Nope, No, Never.

giphy (3)

Everyone has advice on how to manage your social media. Everyone. People sell books, hundreds (just do a check on Amazon.) And like tips on writing, tips on book selling/promoting can often be contradictory. And, I’m grumpy enough to usually avoid jumping on the bandwagon.

One: I hear quite frequently is that you should always link all your social media accounts, mainly FB, Twitter, and Instagram, for crossposting.

Here’s why I disregard that:

  1. Linking accounts creates a nightmare if you are ever hacked.
  2. 50% of the time the hyperlinks created via crossposting wind up not functioning correctly.
  3. Each social media platform has a distinct vibe. Things I post on FB don’t necessarily reach a Twitter audience.

Having said all of that, I will occasionally copy/paste posts between FB and Twitter, but very rarely.

Two:  People often recommend an app that auto-shares a post to all your FB groups.

I’m not a fan, personally. I prefer having control over what posts where.  You also run the risk of promoting in a non-promo group or promoting the wrong book. For example, promoting a non-paranormal novel in a paranormal group.

Three (or maybe Two B): Another App is an Auto-Retweeting on Twitter one.

Here’s why I think that can have disastrous consequences. You’re surrendering control of what winds up posted on your account. What happens if you wind up retweeting a post about someone’s personal grief over the death of a loved one?  Or, retweeting one you actually disagree with?

Also, I’m a control freak.

I want to know what I’m sharing.

Four: Don’t be too personal. (Or transversally, always be yourself.) I’ve heard marketing/promoting experts offer both schools of thought.

I firmly believe, for better or worse, you should always be yourself.

Readers will be drawn to who you are. And if they aren’t, they probably won’t enjoy your book. Books are an extension of ourselves in many ways.

Last but not least, Five: Creating Teasers.

Granted, creating teaser images doesn’t quite fall into the same category as all the others. It’s an important one. If you’re going to use images to promote your book, be sure you have the right/permission to do so.

Seriously.

It can save you a world of hurt if you get sued.

Also, it’s disrespectful to the photographer if you’re using their work without permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To NaNo or Not to NaNo.

The above gif is an accurate demonstration of how I’m feeling–and National Novel Writing Month hasn’t even started yet. The last five years I’ve successfully taken part in NaNoWriMo, though I think one year I didn’t quite hit 50k, but I didn’t finish the story so I consider it a win.

Ivy, Alicia, After the Scrum, The Caretaker, and One Last Heist all started life as NaNoWriMo stories.

Now, I’ll be honest. NaNo makes me lose my mind. At no other time of the year would I even attempt 50k in a month, but it’s a challenge I always find impossible to refuse.

When I started thinking about this year, I’d initially decided not to participate. My deadlines have gotten all messed up and I didn’t know if I’d have a book to work on in November.  My year has been fairly busy with writing a novella trilogy and writing a novel. But for all the chaos, I do genuinely love particpating in NaNo.

I’ll be cheating this year. My novel is going to wind up being around 80 or 90k, so my goal for November is 50k. That’s my NaNo goal, even though technically the story won’t be finished quite yet.

If I hit 50k, I’m considering it a win.

I’ll be exhausted, but a winner.

Are you taking part in NaNo this year?

 

Author Interview: Aaron Speer

Are you a panster or a plotter?
If you asked me this when I first started, I’d say plotter. Every scene. All arcs. Now though? I’d say its 70 30 pantsing.
 
Do you believe in Writer’s Block? If so, how do you kick its arse?
Yes I do. Music is my best weapon. I’m always listening to specific download tracks based on the book I’m writing.
 
What book is your comfort read on a bad day? The one you go back to reread over and over. 
The Godfather
 
Describe your perfect writing space:
Alone. Quiet. In a bedroom or small office type space.
 
