Friday, April 18, 2014

Spanking Stories Book Club EGG-Stravaganza!

Please welcome Katherine Deane who is today's lucky guest hostess! 

Welcome to the Easter EGGstravaganza Event of the book club!

Celeste and I have pooled together to add something fun to your basket! How about some free books?
Answer the special “Easter Egg” question below, and get entered for a chance to win a $20 gift certificate from Blushing Books.

Enjoy the discussion, answer any or all of the questions below, and don’t forget to answer the “Easter Egg” question for a chance at the prize!

This will go all weekend, and the winner will be announced on Monday!

Today we’re talking about LauraSmith’s Sam McGee series (book 1, The Yukon Bride). Blurb: On the day of her twenty-fifth birthday and looking across her cake at her divorced parents as they snapped and bickered, Andria decided it was time to do something, anything.  When she came across a flyer from the Sam McGee Tours asking for Mail-Order Brides to go on a two to three month hike up to the Yukon, she jumped on it.  During her interview, she learns there's a little more to it than that.  The company sells tours for the disciplinary-inclined. 

Her main purpose as a bride would be to tip herself willing and eagerly over her pretend husband's knee.  And wouldn't she know it, she's paired not just with a gorgeous, large-handed man, but the man's younger and just as hot brother.  She's never been spanked before, but with Van and Tyson guiding her along the way (hairbrush and belt at the ready), she can't wait to get on the trail towards being their Yukon Bride.




I was so excited that Celeste let me host book club this week! I knew exactly which book I wanted to discuss - a story I read over a year and a half ago, when I was first coming to grips with my Spanking nature.  Since I couldn’t remember all the details, I just re-read it, and was pleasantly surprised to discover (with as much as my likes and dislikes have changed), I still loved this story!

This first story in the three book Sam McGee series, gives us the background and insight into our main characters. The delightfully witty and charismatic, Andria, who chooses to become a paid “Bride” for the Yukon Trip of the Sam McGee Tours.  The handsome and oh so dominant brothers Van and Tyson, who play Andria’s “husbands” for the trip.  The antagonist, Olivia, beautiful and manipulating, who hates Andria and vows to hurt her.  All of these characters are flawed and wonderful in this story.  This is a Spanko’s dream come true! (At least a spanko with an adventurous streak!) I loved this story, and am looking forward to re-reading the rest of the series!

1.        Andria chooses to go on the Sam McGee adventure tour to get away from her family drama, and make some good money.  The only caveat is that it is a tour that caters to “spankos”.  If you had the opportunity to go on this kind of tour, would you?

2.        Would the fact that it is a dangerous trip through the Yukon deter you?


3.        What do you think about the fact that the trip planner attempted to place new spankers and spankees together instead of an experienced with an inexperienced.  Do you think this would hinder or help their overall experience?

4.        Andria’s “Spanking for Dummies” book claims that anything can be used as an implement, so she chooses to try out her tv remote. This was a hilarious self spanking scene! What do you think? Could this work? Can you think of any other items that one could use for a spanking? Easter Egg Challenge! Come up with the best idea for a non spanking item to be used as an implement. 

5.        Brothers, Tyson and Van offer to team up as husband / spankers with Andria. Ignoring the fact that they are both gorgeous, would you prefer a “one man show” or the sharing scene like Andria chooses?  This means double the spankings. J

6.        One of the things I adore about this book, is Andria’s atypical body stature- which is different from the “traditional” heroines I read about. Andria is strong, beautiful on the inside, witty, charming, pretty, and also very overweight. The author does a wonderful job of describing Andria’s larger stature, as something beautiful, tackling the traditionally held beliefs about beauty, wonderfully. And I have to agree, her charm and inner beauty are what makes her even more gorgeous than the beauty queen, Olivia. As is evidenced by Van and Tyson’s choice to have her as their bride. 

I’ll be honest and say I usually prefer inner beauty to external looks, within reason. But I also like the fantasy of the good looking partner vs the reality of the everyday guy.  Does it make a difference for you? Does the sex matter? Are average females ok, but hunky males necessary, or vice versa? What are your views on character appearance?






Thursday, April 17, 2014

Becoming Lady Amherst Gets Some Love In Blogland!


Thank you to Rollin Hand and Cara Bristol for their blog posts and kind words about my latest book, Becoming Lady Amherst.

You can read Rollin's Review here. 

You can read Cara's Recommended Reads post here. 

