Ladies, I need you!

In 1973, Nancy Friday placed an ad asking women to submit, in detail, their private sexual fantasies.

She published them and received an astonishing amount of praise for finally revealing that women are equally as sexual as men and do indeed fantasize just as diversely.

In the recent years, erotica has become far more mainstream than ever before. Novels are flying from the shelves and the name ‘mommy porn’ was tossed into the public arena to justify the sudden surge of women buying book porn. But before the mommy porn even existed, there was always sexual fantasy. But has this new phenomenon also changed the way we fantasize?

So, I have an idea for a very different kind of book. As a psychotherapist, one of the things I see most are clients with unfulfilled sex lives. Why? Because many won’t talk about them…even to their lover. They’ll read about sex, watch porn but won’t talk about their own fantasies. So…I think it’s time we did. I’ve seen other such novels but I feel they are lacking in the real story. It’s just here’s my fantasy…wham bam and thank you ma’am.

I want the readers to understand who this woman is. Is she a mom? Is she working, raising a family and supporting her parents? Is she married? Is she single? I want to see how women’s fantasies are evolving and changing since the introduction of mainstream erotica.

For example: I’m 32 and since having my three kids, I’m a stay at home mom. They’re all under 10 so things get pretty hectic. I’ve been married for thirteen years and till the kids came along, we had a great sex life. We would usually have sex like 6 times a week. Now, it’s more like once a month. He’s just not as sexual as he used to be. Maybe it’s the lifestyle? Or maybe it’s our age. But when I’m alone, I have one fantasy that always gives me what I need…. and then you describe the fantasy…

Be as detailed as you like. There is no limit on words. Do not worry about spelling and grammar as this will be proofed before publishing.

This novel will be free on all platforms as it would not be my own intellectual property. It would be written by women and for women. No charge for your own sexual fantasy!

Please note that all submissions are subject to proofing but content shall remain un-changed. All submissions MUST be anonymous. Please do not submit any details that may lead to identification. By submitting your response, you give full permission to the author to publish said response in the specified novel Dirty Little Secrets, Female Sexual Fantasies. Copyrite also belongs to Marie Coulson.

If you would like to submit your anonymous fantasy, please do so here.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ns9GkmvJGF2oKrT9HWnKH6p8S55lM1ji7T_PyZZ7pXE/viewform

Rhonda Dennis

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Novel Title: Magnolia Blossoms

Series: Stand alone novel.

Genre: Romantic Adult Humour

Magnolia Blossoms Cover

Synopsis

Life isn’t easy–especially when you’re the reclusive daughter of a melodramatic attorney openly mocked for his commercials, and a free-spirited mother who gives art lessons in the nude. Their over the top personalities make it easy for the sheltered and introverted Magnolia Berrybush to swim in a sea of anonymity–until the day she finally snaps.

Desperate to break free from a clandestine world above her parents’ garage, she devises a plan to make her mark–serial killing! Unfortunately, she discovers that her heart and stomach aren’t ready to handle the life of a cold-blooded murderer, so she’s forced to move on to plan B.

During her ill-fated attempt at achieving infamy, Magnolia meets Honey LeReaux, a hooker who is well past her prime. Ironically, Magnolia begins to blossom as she plunges head first into a seedy world, but she also realizes that smutty books and adult films have done little to prepare her for the real world.

Will Magnolia ever break free, or is she destined to live her life hiding in the shadows of her secret world?

About The Author

Rhonda Dennis

Rhonda Dennis’ first career was in EMS, but later in life, she attended college as a non-traditional student. After graduating, she felt compelled to write a short story. The words flowed, and the manuscript for “Going Home: A Green Bayou Novel Book One” was drafted. Rhonda has since published six novels and three short stories in The Green Bayou series, and has released a romantic comedy called “Magnolia Blossoms.” Rhonda, who resides in South Louisiana, was a nominee in multiple categories for the 2013 Indie Romance Convention Readers’ Choice Awards, and is also a Nook and Amazon Best Selling Author.

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Mary A. Wasowski

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Book title: Forever #1

Series: Forever Series

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Forever

 

Synopsis

Following her larger than life best friend to NYU was a dream come true.

