Hopeful are stand-alone novels although there are some overlapping characters. The Empire State Series of novellas starts with A Week in New York.

Ruined by romantic mini-series of the eighties, I love all things romantic. There’s not enough of it in real life so I’ll settle for books and films.

I love the rain, the West Wing, London, days when you don’t have to wear make-up, being alone, being with friends, elephants and champagne.

Hearing from readers is the best thing in the world so get in touch!

Tweet me – twitter.com/louisesbay

Friend me – www.facebook.com/louisesbay

Like me – www.facebook.com/authorlouisebay

Pin me – www.pinterest.com/louisebay

Friend me – www.goodreads.com/author/show/8056592.Louise_Bay

Add me to your circles – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LouiseBayauthor

Find me at home – www.louisebay.com

Have you met Izzy and Seb?

I thought it was time to introduce you to the main characters from my debut novel More, part of The Evermore Series.

Seb Izzy

Isabel Fields and Sebastian York have been with me for a long time now and they almost seem like real people (I’m not mad I promise!). I know how they end, but I haven’t written it all yet. That is part of the journey I’m still on.

I’ve kept a visual inspiration for ‘More’ and Izzy and Seb on Pinterest. But the looks are just part of it. What are Izzy’s fears? What drives Seb? Will Izzy find the courage she needs? These are just some of the questions that came out during my writing and as I try and perfect, build and edit my craft, I have realised that these characters are full of the complexities that each of us have.

It’s the characters with depth that we come to love in the stories that we read. Whatever genre you choose, we all have them, a favourite character.  They have body and soul and we live with them through the pages we read, we cry with them and our hearts beat with them.

My small hope is that for a few readers out there, Seb and/or Izzy will become one of your favourite characters and that you’ll live their journey with them.

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

 

Thank the Holidays for ‘Holiday Ties’  

1406759946On my journey towards being a published author there have been a few milestones; finishing the first draft of my manuscript and holding it in my hand, receiving my friends support and encouragement towards my story and being brave enough to share it with someone I didn’t know.

That last milestone wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for a great short read by a fabulous author Elizabeth SaFleur.

I first found Miss E on social media and the blurb for Holiday Ties ticked all the boxes for the type of story I’d enjoy reading. So I did. It was a fab ‘Sunday treat’ and I was late for my yoga class as I couldn’t put it down. My biggest criticism was it wasn’t long enough. But as this was a short story I had to be content with what Miss E gave. I try and post at least a short review on Goodreads for the books I enjoy, I understand how important these can be for authors and this review turned out to be a great decision.

She contacted me soon after and offered me the opportunity to review her debut full length novel Lovely. This was another milestone for me – my first ARC review. To say I was excited was an understatement. I loved the scene that Miss E had painted in Holiday Ties and was eager to see more of her Doms of Washington.

‘Lovely’ was a gripping story that built on Holiday Ties, had some very charged and knicker wetting sex scenes and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Miss E and I went back and forth a few times on social media and then I decided to do it. I asked her if she would read my manuscript – pause for dramatic effect. Because she is so wonderful, she agreed. My milestone!

Now, I should have been happy with that, and I was. I was ecstatic. So when she got back to me with a really positive review AND a crit summary I was bowled over. She was supportive, encouraging but also told me where I could improve. This was such a huge step for me and probably the biggest milestone after deciding to write the book itself. Without her first few words I doubt I would have had the courage to continue.

Since then, we have continued to stay in touch (more in that in future posts) and I am so thankful for her first book, Holiday Ties being so good and good enough that I wanted more of Elizabeth’s story!

3a0e9b0440e468fd1e6b22687f9a10e580f30df7-thumbHer wonderful book Lovely is up for pre-order now and she’s also doing some fantastic giveaways on her blog. I’d guarantee Christina’s story is well worth clicking that button!

 

 

 

Lovely (Amazon): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P3CHMQ0

Holiday Ties (Amazon): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LZA6HO2

Website: http://www.elizabethsafleur.com/

Now, you remember me saying how wonderful Miss E is, well she’s answered the following questions for me to share as well!

Q Do we get to see more of Ryan and Yvette from Holiday Ties in future stories?

Yes, absolutely. Yvette emerged as I was writing Lovely. She wasn’t supposed to be a main character, but she does end up playing a pivotal role. After I completed Lovely, she (figuratively) turned to me and asked, “Where is my happy ending?” So, I wrote Holiday Ties, providing her with some HEA of her own. Of course, Yvette and Ryan’s story is not done. Yvette wants her own book now!