Becoming Lady Amherst Blurb:

When Miss Sarah McLean causes a scandal in Boston, her father takes her to London in search of a husband.
At her first party in London Sarah insults Lord Amherst who takes her over his knee in an effort to spank some proper manners into her. When his actions come to light, Sarah's father offers him a choice: Marry Sarah or send her back to America where she has no prospects for a husband.
Intrigued by the spunky Yankee Girl, Lord Amherst offers her marriage.
Despite the circumstances of their marriage, Sarah and Jeffrey form a bond and appear headed for a bright future.

That is, until Sarah pretends to be someone she's not.

Get your copy: 



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

EGG-stra Special Spanking Stories Book Club This Week---Get The Details

Katherine Deane is hosting Spanking Stories Book Club this Friday for a discussion of The Sam McGee Series by Laura Smith (there's a link to the first book in the series over there ----> on the book club schedule.

As an Egg-stra special treat, Katherine has suggested a contest. More details on that later, but the winner will get a $20 gift certificate to Blushing Books. The contest will last all weekend too.

So, be sure to come back on Friday to talk about The Sam McGee Series and to enter the contest.


Monday, April 14, 2014

What Are Your Heirlooms?

I've been in the process of moving for a few weeks. I'm actually in the middle of a three way move (and not in the fun way). My son is buying my house and my husband and I are moving in with my parents. But before we can move in with my parents, we have to make space in their house. Hence, the long process.

Things got slowed down when we decided to do some renovations at my parents' house but we're on track and ought to have every done in a week or two.

It's a good move for everyone for a variety of reasons. My parents need the help. In fact, now that I've been spending more time at their house, their need for assistance (and just some company) has become more evident. Plus, they really like our dog.

It's a good move for my son because he'll be a homeowner and he's getting a good deal.

It's good for my husband and me because we're ready for a change and it's an opportunity for us to downsize even more. Plus, though I'm sure there will be many stresses of sharing a house, particularly with my aging parents, I'm grateful for the opportunity to be able to make their lives a bit easier.

I've been helping my mother sort through the mounds of items in her home. Many are nice things that she's kept, presumably at least in part to pass along to my brother and me and my son.

As I've been sorting through my own items, I'm forced to make decisions about what to keep and what to dispose of. I'm not sentimental and I don't have any grand family heirlooms to save.

All of this leads to today's question---what are your heirlooms? 

When I look around my house, the items that make me smile are an odd assortment.

A conch shell. It's pretty basic and probably came from The Shell Factory in Florida. So why does it matter to me? My grandparents had a trailer in a mobile home park in Florida for the last 30+ years of their lives (which is also the entire time I knew them) and the conch shell was prominently displayed there. The conch shell represents fond and funny memories: taking walks (pretty slowly in the later years) with my grandpa around the park where everyone knew him. Watching Wheel of Fortune with the two of them in their living room. The time grandpa started his car outside the guest room window early on a Sunday morning to make sure I woke up to go to church with him.

It's not like I come from a long line of pirates, but that conch shell connects me to my past.

Plastic Rats. Several years ago my mother sent my son a box of junk for Halloween, including a package of plastic rats. For some reason, my son started stashing them around the house to surprise me. I'd pull back the covers on my bed, and there'd be a plastic rat. Or I'd come home after doing errands and find one on my computer keyboard. We're not a real mushy family, so each of those rat sightings was an "I love you" as far as I am concerned.

I'm trying to think of a good place to hide a rat or two for him to find after he moves in.

What about you? What are some of the items that mean the most to you? 





Friday, April 11, 2014

Spanking Stories Book Club---Becoming Lady Amherst

Patricia Green is here today to talk about my newest book, Becoming Lady Amherst. I don't usually feature my own books for Spanking Stories Book Club, but when Trish volunteered, I was thrilled. 


Thank you, Celeste, for allowing me to host this discussion. Your book very much merits it, and I hope you'll get the great feedback you deserve. 


Celeste Jones has written a thoroughly entertaining tale about sparky American, Sarah MacLean, and the rakish, and very British, Lord Jeffrey Amherst. Sarah is looking for a husband, or rather, her father is looking for one for her. She's not too keen on the idea, though she's going along with it under pressure.

Caught up in a spanking scandal, Amherst and Sarah find themselves married, and poor Sarah proves she has a penchant for getting herself into trouble. Lord Amherst has a rather definitive way of dealing with her various faux pas: a solid spanking.

Jeffrey and Sarah have to navigate the waters between a loving marriage and a forced one. They come out well in the end, but plenty of humor, loving, and spankings happen first.

I truly enjoyed this book by Celeste Jones. It can easily inspire a reader to read more by her, which can be nothing but a pleasure.