Modeling part-time to pay the bills, while she earned her teaching degree, Reese Mitchell never imagined her Nana’s prediction of finding her future husband could be possible. Then she met…HIM! Walker Reed, her handsome stranger. He was sexy as sin and one look from him, she was hooked.

Loving Walker was effortless. He captured her heart with one touch making Reese lose herself in him. From strangers to lovers, they became two hearts…one love. Outside forces conspire to tear their love apart leaving her to wonder if two people from different worlds should stay together?

When promised “Forever” from the man who loves her, Reese is left with only one thing to do. She trusts the promises made. She believes in the happily ever after.

She believes in…FOREVER

 

About The Author

mary wasowski

Mary Wasowski is the queen of mastering many tasks. I call New Jersey my home where I share my life with my husband, and our three amazing sons. Writing was my way of expressing my words that sometimes I couldn’t say. My journals were filled with the rants of a teenager finding her way, and eventually they turned into poems, and short stories. Joining the Indie community of so many talented writers has been a wonderful experience. I am so thankful for all of the love and support I have received. Life can take you down many different roads, but I truly believe this is where I am suppose to be now. I want to inspire my boys to never give up on your dreams. I never did, and here I am. I am officially an Author. Write what you love. Love what you write. Believe in your story. You have many chapters to write on your journey…

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Coming Down exclusive reveal of CHAPTER 1!!

SUBJECT TO EDITING

COPYRIGHT

MARIE COULSON 2014

Chapter 1
The Sting Of Love

     Squirming, I closed my eyes and gripped my fingernails into the soft leather of the chair. My teeth were biting down on my bottom lip so hard that as my tongue quickly darted out to sooth it, I recognized the metallic and unwelcome taste of blood.

     “I cannot believe you are doing this. You’re crazy. Amy, tell her she’s nuts.”

     Opening my eyes, I rolled them at Mel, who was hovering over me looking anxious and slightly nauseated. Amy glanced up from her magazine as she pushed herself further back on the chair opposite me.

     “Baby, calm down. I think it’s romantic.”

      Mel stomped her foot, apparently irritated that Amy wasn’t sharing the same philosophy as she did.

     “Romantic? It’s insane. Layla, once you do this, you can never go back. It’s life changing.”

      Amy let out a loud snort and laughed. “Mel, for the love of god, relax!”

      Holding my breath, I let out a slight yelp as the needle scratched and scraped across my skin. The thick, black line was mesmerizing as it gradually penetrated my perfectly clear and, until about ten minutes ago, unmarked flesh.

     “Well, you won’t find me being branded for some guy,” Mel spat with a distinct snootiness.

     Amy raised an eyebrow at her. “I should fucking hope not, sweetie pie.”

     A hiss left my lips as the needle dragged across my flesh. The design itself was sweet yet striking. I wanted something that was special, unique and reflective of exactly how I felt.

      “He will freak, Layla!” Amy squeaked excitedly as she bounced on her heels. Mel shook her head in response.

      “Oh yes, it screams rock chick and I’m confident he’ll fucking love it. That piece of metal in your tongue…maybe not.”

      I let out a small chuckle before biting down on my lip as the artist continued his work.

      “It’s just a tongue stud, Mel. I always wanted one but never had the guts! I’ve discovered there’s a wild side to Layla Jennings, and I’m willing to let her out to have some fun. You know, just now and then. Besides, I can always just take it out and let it heal. Anyway, what are you complaining about? The past few months have been awesome, and you can’t deny that since the guys have been gone, we girls have had more fun than ever.”

     Mel nodded in agreement. “Or maybe, it’s since a certain business tycoon left? You know; when you found your freedom?”

     Trying to stay still, I glared at her. “It has nothing to do with Jared. And will you please stop poking at him? He’s thousands of miles away.”

      Amy squirmed and quickly tried to lighten the mood. “Distance is no object when it comes to Mel and her snarkiness. Anyway, have you heard from him at all? I bet he’s seen some amazing sights so far.”