Do you write your title first or story first?
Title always
 
And lastly, write a one or two paragraph flash fiction inspired by the last photo or text you got on your phone:

She sent me a photo of tonight’s dinner. Strange, as she had cursed me out not an hour before. She had never sent me pictures of anything like this before.
I began to wonder, was this a message? A chilling warning of the night ahead?
My beautiful fiance had only been released from minimum security less than a year ago. I never asked her what her previous husband’s died of…
 
US 4 Book Banner
Universal Buy Links:
Undeadly Secrets Sereis:
The Independents Short Stories Series:
The Undisputed Series:
Trinity
 
 
Author Bio:
I love writing adult paranormal fiction. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts… oh my. I’ve been writing since I was 11 but I’ve always been a dreamer… often getting caught staring off into space as I created stories in my mind.

One of my stories, Night Walker (Undeadly Secrets Series Book 1), won the 2017 Golden Stake Award at the International Vampire Film and Arts Festival held in Transylvania annually. I’m still quite chuffed about walking away with it after facing some great contenders.

The Fourth book in what some refer to as The Undeadly Secrets Saga released in early 2018 and I followed that with my first Contemporary Romance (MMA) release in August of 2018. I also have a short story thriller series, The Independents, and will be branching out into other genres in the coming year.

My favourite activities include spending time with family, dragging my forever patient wife to watch my beloved St George Illawarra Dragons, popping into the movies for the latest blockbusters, going to the gym for my dream body. Or just a body. Anything, really.

My beautiful wife and I welcomed our first child into the world in 2017. My fans declared him the Prince of Speerverse and claimed he seemed to take after me in his want to build the tension as high as possible… making us and our loved ones wait 3 long days for him to make his entrance. My wife and I live with the love of our lives in Sydney, Australia: the setting for the majority of my works.
Stalk Links:
 

Are you new to Speerzie? Come get Fanatical with our Favourite Aussie Bloke, and get your FANG BITE. Good Neck Action isn’t just for Vamps… MMA fighters like it too:

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➡ http://www.aaronlspeer.com

 

Let’s Talk About Sex.

“Why do you write gay romance?”

Author interviews always seem to include that question for me. And my answer is probably never entirely satisfactory, mostly because I don’t have the answer. There was no epiphany or grand moment. No critical thought process that I’ve heard other MM Romance authors give.

Gender and sexuality have always been a bizarre concept to me. It’s an autistic thing. I feel a bit detached on the idea of both. So, for me, romance is romance is romance.

While I am a woman and I identify as one, gender is one of those concepts I’ve always been quite detached from. I’ve spoken with other autistics who also find the male/female thing confusing. It’s a hard feeling to accurately describe.

It doesn’t affect my writing–and yet it does.

And by that I mean, when I write my brain doesn’t get caught up on gender differences necessarily in the same ways I see from allistic others. I do, however, seem to get into a rhythm of writing something in particular and struggle to shift into a different area. So, after starting with After the Scrum, my flow has continued with M/M, though all things considered my novels tend to include a diverse group of relationships amongst the cast of characters in the stories.

Sexuality or sexual orientation is equally different in my head from how I hear a lot of allistic authors talking about with their writing.

Sex scenes whether m/m, m/f, mmf, or mmm are the hardest bits of writing for me.

Another part, as a panster, I never genuinely set out to do one or the other or a variation. The story just spontaneously shows up from wherever my muse lives in my brain. I barely manage to plot out…the plot.

(The annoying part that I have zero control over. Fucking muse lol.)

I swear I had a point when I started this blog post, but I’ve gotten distracted.

I genuinely considered deleting this and starting over, but other autistic romance authors might appreciate and relate to seeing my struggles.

 

 

So Long Farewell.

(Ten points if the song is now stuck in your head. Sorry, not sorry.)

Saying goodbye to a book series is always bittersweet as an author…and as a reader. Saturday was a book release day for me. Haka Ever After came out and is the last of my Sin Bin series. I’m excited to move forward to new projects but heartbroken to leave my retired rugby lads behind.

It’s tricky, I think, to figure out where a series should end. There’s always a part of me that wonders about different characters whose story I didn’t tell. But then, my muse runs away toward a new shiny idea, and I don’t get a chance to be sad about ending my series.

I never intended to write The Sin Bin. In fact, I wasn’t supposed to write the story that inspired the series–After the Scrum. I had a completely different idea planned for NaNoWriMo 2015, but I made the mistake of watching a rugby match.