Discussion questions:

(1)    Becoming Lady Amherst has some great humor, which cannot be said for all of our books. How important do you think humor is to a spanking romance novel? If you are an author, how difficult do you find writing humor into your books?
(2)    A marriage forced by scandal is not a new concept, but done well, it's one we can all find fun. Do you think the spanking that sets off the firestorm in Becoming Lady Amherst is believable, or is this one you have to suspend your disbelief for?
(3)    Celeste captures all of the senses fairly equally in this book. Do you find one sense should be more emphasized in a novel over any other one? Which of the senses affects you most as you read about it?
(4)    There is no anal sex in this novel. When considering spanking novels, how important would you rate anal play/sex?

Thanks for joining me here today!

~Trish

****************************************************************************** 

I've created an FAQ for Spanking Stories Book Club. Click here to see what it says.  

Next week, Katherine Deane will be here to lead the discussion of the Sam McGee Series by Laura Smith. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

An Editor Speaks! Meet Laura Garland

Editors---we all need them. We want to please them, but sometimes, we butt heads.

To help sort out this relationship, I've invited Laura Garland, who suffered through several rounds of editing Becoming Lady Amherst, to answer a few questions.

Celeste Jones: Laura, please tell us a bit about yourself.

Laura Garland: I’m a mom of three rambunctious boys who keep me on my toes 24/7/365. LOL I met my husband in college. Turns out he was the love of my life, so I pulled out all the stops to snag him. Ah, success! I taught middle school, high school, and college math. (Yeah, don’t think I didn’t hear those groans out there, people! Believe it or not, I hated math until college—when I finally got a teacher who said, “Let me show you how easy it is.” Then everything changed for me, and I found myself in front of classrooms saying the exact same words.) I have a ton of hobbies from stained glass to cross stitching to flying helicopters and shooting bows and assault rifles. Setting off fireworks is a fav – pretty explosions. What’s not to like?

Celeste Jones: Can you tell us what an editor does and what it's reasonable to expect an editor to do? Are there different types of editors?

Laura Garland: There are different type editors and they can vary from house to house. Most publishing houses have a Content Editor (CE) who works on the content of your story. Does it make sense, does it flow, are the characters consistent, does it have a good opening hook, help with sentence variation (so the cadence of the author’s words don’t get repetitive), etc.? A lot of CEs have also been line editors, so some will also do punctuation, fix typos, etc. But not all CEs do that. After the CE is finished, the story usually goes to a Line Editor (LE). That’s the person who combs through the story and finds all the technical issues, like punctuation and typos. Word usage (your and you’re, to and too, compliment and complement, etc.) and repeated words or high usage of a character’s name. As a second set of eyes on a story, some LEs mark other things as well, like a change in eye/hair color or other things that pop up and are out of place. Some houses have a Senior Editor (SE) who reads through the story from start to finish and makes sure nothing has been missed.
Overall, working with a epub house or using an editing service is good because you’ll have more people looking at your story, which means more issues will be found and corrected. Whatever you write, you owe it to your readers to always strive to make it the cleanest story possible. My motto? More eyes on tales means better sales! <wg>

Celeste Jones:  Has editing ruined reading for you? Are you able to read without wanting to make corrections?

Laura Garland: LOL Uhh…yes and no. If I come across glaring issues, then yes, it throws me out of the story. But on the other hand, when I read something that is wonderful, I appreciate all the work that went into it.

Celeste Jones: What are some of your pet peeves as an editor?

Laura Garland: Nit pick stuff would be like action tags used as dialogue tags. Lack of sentence variation. Overuse of ‘said’ or ‘asked’. Boring/irrelevant dialogue. Bigger stuff would be two-dimensional characters. Lack of setting. Authors who are tied to their words and won’t make any changes -- makes the editor’s job harder. Or opposite to that are authors who aren’t tied to their words but don’t want to do the work.

Celeste Jones: Please share your thoughts as an editor on the use of the following:

Exclamation marks: Only when it’s needed. Sparingly. Otherwise, it loses its impact.
Was: Used properly, I don’t have a problem with it. Used passively (was + -ing verb) uhhh no.
-ing words: Authors key on –ing words. Really, if they are used properly, they are fine.
Dialogue tags: Often confused with action tags. Seems the industry is moving more toward action tags.

Celeste Jones: How has your work as an editor improved your writing?

Laura Garland: If anything, it’s pointed out that I can never stop studying the craft.

Celeste Jones: How do you tell someone their story stinks without stepping on their toes?

Laura Garland: Honestly, sometimes it’s hard to tell if the story is the author’s first or fortieth. Everyone is different and at different levels of the craft. I try to put myself in their shoes and offer suggestions with the understanding that they are exactly that – suggestions. I also ask questions with the idea that maybe the author’s point for a particular scene or theme of a story is there but just not brought out strongly enough.