      I shook my head. It was a lie of course. I’d been receiving emails at least three times a week since he’d left. Each was packed with pictures and details of Jared’s travels so far. I’d also sent him updates on what I was doing. It seemed silly to just cast aside what we had. I mean, we didn’t have a gory and heart-wrenching break up. No one was to blame. If anything, we both were. Sometimes in life I guess you meet people who will change your world and tip it on its head and make you a little more…whole. Some relationships were supposed to teach you, not break you or complete you. That’s what Jared had given me. I’d lived through so much in such a small space of time. That kind of emotional, mental and physical upheaval…changes a person. We’d been through so much and learned so much from each other too. One day, Jared Garret will find the girl of his dreams. But she isn’t me. I was lucky enough to call him a friend and considering he was not the type to make or maintain friendships; this was a significant achievement. There was almost no one in the world who knew me quite as well as he did. Of course, the others being Amy, Mel and Ollie.

     His emails always made me smile. I could see every week just how much he was growing and changing. And yet, in other ways, he remained exactly the same. He almost blew a gasket when I sent him a picture of my tongue stud. What followed was an hour and a half conversation via my webcam. But after the expected lecture on how unsanitary and dangerous piercings are, even he had to agree that it was still pretty hot, and I was damn sure he’d have no place to comment on my new ink. Mr. ‘I’ll label my ass with your name on it.’ Never get a partner’s name permanently etched into your skin. That’s one rule I always live by. It’s sweet and adorable, yes, but it can be a little awkward and infuriating should you both part on bad terms. Luckily, for Jared, that wasn’t the case with us, and I was happy to be on his ass all the time!

     But my email account hadn’t pinged with a single message from him for almost two weeks and honestly, I missed him.

      The loud and excitable sound that suddenly came from Amy’s direction caught me by surprise and staring at her in bewilderment, I wondered what the hell had gotten her all riled up. Tapping me on the shoulder, Mel quickly and silently pointed up to the t.v that was mounted on the far wall of the shop.

      Sitting on a metal stool, surrounded by screaming girls and his band mates, was my gorgeous and incredibly talented boyfriend. His hair was beginning to get some length back and I could just make out the end of his puzzle tattoo as it peeked out from beneath the sleeve of his t-shirt. Hearing his songs on the radio and his name on the list of acts at a gig was one thing. Seeing him right there, on MTV, talking about his music…was something else entirely.

      “Turn it up! Turn it up!” Amy squealed.

      Picking up the remote from the coffee table in front of her, Mel cranked up the volume.

     “It’s incredible. Millions of albums sold all over the country and a tour that has completely sold out in just a few days! How do you guys keep yourselves grounded? I mean, it must be hard not to get swept up in the craziness of success.”

     Smiling, Ollie shrugged.

      “When you’ve been a band as long as we have, it’s not really like we’ve hit the big time. To us, we’re just the same three guys, playing our music on a stage back home in the local bar.”

     “Or in Eric’s garage!” Nick interrupted.

      Ollie and Eric chuckled.

     “We’re also lucky to have such great friends and support back home,” Eric said with a small smile at the camera.

     “Groupies,” Nick quipped with a grin that could rival the Cheshire cat.

     “What about romance?” the interviewer asked as she looked around at the hordes of girls whistling and cheering beside the stage.

     “It’s difficult. I mean, with a schedule as busy as ours, we hardly get time to visit our families and friends. Then there’s all the media attention and the fans can get a little crazy too. I’ve had about four thousand sets of panties mailed to me so far. It would take a hell of a girl to put up with all of that and still be there waiting for me when I kicked off my shoes and walked in the door. She’d be one of a kind and a real keeper.”

     Ollie glanced quickly at the camera and a ghost of a smile spread across his lips. My insides instantly heated and my heart thundered.

     “Wow, well I think there’s a big line for that position so I’ll just join the queue”

     Turning the volume back down, Mel smiled at me and chuckled.

     “See. And there you were worried he’d forgotten you even existed.”

     I rolled my eyes. “No, I said it felt that way some times. Did either of you notice that Shaye wasn’t with them?”

     Amy shrugged. “Maybe it was a boy’s only kind of interview. I mean, they’re the founding members after all. She does solo shit all the time.”

      Trying not to dwell on the fact that my boyfriend was currently surrounded by lustful women, I let out a long sigh but caught my breath midway as the sharpness of the needle scraped my skin. I flinched and glancing up at me, Sam, the artist, rolled his eyes.

