Back In The Day

Bikers viewWhen my husband I were dating, he was known for being a bad boy. Since I don’t want to embarrass his family or my daughters, I won’t get into about what he did. But we hung out with some people you would call in a nice way – rough. Now, I’m not saying all of them were that way. A few of the girls were like me, from the middle class part of town and attracted to the bad boys.

I can tell you after a few years, I realized that life wasn’t for me. The drinking, drugs, smoking, cussing (still a bad habit of mine that slips out on a occasion) and living on the edge sucked big time. They cheated on each other, stole from anyone, even their friends, and many didn’t know the meaning of hygiene or taking care of their possessions. And they would laugh about it all.

Thankfully, my hubby grew up to be a good man, though that bad boy mentality (a.k.a. Cranky) comes out on occasion.

Over the years, a few people have recommended to me book series about motorcycle gangs/clubs. My sister even talked about how much she loved Sons of Anarchy. I gave in and bought one book, “sampled” a few others and watched the Sons. The book I didn’t finished, the others I didn’t buy, but I did watch all seasons of SOA. The TV series had some good moments. I think mainly I wanted to see Charlie/Jax’s butt. Otherwise, the show had more violence than plot.

The books and even the show reminded me of those days from my youth.

So now I’m writing a motorcycle club series. It will be toned down (really, I’m known for writing about sex and violence; so there will be enough in it) compared to the series and the partial books I’ve read. As I mentioned, I’ve been around those type of people. You don’t want to mess with them or be like them.

But there is something romantic and sexy about bad boys and dangerous men. Even more so when they’re reformed.

Porn vs Erotica

Young Couple Sharing Special Moment and PresentOver the years, I’ve heard clueless people call romance novels porn. The last couple years, with the FIFTY SHADES OF GREY craze, the newest incorrect term is mommy porn. (Geez, if you do, you obviously have never read the real mommy porn. Yuck.)

I can tell you there is a big difference between porn and romance novels, including romantic erotica. From here on out, I’ll just refer to it as erotica to make it simple.

First, let’s talk about romance and erotica. Romance books have a lot in common with numerous genres:  literary, mystery, science fiction, action/adventure, etc. In fact, romance books can be all of those things. But the underlying difference is there are two people who become attracted to each other, fall in love or decide they cannot live without the other. And of course, they all have the wonderfully required happily ever after. (I swear the journey to that point is always nail-biting.)

That attraction is what leads the book into becoming a romance. Even if they can never kiss, touch or make love. Those romantic feelings are deep inside the heart and overtake the head. They have nothing to do with how many climaxes they can reach with each other. Romance is how a person treats the other, and in turn, how he/she wants to be a better person for the one they love.

There are many readers who love what is called a Closed Door Romance. They never read what happens behind the bedroom door. I refer to those as pure romance. You will find Inspirational and Sweet romances do that in many genres.

Now, in the romance writing world, erotica is romance that shows love through physical actions along with the emotional ones. There are readers who want the full excitement from beginning to end. They’re like your best friend who comes up after a date and asks, “Tell me the details. Don’t leave anything out.” And as most men know, women rarely leave out anything in the telling in private to their best friend. Or the whole office.

In erotica, the writer will cover every sensory involved in a relationship. The emotions of romance wrapped in taste, sound, smell, sight, and especially touch. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time buying a new blouse without touching the material. Thus to me, if the heroine hasn’t touched the man in every way possible, how does she know the whole package (pun intended) will suit her for a lifetime?

For porn, the physical act is what leads and ends the story. No character development and none to little emotion. And no – screaming at the end of climax is not the emotion I’m talking about. Though bravo for the character(s).

?????????????????????????????????????????????????I can promise you I do know the difference. In my precocious teens to my early thirties, I read many books that could only be called porn. They never left me satisfied (pun intended again), in particular, on an emotional level.

So next time a person calls a romance (no matter how hot) porn, be sure to correct them. Tell them, it’s like calling a history book, a time travel. If you don’t know the difference between those, you might as well keep your mouth shut and read.

Just a Mishmash

Angry, Frustrated WomanThis is just a mishmash of things I’ve been thinking about.

1) I’ve read so many books the last year (actually, most I didn’t finished) that were awful. Grammar ten times worse than mine (they really need an editor or a better one), heroines that get angry over stupid stuff, heroes who act like stalkers, and authors who are lazy and use the same terms/descriptions popular with a hundred other authors (see #2 below).   By the way, when I buy one, that sucker is deleted off my iPad. Took me a while, but I’ve learned to read the sample or “Look Inside.”

2) Is it just me, but aren’t you tired of hearing about the pearl of moisture at the tip of a cock? Or that every heroine swallows. Get real. He would have to shoot out tequila and lime for that to turn me on.