Big mistake.

Francis and Caddock sprung to life, giving me barely a week or two to prepare before November. And then, somehow, Graham decided his story wanted out in The Wanderer. Each tale led into the next.

It’s quite strange to look back on the series now. One of those moments where you can’t quite believe what you’ve accomplished. All those words on paper. It’s exhausting just to think about.

I’m proud of my rugby lads.

I’ll miss them.

But, I’m no to the next adventure.

If you’re a writer, do you find yourself missing a series when you’ve finished it?

Or as a reader, do you prefer to read a series or standalones?

 

 

Author Friends: Kitty Berry

Are you a panster or a plotter?
By “plotter” do you mean I get an idea while ironing my son’s clothes and jot it down in my notes folder on my phone? If so, then, yup, I’m a plotter!
 
Do you believe in Writer’s Block? If so, how do you kick its arse?
Sure, I believe in it. I’m happy to say that I’ve never experienced it. That’s probably because I don’t get the chance to write that much. I work full-time as an early childhood specialist and write any and every chance I get.
 
What book is your comfort read on a bad day? The one you go back to reread over and over. 
Is this a no judge zone? Yeah? Okay, I’ll say it…Fifty Shades of Grey.
 
Describe your perfect writing space: 
Let me begin by saying that it would NOT include my husband and boys repeatedly calling my name! Other than that, I sort of have a perfect space in my office right now.
Three walls are painted taupe, the accent wall is a deep, burnt orange. My middle son hung book shelves from floor to ceiling on one wall for my collection and a I have a copy of each of my books in a lighted display case. I have a white desk and a white leather chair. My Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers and a small fan sit on the left corner of my desk right near my phone holder. My notebooks and mechanical pencils are the on right next to a box of tissues and a candle that I light for when I write. I’m planning on purchasing a new laptop soon, but it’ll sit right in the middle of my desk where my current one does now.
I have a navy-blue sofa against the accent wall with orange pillows and my hubs keeps a desk in there too.
 
Do you write your title first or story first?
I do my titles first. 
 
And lastly, write a one or two paragraph flash fiction inspired by the last photo or text you got on your phone:
The last text I received was from my oldest son. It read, “Eating at home tonight.” I will write you a flash fiction piece that features Damian Stone from The Stone Series.
 
“Remember the first meal we ate together?” Damian asks his wife and mother of his four children. “We used to eat at adult places back then.”
Sydney smirks as a blush covers her cheeks. “How could I ever forget,” she says. “You fed me then said that I was better than any dessert your restaurant served.”
“You fed mommy?” Pebbles Stone asks her father with an excited clap of her hands. “Is this another part of your love story? Tell us, tell us!” she begs. “You’re so romantic!”
“Yuck,” DJ sighs. “Don’t make mommy and daddy tell us another story about how much they love each other.”
“Caden Stone,” Sydney reprimands her oldest son with his given name. His nickname, DJ, short for Damian Jr., fits him so well, she often forgets it isn’t his name. “You should be happy that your mommy and daddy love each other as much as we do.”
Sydney shifts her youngest daughter Piper on her lap then reaches for her phone on the table as she sees it shake from an incoming text.
Damian: You know what I wish I were eating instead of this shitty, kid friendly, tasteless pizza at an overpriced arcade?
Sydney rolls her eyes at her husband then begins typing.
Sydney: HMMM…steak?
Damian: Very funny. No. YOU!
Sydney’s body heats as the waitress approaches the table.
“Can I get you something else?” she asks.
“No,” Damian says. “Just the bill, please.”
“But you didn’t eat” the waitress points at Damian’s clean plate.
“I’m eating at home tonight” Damian says with a raised eyebrow for his wife.
  