      “I take it this is your first time.”

     I nodded in response. “I’m not accustomed to pain.”

     Not accustomed to pain…now that really was a lie. Jared had introduced me to a world of pleasure and pain. The truth was; I kind of enjoyed the sharp scratching followed by the warm and tingling sensation that followed. But Sam didn’t need to know that.

     I smiled at him gently and tried to hide the fact that I was currently re-living hundreds of nights of hot, kinky sex in my head.

     “You should have seen me squirm when I had my tongue pierced,” I quipped.

     He shook his head. “Some girls can take it, some can’t. What about you ladies? Who’s going next?”

     He nodded toward Amy and Mel, who stared at him mortified. Crossing her arms, Mel scoffed. “Not a chance in hell. I wouldn’t get a tattoo if you paid me a thousand dollars.”

     Amy bit her lip and smiled. “Oh, I don’t know, I’ve always wanted a little colour on my poor pale flesh. Maybe a flower or something.”

     Mel gawped at her. “A tramp stamp? Seriously?”

     Getting up off of the black leather couch where she had been perched for the past two hours, Amy began browsing through one of the artists portfolios. It was impressive work. I had done my research and found one of the best artists in L.A. I was pretty lucky to even get an appointment. The shop itself had been on T.V, so it was very popular without taking into account the stunning art done by the people that worked there.

     Mel hurriedly attempted to snatch the book from Amy’s hands, but clutching it firmly, Amy tugged it away from her.

     “My body, my choice, Kitten.”

     Mel raised an eyebrow. “You might own that hot piece of ass but I’m renting it for the foreseeable future. I’m just trying to protect my investment.”

     I stifled a laugh. “I don’t think you’re going to win this one, Mel.”

     I nodded toward Amy as she bounced up and down excitedly, pointing at a page in the book.

     “Oh! Oh! This one! I am getting this one!”

     Holding it up in front of herself, Amy showed Mel and me the art she intended to have branded on her skin forever. I gave her a small smile as I saw the image of a beautiful rose entwined in a vine of thorns. It was stunning. Mel shook her head in bewilderment.

     “Over my dead body, baby.”

     Getting up from the couch, Amy poked her tongue out at Mel and shrugged.

     “I like it and I’m getting it inked right here on my shoulder.”

     She pointed at the back of her right shoulder. “Why is it that when guys get inked, you think it’s hot but when a girl does it, it’s a tramp stamp? I don’t hear you complaining about Layla’s art.”

     Mel rolled her eyes and glanced at me. “I’m not the one staring at her body for the rest of my life.”

     Amy held her palm to her chest and grinned. “Rest of your life? Oh, Mel, I think that’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever almost said to me.”

     I chuckled a little as she threw her arms around my best friend and swung there a little; lifting her feet from the floor. The sting of the needle once again drew my attention to my own tattoo currently in progress.

     “Almost done,” the artist murmured as he added the final touches of colour. I couldn’t wait to see it properly. At this angle, it was particularly difficult to make it out at all. Switching off the machine and quickly cleaning up the excess ink from my flesh, Sam smiled.

     “You’re done. It looks hot. Check it out.”

     He gestured at the long mirror hanging on the far wall and getting quickly to my feet, I walked over and stared in awe at the incredible artwork he had now permanently etched onto my skin.

     The image of written music wound loosely around a stunning white and black guitar stood out vividly against the pale flesh of my hip.

     “Wow,” Amy muttered as she stood beside me. Even Mel seemed a little impressed.

     “Okay, even I can admit it’s kind of hot. What’s with the notes?”

     I smiled and bit my lip. “It’s the first few bars of my song. You know, the one Ollie wrote for me?”

     Amy bounced on her heels and beamed. “Awesome! Ollie is going to love it! When are you going to tell him?”

     I shook my head as I continued to smile and stare at the reflection in the mirror.

     “I’m not going to tell him. I’m going to show him.”

I Am Woman, Hear Me ROAR!