3) Really, size only matters if it is too small. Average is best. That your vagina is only 3-4 inches long and will lengthen for your partner or whatever. Even it has a limit. Anyway, here’s a cute video called “Does penis size matter?”

4) What’s up with heroines not wearing makeup? Why is it “good girls” go without makeup and look naturally beautiful? Bull crap! If you’re twelve years old maybe. All of my heroines wear makeup except in the shower, the pool or running from the bad guys early in the morning.

5) When has it been okay for people to ask authors how much money did they make off their book? I don’t ask how much you pulled down from your job? Hmm, you better watch out. I will most likely ask that next time that question comes up. Let’s see how happy they are with such a personal question.

6) And why does everyone think all authors are rich? I have two jobs. A day job and my writing job. I don’t know anyone who has two jobs that do it because they’re rich. Usually, it’s because they need money to pay bills and know the best way to get it is to work for the stuff! My hubby isn’t rich and I don’t have a sugar daddy.

7) Oh, I do love being a published author (as I’ve stated many times). Of course, the recognition is great. But another reason is any odd behavior that creeps out (the older you get, the crazier you get like your parents) is excused by someone saying, “She’s an author, you know.” HA!

Love Hearing Another Woman’s Opinion

Maybe I’m still a teenager at heart, but I love coming across an article talking about sexSurprised Woman positions and it not being porn. This simple article talks about having the woman on top. Good advice in my opinion.

The best part about the article is that the guy’s hot. How often in pictures with articles or commercials on TV, the woman is cute and the dude looks like Woody Allen? No matter how many women he’s slept with, no one can call him sexy or handsome without lying or/and being related to him.

So check this out.

Smorgasbord

Thanksgiving FeastWith the holidays coming up, I have a dread of all the food. Yep. You read that right. If you know me, you know that rarely turn down a meal. But when the holidays come up, I have a problem with seeing so much food. It’s like mental overload. I’ll fix a plate but nothing will taste good. Maybe deep inside I can’t make up my mind, so my taste buds shut down.

Weird, isn’t it? If it only would do that all the time. Well, at least until I dropped several (a lot) pounds.

I do know I hate eating at buffets or at big functions where the food has been sitting out long enough to become room temperature. Hate that. Yuck! Plus I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen kids play in the food. *shiver*

Keeping On Track

Woman Reading a DiaryA fast pace, well-written book encourages me to write. I get excited and want my books to be just as fun to read.

A book that doesn’t satisfy frightens me; I’m afraid I’ll pick up their bad habits. So, I quit reading and pass it on to the used book store or delete it off my e-reader.

Do you delete books ever?  What are your reasons?

Romance Novels and Women’s Expectations

Men worry about romance novels giving women too high of expectations.  Of course, Playboy magazine never did that for men (sarcastic font used here with extra large boobies and tiny ass). I believe that romance novels save a lot more marriages. You ask how?

Women learn . . .

  1. How to give better blow jobs because they realize it turns on both partners. And a better chance he will reciprocate.
  2. Men think differently than women. THANK YOU, GOD! Don’t layer on all our crap. They love sex, food, large screen TVs, sex, sports, food, sex, and sometimes the reverse.
  3. To no longer wait for the man to get them off. Walgreen’s has a great on-line store, just for your health and well-being. Wink-wink.
  4. Sex can be fun, especially when you throw in a few toys or rope (that you just bought from Walgreen’s).
  5. How to demand what makes them happy. Guys have been telling us for centuries that they are not mind readers.
  6.  How to be more romantic. Really and truly, some men are more romantic than us women.

So buy your sweetheart a romance book today! And read it with him/her.  I recommend something hot with a lot of action and adventure mixed in with all that great sex, and whose books do I recommend?  Well, mine, of course! Duh!  LOL!

Out of the Blue

MM910001135I think it’s cool that BLUE is such a versatile word.  You can say you’re feeling BLUE. Cheer up!

Or that you’re watching a BLUE film. Naughty, naughty.

That he came out of the BLUE or something kicked it into the BLUE.

It’s not my favorite color, but I just think it’s neat being a color and having so many meanings.

Just me feeling silly. And don’t get me started on other colors, or you’ll have me seeing RED.

(Channeling the late George Carlin here sans cuss words or political satire.)

I Love Readers

Postcard three books1Really, what author doesn’t love readers? Well, knowing how cankerous us authors can be, there is probably a handful out there. But then I don’t understand why they even try to be/are published.

Anyway, I was reading Suzanne Johnson’s blog, and she kindly pointed out to an Amazon reviewer a misconception some readers have about authors.  Click here to read the post. We’re always flabbergasted when we receive complaints about things we can’t control.

Sure, we can go to our editors and ask them to reconsider, but their marketing people have been doing the job many years, have the education to back them up, and the savvy needed to make the decisions. While, like me, authors usually just want to write and make enough money to live on. We are dreamers.  Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) recited part of a great poem that most authors can relate to.

