There's been a lot of backlash against romance author's writing books as serials, specifically if they are short stories. There's this belief that we're doing it for money, to bilk readers in some way. That couldn't be further from the truth.
Here are my reasons for writing books as serials:
1) I work... a lot. If I wrote a full length novel, instead of doing installments, I would only be posting new work on Amazon once every four to six months. By dividing this up into serials, I can post more often and having more titles up there makes me more discoverable.
2) Discoverability is not about making money. I don't write to earn a living. It'd be nice if I could, but the bottom line is that I write because I love to, and knowing that people are reading my work and enjoying it is the greatest feeling in the world.
3) Pricing-- I don't price my serials the same way I price a full length novel. My conscience (and yes I do have one) will not allow me to charge anyone $2.99 for such a short work. I price all of my serial installments at $0.99 and take advantage of every free promo day that I can get Amazon to give me. Unfortunately, a book has to be up at least 90 days on Amazon KDP Select before you can publish it anywhere else and have Amazon price match it to free.
4)Pricing Part B-- I price my serials at the lowest price that Amazon will allow me to have. I can't make them any cheaper, or I would.
I say all this because a lot of people seem to take issue with the serial format, thinking that they are being jipped in some way. Once the series is complete, I will compile them into an anthology and post that anthology for a reasonable price, typically the same price that a lot of authors take onto a single installment of their serials, so people have the option of waiting for that to be released. I don't price my work cheaply because I don't have faith in it. I try to price my work affordably because, again, I don't write for the love of money. If I can use writing to keep a roof over my head and enough ramen noodles in the kitchen to survive, then I'm happy. I don't want anyone to not read my books because my ego demanded that I charge a certain amount.
I hope this doesn't sound like a rant. It isn't intended that way. Just addressing some of the criticism of the shorter books and hopefully allaying some misconceptions.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Sometimes there is nothing better than putting your characters in the middle of a gigantic argument, just to see what fabulous things will fall out of their mouths.... The sex between Vincent and Ophelia isn't the only thing that gets dirty!
"Are you kicking me out?” she asked.
“I’m not kicking you out,” he replied calmly, though in fact, he was. “I’m just mitigating the fall out of a bad decision.” The minute the words escaped his mouth, he regretted them. But it was too late to call them back, and if he wanted to put an insurmountable distance between them, they would do the trick.
Ophelia’s breath seized in her lungs. It was almost like a slap. It wasn’t as if she’d expected a happily ever after ending. She didn’t believe in fairy tales and she certainly knew that Vincent was no prince charming. But she hadn’t expected to be thrown out of his bed in the middle of the night. “Of course,” she replied, her voice slightly clipped, the words as brittle as glass. Pushing the sheets back, she rose and retrieved what was left of her clothing. She had no idea where her torn underwear had wound up, but she wasn’t going to embarrass herself further by digging in the dark for them. Fastening her bra, she slipped her dress back on over her head. The zipper was proving stubborn, but when she felt the weight of his presence behind her and the gentle brush of his hands on her back as he tried to assist her, fury washed through her.
“I don’t need your help!” she snapped, and then quickly moved away. It wasn’t simply that it hurt. She was humiliated.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
“Sorry for what?” she asked. “Sorry for breaking your damned rules or sorry for tossing me out of your bed in the middle of the night like some drunken mistake?”
He stared at her for a long moment. “I’m sorry that it can’t be what you want.”
The shoe she’d picked up flew from her hand, sailing in his direction. “Don’t you dare put that on me! I never asked a thing from you! I never made assumptions about what would or wouldn’t be between us... The only one doing that is you!”
“What the hell is wrong with you?” he demanded, picking up one shoe while dodging the other.
“You are so full of yourself, Vincent! What makes you so damned sure that I wanted more than what you’ve already given me?”
He didn’t have a suitable answer for that. It was a safe bet that anything he said would be wrong at that point. “Let me get my keys and I’ll drive you home.”
“I’ll take a cab!”
“No, you won’t. It’s dangerous.”
She whirled on him then. “Right now I’m dangerous... You don’t get to treat me like a whore and then play the gentleman in the same breath. I’ll take the goddamned taxi!”