 
Links:
Facebook The Stone Series Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheStoneSeries/
Anatomy of Love (AOL Book 1): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074MKL5D1
Dissection of Love (AOL Book 2): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075V6R3L5
Sutures of Love (AOL Book 3): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0776HYNMD
 
Kitty Berry Bio:
Kitty Berry is the author of The Stone Series and The Anatomy of Love Trilogy.
Kitty is an only child who never wished for a sibling and she openly admits that she’s a spoiled brat. She currently resides in the suburbs of Connecticut with her husband and three sons. During any given evening you can find Kitty curled up in bed reading.
She is the daughter of an avid reader, the “real” Kitty Berry. It was her late mother’s desire of becoming a writer that prompted Kitty to create the characters that she places in worlds of wealth, power, seduction, dominance and submission.
Kitty’s love for reading and discussing literature didn’t come to her until her late twenties. Angst-ridden romances always mesmerized Kitty and fast-paced entertaining mysteries as well as witty “chick lit” contributed to her desire to not only be a reader but also a writer. She recently found herself at a time in life when the busy balance of career and family made her crave an escape into the world of romance with an erotic twist. Multidimensional characters spurred on Kitty’s creative spark to write about seduction.
Kitty loves dark chocolate, music inspires her writing and she plans on enjoying life to its fullest as soon as she’s done driving carpools, attending youth basketball games, and coordinating the social lives of her three adolescent children who have way more fun than she does. 

Author Friends: Jeanne St. James

Are you a panster or a plotter?

Pantser. I want my characters to surprise me.

Do you believe in Writer’s Block? If so, how do you kick its arse?

Yes. I rarely have it. But reading a book is the best way to get my creative juices flowing.

What book is your comfort read on a bad day? The one you go back to reread over and over. 

 I don’t have any that I reread. I have too many good books on my TBR list to go back and reread any.

Describe your perfect writing space: 

 On a balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea in a comfortable chair.

 Do you write your title first or story first?

It just depends on the story. I’ve done it both ways.

Tempting Him (An Obsessed Novella)

 

Buy Link: https://books2read.com/TemptingHim

Blurb: 

It’s not just a love story, it’s an obsession…

Skylar:            

Every time my neighbor jogs past my house, I do my best to tempt him. Washing my car, watering my lawn, doing yoga in the grass with all my assets in the air. I’m not sure if he notices me, but I sure can’t miss him.

Then one day he falls… into my arms and into my bed. Surprisingly, we’re better matched than I would’ve expected. But when he reveals who he is, my world comes crashing down around me because if he finds out my secret we’re finished before we’ve even begun.

Cade:

Three days a week, I put myself through hell by jogging through my neighborhood. I suffer through it simply to catch a glimpse of a woman I don’t know. Every time I pass her house she’s outside tempting me. Until one day I fall… over my feet, over my heart, over this woman and into her arms.

I know nothing about her, but I want to discover everything. Even her deepest, darkest secrets. However, little does she know, I have one, too. One that may sever the tie that binds us.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Skylar:

 

I watch as sweat drips one bead at a time onto my over-priced yoga mat. The sun is so freaking hot and here I am, like an idiot out in my yard, bent over in the downward facing dog pose for the past million years. Okay, not years… maybe more like a million seconds. But my body has decided it hates me (nothing new) and is cramping while my head spins. Even better, my over-priced yoga pants have clawed their way up my crack (as well as one other place). And still…

No neighbor.

What the hell?

Despite my eyeballs’ attempt at bulging out of their sockets, I peek at my sports watch. He should’ve been by here two-point-five minutes ago.

Shit.

The man is usually like clockwork, jogging by my house on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons every week. For the most part, anyway. Though, thunderstorms seem to discourage him from his cardio. (Not sure why.)

On those days, I would be willing to recommend another type of cardio to get his heart pumping. And maybe get his hips pumping, too.

Anyway… look at me! Doing yoga on my front lawn, on the uneven grass, waiting like a desperate woman. (I’m not, really, I promise! It just looks that way.)

But, damn, the man is fine and when he jogs past shirtless, he’s shiny with sweat, which makes me want to drag him inside and give him a sponge bath with my tongue.

My thighs start shaking as I peek between my spread legs, because, of course, my ass has to be facing the street. I want him to get a good look at what I’m offering.

I may even wiggle it a little when he jogs by.