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
—World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

By Arthur O’Shaughnessy

And yes, I feel a list coming on. Here are the things authors have no or little control over if published by a traditional publisher. Self-published books are totally a different kettle of fish.

1) Price. I’ve been fortunate that my publisher would ask me on occasion if they can mark down my books. Standard price is $3.99 for the e-book. So when they marked it down, it has been as low as $1.99. Only once have I let them mark a full novel down to 99 cents. Others can price them that low, but I value the work and time involved in producing my full length books, and I deserve more than 25 cents (usually less) for each one. We’re not talking about tens of thousands of dollars. It’s more like around $1,000 a year. Can you live on that amount in the U.S.? Hell, no, not if you want electricity, food, a roof over your head, etc.

By the way, it takes five months for me to write a full length book. And I work a full time job. Yep. Over 40-48 hrs a week and then I come home and write all evening and sometimes early in the morning. Let’s say on the low average, six hours a day. I write weekends, holidays, and of course, weekdays. So 365 days a year. Yes. Family obligations keep me from writing at times, but I still find time in the mornings or evenings. So six hours a day times 365 days equals 2,190 hrs a year. Let’s say last year I made $1,250 off all three books (probably less than that), I average 0.57 cents an hour. WOW! I’m living the high life, heh?

Oh,that amount isn’t all at one time. I get paid once a month on e-books (some months are skipped -no sales), so those $30 royalty checks can get us excited at home. That means we can go out to eat. YAY!

2) Cover. Once again, my publisher does ask my opinion and if I didn’t like something, they would give me a chance to say no, though I never did. Though I wish I had on my blue book (CIRCLE OF DANGER). It looks so different from the other two. We can only hope that the picture grabs the readers attention. It is the hotter of the three novels.

3) Formatting. Thankfully, Avon does a wonderful job in that regard with my books. There are several publishers who do not. They use double spacing (like an unpublished manuscript) between each line. Or they use double between each paragraph. To me, a break after a paragraph in a book means a POV change or time shift. A favorite author of mine’s publisher does that. Why? I have no idea. Anyway, this is usually beyond our control.

4) Title. You didn’t see that one coming, did ya? Yep. We have little control over that. Some authors have no say so at all. Thankfully, Avon is a class act. My editor asked my opinion and listened to what I said and then we worked together on the right title. CIRCLE OF DESIRE was originally OUT OF THE SHADOWS. I like the original title because spies and mercenaries work in the shadows. With Collin’s help, Olivia was pulled out of the shadows into the light and realized the person she worked for was a bad guy. Cool, isn’t it?

Anyway, the editor felt my title didn’t do the book justice as it was a romance, a hot one, and we needed to bring it to the reader’s attention. She thought the play on the organization’s name would help connect the other books. Boy, oh, boy, it did.  When it came to the second and third book, we (my second editor came in the middle of edits of CIRCLE OF DANGER) agreed DANGER and DECEPTION worked perfectly for the other books.

5) Odds and Ends.  I’ve seen one star reviews for the reader having trouble downloading a book (if through a reputable bookseller, it is most likely your computer/tablet/internet connection – besides, most authors are not IT experts), for receiving a book looking used (purchased from an independent seller, claiming to be “new” – I swear we want you to receive a new book, but there are others wanting to make a buck off an author’s hard work, without compensating the author. So buyer beware of unknown third parties.), and for the book not being the type of story or the direction they wanted. The last one I say, be sure to read the description of the book and the first few pages before buying. If you did, then I suggest either buy another author’s book or do what many authors have done, write your own. HA!

Enough of The Angst!

MH900423167I’ve been watching shows on Syfy and Netflix lately, and I have to say they’re some of the most angst filled I’ve ever seen. What’s up with the doom and gloom shows? And a better question is why in the hell do I watch them?

On Syfy, I’ve been watching Defiance and Dominion. I have to say they do occasionally have a little sunshine to come through the story-line. But I’m tired of seeing the good guys getting beaten up so much.

[Though not on air at this time, Walking Dead from AMC is another one. GEEZ!]

Then there are the Netflix shows: Sons of Anarchy (originally on FX) and Hemlock Grove. Let’s start with Hemlock. Each time you think things are getting better, they don’t. Okay I understand it’s human nature not to see others do well, we get jealous and we find it boring when they do. But geez, Louise, the fellows (and ladies) need a break!

*spoiler alert – do not read if you have not seen and plan to watch SOA*

The worse of the batch is Sons of Anarchy. I watched two (or was it three – drawback of watching so many without much of a break) seasons and I truly don’t remember one scene that went well without some type of letdown or ass-kicking. OMG! I was so upset when the little boy’s adopted parents were killed. Yeah, I know it was fiction. I couldn’t sleep that night from thinking about it. That’s when I decided I don’t need this crap. I want happy. Maybe even romantic comedies and such.