Vincent placed the shoes on the bed and, with a sigh, walked out of the room. He had wounded her pride and she had always had that in abundance. But it would keep things from going any further. If she hated him, there would be no more temptation to resist. It would be easier for both of them that way, he reasoned. No false hopes. No disappointments down the road. It was safer for her that way. He paused in the foyer, listening to the click of her heels on the stairs as she stormed down.
“Let me drive you home,” he said. “It will take forever to get a taxi here at this time of night.”
“I’ve already called one and it’s on the way... You’ve done quite enough already, thank you,” she said. Some of the heat had left her voice and she sounded somewhat reasonable.
“I don’t want to hurt you, Ophelia, but a relationship isn’t something I can even consider right now.”
“Please spare me the ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ routine. I know it’s you, Vincent. It’s glaringly apparent right now that it’s you... If you want to be a coward, fine. Be one. Just don’t expect me not to call you on it... I’ll wait out front for the taxi. I could use the air.”
Monday, May 20, 2013
So, I've been slaving away on a new manuscript. It's hot, but a little bit of a departure for me. It's a contemporary erotic romance. No suspense. No paranormal elements. But we do have a very tortured hero with a host of ugly secrets haunting him. So, I'm giving you all a sneak peek... a hot and steamy excerpt. And here's the fun part, for everyone who visits the blog and comments, tell them to leave the name of the person who turned them onto the blog and whoever sends the most viewers will get a $15 Amazon gift card!
Feel free to leave any comments about Vincent and Ophelia.... and here's a little taste of one of the photos that will be incorporated into the cover.
VINCENT paused in the doorway, his tie dangling from his fingertips. He hadn’t heard the music until he opened the door, and he hadn’t realized that Ophelia was in the house. Kaitlyn had told him she was moving her belongings in that day, but he hadn’t seen Ophelia’s car. Of course, he’d parked on the street rather than in the driveway to avoid having to move the car for the florist and caterer the next day. He was cursing himself for it. Had he realized that she was there, he never would have opened the bathroom door without knocking. And the vision before him would not be permanently seared into his brain.
It seemed as if every drop of blood in his body had rushed directly to his cock. He was so painfully hard that his clothing had become a torture device. Still, he didn’t move. If he made a sound, she would know he was there and she would stop. Watching one of her slender hands moving delicately over the lush globes of her breasts, tugging gently at one nipple before sliding over soap slicked skin to offer that same enticing treatment to the other, he was enrapt. That her other hand had disappeared beneath the surface of the water had not escaped him. Knowing that she was touching herself so intimately was wrecking the last shred of control he possessed. Watching the flush as it crept over her breasts and pinkened her cheeks, he wanted to badly to touch her. Her lips parted on a soft moan and his entire body seized.
Even as he looked on, she kept her eyes closed tightly and her movements became more frantic. The soft moans grew louder and her breathing grew more rapid. When she arched her back, her breasts lifting entirely out of the sudsy water, it was all he could not to rush over there and simply take what she unknowingly offered
“Vincent,” she murmured.
He thought at first that he’d been found out, but her eyes remained firmly closed. Which left only one possible conclusion. Whatever fantasy was inspiring her to bring herself to release, he was a part of it. The very thought effected him in ways he’d never imagined. The possessiveness that consumed him in that moment didn’t frighten him. Ophelia was his, and that was all that mattered to him. Dropping his tie to the floor, he unbuttoned his shirt while toeing off his shoes at the same time. In stocking feet and the pants that felt like a vice over his swollen member, he moved toward the tub and the temptress who awaited him there.
He was only a few feet from the tub when she cried out, her body shuddering with her climax. Her eyes fluttered open and met his gaze. A dozen emotions crossed her face in that split second, shock, horror, embarrassment, anger, but the last was lust. Her gaze had settled on his bare chest before wandering down to the unmistakable bulge in his pants.
“You shouldn’t be in here!” she finally managed, hunkering down in the tub to shield her breasts from his view.
“You’re one to talk about things a person shouldn’t be doing,” he said mildly. “What a naughty girl you are, Ophelia.”
“I don’t think so... Ten seconds ago, I might have left if you told me to. But that was before I heard you whispering my name... I like knowing that I’m the man you think of when you make yourself cum.”