Celeste Jones: If you could only give one or two pieces of advice to writers, what would it be?

Laura Garland: Never stop studying the craft. Writing is a two-part process – creative and technical. One is very different from the other. Use both to the fullest. Of course, then there’s promo, but that’s a whole other animal. LOL

The second piece of advice is Be Professional. At the editing stage, don’t take every mark personally. However, you do need to consider each one. Do the work. And last, get the manuscript back in a timely manner. (Notice how earlier it was “story” and now it’s “manuscript”? J )

Celeste Jones: Anything else you'd like to share?

Laura Garland: I’ve been on both sides – editor and author. If your story comes back marked up, that doesn’t mean s/he didn’t like it. Far from it. If you have questions, ask. If you don’t agree with something, leave a comment. Editors are people, too, with emotions, families, and lives. And if you divided out the amount they are paid by the hours spent on your story, the wage is very, very low. So, why do they do it if there’s no hope of retiring on a beach somewhere? The reasons vary. Love of the job, the desire to give back, wanting to help budding authors, etc. But overall, one thing is true: Editors are there to help make your story the very best it can be – Clean, Clear, Consistent.

Laura Garland writes as L.J. Garland and can be found here:


Garland & Gould Blog
Amazon Author Page
Follow me on Twitter: LJ_Garland1

Dead or Alive
A 1Night Stand Story


BLURB:
Rhykar Evierse has been on the Most Wanted list for years. His attempts to expose the evil deeds of Vast Innovations’ founder, Mertan Graiton, has landed him on the wrong end of the law—and on the wrong end of a sexy bounty hunter’s pistol. Now, Rhykar’s wanted for a murder he didn’t commit. Desperate to clear his name, he contacts the one woman who can save him. He hopes she’ll give him one night to prove himself.

When Selea Val’keer receives Rhykar’s call for help, anger and lust rip through her. How can she be attracted to a criminal? Unable to resist, she accepts his invitation to meet through Madame Evangeline’s 1Night Stand service. But what will she do when she sees him again—kiss him or shoot him?

Genre: Sci-fi romance, adventure, suspense/thriller
Heat level: 3
Word count – 15k
Cover art by LFD Designs

BUY:


EXCERPT:
“So, what’s the plan here, Rhykar?” She glanced from the huge window to the door and back to him. “No way out.”
“I came to you for help.” He allowed his gaze to wander over her, taking in her rumpled clothing, disheveled hair. The package was more alluring than the daydreams of their first kiss. Gods, he’d hoped for more than this. “I go out there, I’m dead. I stay here, you’ll have to shoot me cause I’m not going in willfully. Seems either way I’m finished.”
“So, what then?”
His attention landed on her swollen, wet lips and his body answered for him. “Strip.”
Her eyes widened, astonishment surfacing her face. “What?”
He brandished the pistol. “Strip.”
She frowned, but with a slight shrug, her long coat slipped from her shoulders and crumpled to the floor. Beneath, dark pants hugged her hips and a tight, green shirt accentuated delicious dips and curves. Rhykar stared. Gods, she was really going to do it.
Stepping toward him, she gave him a sexy smile that sent his heart pounding and his body pulsing. He could forgive that she wanted to take him in, that she’d bit him. At this moment, he could forgive her anything.
Pivoting, she bent her knees in an evocative pose. He watched, mesmerized as she licked her lips and then slapped her hand against her rounded bottom. She smirked, and with a quick twist, she spun around, her foot connecting with his wrist, sending the pistol flying. Before he could react, she snagged the weapon midair and pointed it at him, a cool smile on her mouth.
He tilted his head and grimaced. “Now what, Selea?”
She arched a brow. “Strip.”

Love & Curses
Cursed Ink Book 1

BLURB:
Calista Page always gives her heart to the wrong guy. The latest one gives her a tattoo before she dumps him. As she falls apart from yet another failed relationship, her sexy, steadfast neighbor holds her. Why can’t she find a guy like him?
Successful restaurant owner, Andy Mitchell pines for the girl next door. Tired of being her go-to guy, he decides to tell her how he feels. But fresh off her latest rejection, he wonders if he can convince her this time love will last.
“Death is after you,” Calista’s crazy aunt warns. Gypsy mumbo-jumbo or not, Andy’s instincts kick in. But with Death determined to take Calista’s life at every turn, can he unravel the secret of Love and Curses before it’s too late?