Q What book are you currently up to in your writing process?

I’m editing the second Elite Doms book, Untouchable, which should be out in early spring. It features Carson Drake, a Dom who made a cameo in Lovely. I simply love the heroine, London Chantelle. She’s sassy. London goes to a private club, Club Diabolus, to get her “ridiculous” submissive desires out of her system, but then runs into co-worker Carson—a man who promises to fulfill her dreams. Or will he drain her dry, like every other man she’s known? Hmm, we’ll have to find out!

Then, of course, there are five other books in the Elite Doms series: The Lovely sequel (early summer release) and four other books about different Dominants and a Femme Domme. Each of the heroes/heroines are connected through a secret organization called The Tribunal. The Tribunal makes itself known in Untouchable.

Q Have any of your characters taken the story in a completely different direction to what you had planned? And as a writer how do you deal with that?

Oh, yes. My characters are quite “bossy.” For instance, London Chantelle, the heroine in Untouchable. She turned out to be a masochist. I did not see that character trait coming. I was writing a flogging scene when she kept screaming at me “harder, harder!” Who was I to argue? I tend to start out writing a character who is “half-baked.” They come with a few key characteristics, a “look,” goals, motivations and inner conflicts. But as the story unfolds, they develop. I like the surprise. They keep me on my toes.

Q Lovely is up for Pre order now. What was your favourite part of writing this story and why?

This story will always have a special place in my heart. I carried Lovely around inside me for so many years – dating back to 1996. One day I was sitting in an outside café, sipping wine, watching the boats on the Potomac River when I swore I thought I saw a woman being lashed to a sailboat mast. I wondered, “does she like that?” Jonathan Brond “spoke” to me that day. He asked me “Would you like to find out?” For years he whispered to me, filling my head with different aspects of his story. But it wasn’t until two years ago that his “whispers” became more demanding – like a true Dom. My favorite part of writing Lovely was the boat scene, because that was the genesis of the whole story. That scene is where Christiana finally admits her big secret, and in doing so, shows Jonathan a part of himself he doesn’t like.

A big thank you to Miss E! You can connect with her at any of her social sites.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethSaFleur

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElizaLoveStory

Google+ profile: google.com/+ElizabethSaFleur

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/elizabethlovest/

The decisions of a fledgling writer

 

f88067198cd6620856c8442d6dbf5319As a newbie writer just finishing the first book in my debut trilogy I thought that the decisions in front of me would be simple. Character developments -Will she won’t she? This scene or that? I was focused on the writing.

I started writing for a number of reasons, one was to have some time for me and to do something I felt passionate about. I wanted to write and give my characters their story.

But with the completion of my first draft came my first decision. What now? I’d completed a book. Big tick. But I decided I wanted to make it better. So I went back through it with my trusty pink pen. And edited.

It became clear to me that if i’d done this, why not take the next step. My next decision – should I share it with a friend? That was probably one of the scariest moments, letting go of my baby. Would they see it like I did? Is it any good? Luckily for me, my friend LOVED More and it was that confidence that made my next decision for me. I’m going to publish this, even if it’s just for me.

It was at this point that the flood gates opened! So many more decisions to make and behind each one, there were further questions to answer.

Self publish or try to get a publishing deal?
Editor or self edit?
Which editor?
Cover design and cover reveal?
Beta readers?
Book blog tour for launch day, who?
When to launch? At how much?

Once I started down this wonderful rabbit hole I didn’t know where it would lead. I had a small goal in mind and now that goal has grown due to the decisions I’ve made.

One of the best decisions I have made to date was to send my baby to an author I had read and connected with on social media. She read it and gave me some fantastic feedback and reader insight. It was constructive, sound advice which I desperately needed. I knew I had to do this, send it to others to better the story and her input has led to numerous emails and words of advice.

There are a hundred other questions and decisions to make for a newbie author. But, what I’m finding out is there is a huge community of authors willing to help with advice and give back. This has been a revelation to me and I’m thankful to have made the decisions I’ve made as it’s led me to where I am today.

Have I published yet? No. Have I made all the decisions I need to? No. But I can now do it knowing I have several people and a host of other resources that will help me through this, willing to give me advice and support that will improve my writing ‘career’.

My latest decision is to take the advice on offer and learn from it.