Ophelia blushed hotly, “Please, just leave.”
Vincent settled himself on the edge of the tub, one arm bracketing her wet, naked body as he leaned over her. “Oh, no. Not now. Do you what that did to me? It was bad enough to walk in and realize that you were naked... that divine body shielded by nothing but water. But then I saw what you were doing, and it was the most beautiful, erotic think I’ve ever witnessed.”
“I can’t help wanting you... But that doesn’t mean were going to act on it. I can’t be with you that way and keep my emotions out of it. And my emotions are the one thing you can’t be trusted with.” she said.
“We’ve got one year,” he said. “One year to figure it all out... I want you too. I’ve wanted you for so long that if Thomas or Ruby had known what dirty thoughts I was having about you they would have whipped me down to the river and back. But we’re both grown ups now, and tomorrow you’re going to be my wife.”
“It isn’t a real marriage,” she protested.
Leaning down, he kissed her shoulder, his tongue burning a path to her collar bone and then the hollows her throat. Her head fell back against the back of the tub and he scraped his teeth over her the skin of her neck. “It can be. Just let me please you,” he urged, sliding his hand beneath the surface of the water to cup the softness of her breast. Her pebbled nipple pressed impudently against his palm. He knew she was weakening. The shuddering breath that escaped her fanned against his cheek and he knew that if he pressed his hand above her heart, he would feel it pounding.
Ophelia wanted to say no. The logical, rational part of her was demanding that she push him away, but there was another part of her that urged her to let him continue. It was so tempting to lose herself in the heat and the pleasure that he offered. Closing her eyes, she savored the touch of his callused fingers on her breasts, the sting as his teeth scraped against delicate flesh, and delicious warmth when that abraded flesh was soothed by his lips and tongue. Her memories hadn’t done the sensations justice, and even though she’d just climaxed, she knew that it would take very little effort for him to bring her to that precipice again--and it would be even more enthralling, more rapturous with him. When his hand moved from her breast, she groaned in disappointment, but then his hand was moving lower, sinking further beneath the water and delving between her parted thighs. As he caressed the plump folds of her sex, one finger skating delicately along her slit, she couldn’t stop the breathless moan that escaped her. “Please.”
“Tell me you want this,” he commanded.
“I do! I shouldn’t, but God help me, I do,” she said on a broken sob, as his finger slipped between the folds to caress the hardened to bud of her clit. Still sensitive from her own earlier explorations, her response was immediate and intense. Her entire body tensed, straining towards him.
“So beautiful,” he whispered against her ear. “Wild and abandoned.” Ophelia gasped his name, her fingers grasping at the sides of the tub, desperate for something to hold onto, as aroused by the harshly whispered words as by his touch.
“I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you, of how it felt to be inside you... so soft, so hot and wet for me.”
She felt like she was drowning with need, as if it were pulling her under. Nothing else seemed to matter in that moment except the tension coiling inside her and the pleasure that she knew was waiting on the other side. Still, she found the strength to speak. “I’ve thought about it too... Even when I knew I shouldn’t.”
“Don’t fight it, Ophelia. Don’t fight me. Let’s just take what we can,” he urged.
“Yes,” she said, her agreement a whispered plea for more.
Vincent grasped her arms and hauled her up out of the tub, her body plastered to his. The press of her breasts against his chest, the slide of his hands over her wet skin stoked the flame burning inside him. There was no finesse, no gentle seduction. He maneuvered her so that she straddled his hips, his cock cradled between her parted thighs. The heat of her was scorching even through the last layer of cloth between them. He ground his cock against her even as she fumbled with the fly of his pants. The fabric finally parted beneath her hands, providing instant relief that faded in the wake of a new torment as she closed her hand around his aching cock. Unable to resist the temptation of her lush lips, he captured them in a searing kiss. Sliding his tongue over the lush curve of her bottom lip, he nipped it gently with his teeth. Her lips parted on a moan, and he took advantage, deepening the kiss, sliding his tongue into the sweet recesses of her mouth. It was a familiar dance, the thrust and parry of their tongues, mimicking the act that would follow.
The knock at the door startled them both.