Genre: Paranormal romance, suspense/thriller, erotic romance
Heat level: 3
Word count: 18k
Cover art: TygraPro Designs

BUY:
ARe https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-lovecurses-1036532-140.html

EXCERPT:
Unable to stop himself, he reached over and brushed aside an ebony lock, tucking it behind her ear. He skimmed his knuckles along her jaw line, and she turned toward him. Leaning forward, he slipped his fingers beneath her chin, tilting her head up, and pressed his mouth to hers.
Oh yes, at last he’d kissed her—and she hadn’t pulled away. Emboldened by her response, he drew the tip of his tongue along the seam of her lips. She opened to him, and he took her mouth, darting his tongue against hers and drinking in the sweetness that was Calista. Heaven on Earth.
His body pulsed with fire, need and longing finally met. He pulled her closer, wound his arm around her waist. She was soft and pliant, and her heart pounded so hard he felt it against his chest.
Andy broke the kiss. Easing back, he stared down at her wet, swollen lips and wide eyes. Oh, shit.
“Calista, I’m…I don’t know why I—”
She slammed her mouth to his, threading her hand through his hair. She stroked his tongue with hers, the erotic motions sending lust to careen along every nerve. Lacing his arm beneath her knees, he scooped her onto his lap. As they dueled for dominance, a breeze washed over them, the smell of lavender tickling his nose—not her normal scent, but pleasant all the same. Leaving her lips, he trailed kisses along her jaw to her neck.
“Oh,” she said on a breathy moan. “Wait.”
“Calista,” he murmured against the supple flesh of her throat. He slid one hand to cup her breast taunting him from beneath her tight T-shirt. Grazing a thumb over the tip, he found her nipple peaked, and groaned. She was so hot and delicious.
Lightning flashed over the lake, and thunder rumbled the air.



Monday, April 7, 2014

Becoming Lady Amherst---The Best of Both Worlds

Based on the title, this post could be about mixing an American with a British Lord, but it's actually about publishing.

Really.

Read on.

I have self-published books and worked with a couple different publishers. When it came time to decide what to do with Becoming Lady Amherst, I thought about what I wanted and how to get it.

Most writers look to a publisher for quality editing, a wonderful cover, and marketing assistance. In exchange, the publisher keeps half the royalties...and usually the author waits several months to get their share.

With self-publishing, the author is on their own for those items. But, they also get to keep all the royalties and have control over major decisions like publication date, title or price. Also, payment from Amazon is made 60 days after the month in which the books are sold vs. waiting until the end of the next quarter for payment from a publisher.

I asked myself
...what if there was a way to have The Best of Both Worlds?

I think I have been able to do that with Becoming Lady Amherst.

First, I wanted quality editing for both the story content (Does the plot work? Are the characters likeable? and the mechanics (spelling, grammar etc). I wanted more than just someone to fix the commas.

When I heard that Kate Richards (author of some of my favorite spanking books, Spanking Ms. Whitman and Switch) had a publishing company called Wizards In Publishing, I was intrigued. Kate's books are always impeccable...nary a stray period or omitted word, so I contacted her and we made a plan.

I was thrilled with the assistance of Laura Garland, the editor assigned to my book. I'm not sure how many times the manuscript passed back and forth between us, but I know that each "assignment" (try to cut down the number of times "I" is used, for example) taught me a ton and improved the book on many levels.

Then there was the matter of a cover...

Ah...my friend Anthony Walsh of The Cover Artisan came through for me again...though I'll admit I was sort of picky and it took a few tries back and forth between us. But, because I was paying, I felt like I could say "not quite, try again" and not feel like a prima donna (whether I was or not, you'll have to ask Anthony).

But...what about the marketing that a publisher can provide?

True. That is a consideration, but again, I think I've found a good solution. I'm now a Blushing Books Publishing Partner. Yes, little ol' me is a "publishing partner". That means Becoming Lady Amherst is available for purshase on Blushing Books (and is currently on their top 50 list!)  As all of us in the spanking fiction business know, Blushing Books is a powerhouse in the spanking fiction industry, so partnering with them brought my book to the attention of many potential readers.

Yes, I did have some out of pocket expenses. Quality work from professionals isn't free, but I wanted an outstanding product and was willing to pay for it. I also felt fairly confident, based on previous book sales, that I would be able to make my initial investment back quickly.

Is this the right path for every author? That's for each person to decide.

Does this mean I'll never work with a publisher again...actually no...since I am in the process of writing a book for a project (more on that later) with Blushing Books. But, I am someone who likes having lots of options and evaluating each project to see what will work best.

For me and for this book, I feel like it was an excellent way to go.