That is if I don’t pass out into a heap first.

I sigh.

Then sigh again a little louder just for good measure.

Maybe it would be easier if I just took up jogging. Wear one of those sexy sports bras, put my hair up in a cute little pony tail, plaster a smile on my face and follow him around the block at a perky pace.

I’ll die first.

****

Cade:

Why I ever started this shit, I’ll never know. No, I lie. I know. I thought, “Cade, dude, wouldn’t it be great to up your cardio game and start running?”

I answered myself with, “Yeah, man, that would be great and fun, too!” And then maybe I won’t get so winded when I play basketball with the guys. I’ll have more endurance, I’ll look and feel younger, and…

Fuck that.

Running sucks. And I don’t even think what I do can be considered as running. No, it’s more of a jog. Or a lope. Or trotting like a donkey with a lame hoof.

Inhell. Exhell.

My chest burns, my leg muscles spasm, my balls feel like they’re floating in a puddle of sweat, and the crack of my ass…

I’m not even going there. (Trust me, you don’t want to, either.)

So, why don’t I just stop the torture? (Good question!)

I’ve asked myself that for the past month.

And the answer has always been…

Her.

I sacrifice three days a week just to see a woman I don’t know.

Not sure why, but she always seems to be outside at the same time of the day. For that reason, I make sure that’s when I go running (jogging, trotting, limping) by.

Am I crazy to torture myself because I find someone attractive and I’d like to get her attention?

Eh. Maybe.

Why don’t I just knock on her door and ask her out? (Another good question.)

Maybe I want to impress her with my physique and athletic prowess.

But honestly, something has to give and it has to be soon. Because this running shit sucks balls and I’d rather stick razor blades under my fingernails.

At least my slow trot is the right speed to observe her without being creepy. Walking would be too slow and obvious. Driving too quick and useless, not to mention dangerous when she’s clearly a distraction.

And, of course, my pace always allows me enough time to enjoy the show she gives me.

On Wednesday, she was out washing her car, her top soaked, her nipples pushing through the thin fabric of her shirt, and when she bent over to scrub the hood of said car, my boner just about popped out of my shorts. You know, those little nylon running shorts. The ones with the mesh liner, clearly not made for sexual arousal.

But I digress.

The week before, she was out watering her lawn. And, once again, her top was wetter than her grass.

Here’s the thing, the entire neighborhood has built-in sprinklers.

Maybe hers are broken.

It’s possible.

I grunt as I turn the corner and try to push myself a little faster since I’m off my game today. I’m later than normal, and I want my running to look as effortless as possible. It needs to look as though I’ve got my shit together and I’m not secretly suffering.

My eyes swing to the left as I jog. She’s the fourth house up. The brick ranch home with the two-car garage.

Two houses to go yet.

One house.

My eyes widen as I see her ass in tight black yoga pants in the air. My step stutters but I can’t stop my momentum.

My mouth becomes an O, partly because I’m falling over my own two feet, the other because she’s dropped to her knees and is now arching backwards grabbing onto her heels, her generous tits straining against her top.

Last thing I see is her blinking upside down at me as her head hangs down her back.

Suddenly, I’m staring at nothing but pavement (and my loss of manhood). The little bit of oxygen I had sucked into my lungs is now gone.

Then, what seems like seconds later, bare, cute, red painted toes come into view.

I want to just die.

About the Author:

JEANNE ST. JAMES is a USA Today bestselling erotic romance author who loves an alpha male (or two). She was only thirteen when she started writing. Her first paid published piece was an erotic story in Playgirl magazine. Her first erotic romance novel, Banged Up, was published in 2009. She is happily owned by farting French bulldogs. She writes M/F, M/M, and M/M/F ménages. Want to read a sample of her work? Download a sampler book here: BookHip.com/MTQQKK

To keep up with her busy release schedule check her website at www.jeannestjames.com or sign up for her newsletter: http://www.jeannestjames.com/newslettersignup

Author Links:

Website: http://www.jeannestjames.com

Blog: http://jeannestjames.blogspot.com

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jeannestjames/

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Amazon Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/JeanneStJames

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