Action-adventure is my all time favorite, and it’s not lost on me that they usually have an happy ending. The bad guys lose and sometimes those bad guys are actually just badder guys. You know, the badder guys lose and the regular bad guys win. Think Fast and Furious (any number) and The Italian Job.

Oh, one of my favorite action-adventure movies is Knight and Day. Love the scene with Tom Cruise in his sunglasses (the man knows how to use them) walking on top of a wall. Oh, yes, so iconic that it could be a romantic novel. He shows up at the perfect time. And the scene where Cameron Diaz complains that he won’t kiss her, and he walks through gunfire to do it. Sweet!

Of course, I also like most of the James Bond movies, a few of the Mission Impossible ones, and the Die Hard movies (#4 is my favorite).

And you wondered why I write romantic suspense with action/adventure.

What’s That In Your Pocket?

CircleofDesire mm cOver the years in romance and erotica, I’ve seen (or is that read) the size of a man’s penis go from average to King Kong in length and width (ouch!). I’ll never forget reading a historical romance where the guy’s cock was so big he had to wear a sheath around it whenever he rode out to battle the enemy. Funny but oddly sexy.

Anyway, I came across this interesting article called Does Size Really Matter? It’s worth a read and maybe the next time (if you’re a writer), you’ll think twice before giving your hero a huge “pleasure rod.”  If you want to know more about penises and sizes, click here and read what Wikipedia said about it.

This all makes me remember a scene in CIRCLE OF DESIRE.

She [Olivia] leaned back in the chair, looking at him [Collin] with half-closed eyes. “Listen I hate men. No, I’m not sexually interested in women. I already have a pussy. Why would I  want another one? I put up with men for one reason only. Their cocks. Big throbbing ones. A real live hot, hard cock is ten times better than any synthetic one at satisfying my needs. I like playing with them and then leaving before they want more. Was that what you wanted to hear?

The burning sensation in her stomach said it all. She hated this discussion. She hated that he couldn’t bring himself to care enough to protect her. Why she expected any man to protect her when she’d done it for herself all this time, she didn’t know. She just did.

Love that woman!

A Parent’s Revenge

They called this video First Moon Party, but I call it A Parent’s Revenge. See what happens when you lie.  LOL! I laughed so hard, I had to watch it twice to hear it all.  Mercy! I do have a warp sense of humor and obviously they do too.

Thinking Ahead

Angry, Frustrated WomanThe other day I downloaded a book I was waiting for (read it in two days and it was regular size – a little under 400 pages I believe – it was wonderful – thank you, Cherise Sinclair) and while purchasing it, another book caught my eye and I bought it. (Addict, right?)

I have to say the other story was interesting but the number of errors were horrendous. They were simple mistakes that could easily been caught by a critique partner. Many times throughout the book (yes, I read the whole thing – see, I do try) the author placed a “was” and then a verb like: “He was stood and waved at the girl . . .”

To make matters worse, I had download three more books (thank goodness, two were free – feeding the addiction – HELP, NANCY!) from other new-to-me authors, and OMG! I can overlook a handful of errors, but they were riddled. The agony!!

Not saying that mistakes don’t happen in traditional published books (each one of mine had one or handful – sadly), but I seriously thought about asking for a refund on one of them it was so bad and I could tell this was a beginner-author, but decided to use it as a lesson.

ALWAYS “LOOK INSIDE” BEFORE DOWNLOADING!!!

The Ties That Bind

I don’t know if you figured it out yet, but I’m at times a little off beat.  A couple weeks ago, I came across this picture. No face or body, but it goes to prove how sexy a man’s hands and forearms can be. So freaking masculine. There is something sexy about seeing a lean, well-muscled man in cuffs. All that strength under controlpicture

A man’s fingers can tell you a lot. Calluses say the man works with his hands, digging ditches or carving wood. Long fingers are usually associated with surgeons and pianists; thick fingers with brawn and the more masculine pursuits.

I’ve never been wild about rings on men, except maybe a wedding band, but whoa! The rings in the picture say to me he’s a bit of a rebel. A biker. Maybe even a musician.

Yep. Not all men need to be military alpha males. Tied up, they become pure sexual beings. Yum.

Yes. You’re right. I have a vivid imagination.

Sense of Humor

You and I know that a sense of humor is subjective. What I think is funny (love pratfalls), you might not necessarily believe the same.  Okay, here’s a commercial I came across the other day. Blew my mind! I laughed so hard, I had to share. LOL!

Hey, their publicity department is a genius. It’s so provocative that women have to be talking about it. Like me. HA!!

Another funny part is that I’m re-reading a Linda Howard book and the hero’s name is Sam.  ROTFL!  I wouldn’t mind that Sam in my pants. (Just kidding, hubby. But can I call you Sam? You can call me Angelina.)