In view of it being in the news currently in the UK, I’d like to address a subject I feel very passionate about. Feminism. I’m talking about straight up, no messin’ respect for women. I’m talking about women loving themselves and being allowed to be themselves without judgement, prejudice and the pressures of the modern media and society. I’m talking about the next generation being confident and comfortable with their bodies, having high aspirations, dreams and goals. A world where women can be unafraid and free to walk the streets without fear of harassment, danger or violence. A world where domestic violence is eradicated. A place where we are judged and perceptions made by our actions and not our gender, sexual orientation or preference.

As someone who works in the mental health sector, it saddens me to say just how often I meet women with issues that we in the counselling and psychotherapy world, would call feminist issues. Body confidence. Low self-esteem. Feeling pressured or torn between family and career. Rape survivors. Victims of domestic abuse. And it’s not just women who are affected by feminist issues. The pressure on boys and men these days to be, provide and behave a certain way are intensifying. Men who are being abused who feel unable to speak out due to the society accepted norm that men are the stronger sex and therefore cannot possibly be abused? That’s absurd. 

My biggest concern and fear, however, is the number of young people I have walk into my office, week in, week out. The level of harassment, pressure to look a certain way and fit within the accepted norm that society dictates, is horrendous. I have had girls as young as 13 with eating disorders. Girls telling me they are fat, ugly, stupid…who has the authority to decide these things? The media? Their peers? It seems in many cases that it is the opinions of females and males around them that influences this sort of body discontent.

But how can things change, when society and the media are breeding more and more unrealistic and shameful images of women and men? Rap songs and their videos that degrade and label women as hoe’s and b@*ches. SOME males are adopting this as the norm. And SOME females are accepting it as such also. I find this very worrying.

I am sick to the back teeth of this LAD culture sweeping the western world. It’s a joke. Sexism, misogyny and avocation of violence toward women is being labelled “banter” because of a new trend known as LAD culture. I shall give you examples in the form of pictures I obtained from a site encouraging LAD behavior. This is not the sort of thing I want my son to be seeing every day from other males.

 

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Pretty grim, I’m sure many will think. There appears to be a growing number of people, both male and female, who seem to think that feminism is something that radical lesbians believe in. They say things like “you need to get laid,” or “It’s just banter. A joke.” Well, it’s not funny. Feminism is the reason I have facebook. It’s the reason I am allowed to wear trousers. It’s why I can publish a book, go to school, have a job, voice an opinion and vote. And yet, I hear people say “Women have equal rights. Stop bleating on.” Oh, they do huh? Is that why in courts the question is still asked “what was she wearing?” during a rape trial?

 

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Or why I am criticized for being a working mother and equally for wanting to be a stay at home mother? Is that why the media shower us with magazine covers of smartly dressed men in suits and scantily clad females?

 

Males Females

 

But we have our equal rights so that’s what matters huh? Today a 16 year old girl told me she is ugly. Three 18 year old boys told her that she was better off wearing a paper bag on her head. While her friend informed me that she was made to feel uncomfortable by being cat called at and told “hey baby, you’re a ten for sure. Wanna hook up and make 20?” When confronted, they called it ‘harmless banter.’

Doesn’t seem harmless. This HAS to stop. I see Facebook news feeds covered in this drivel. Sexist remarks about looks, intelligence and don’t even get me started on the ‘make me a sandwich’ s@*t! Women are not defined by the genitals they possess and should not, therefore, be pre-judged, subjected to disrespectful cat calling and inappropriate contact.

A great quote comes to mind from a friend I had in highschool – “I am a woman. I was not placed on this earth for your sexual gratification. I have all the physical qualities your mother does. Would you treat her that way or let anyone else do so? Then don’t treat me like a second class citizen either!”
I know, I go on a bit but I have experienced this ‘sense of entitlement’ that SOME males express first hand. Cat calling. Being groped or grabbed in a night club. Having my way blocked by men as I try to walk down a street and being called frigid, a b@*ch and a c@*k tease when I reject their advances. I’ve been labelled as nagging, bossy, a b@*ch and ‘on her period’ when being assertive at work or school.

How many of you can cross of a label on this list? How many can cross of more than one? I can.

Nagging
Bossy
Whining
Clingy
Needy
High – Maintenance
Gold-digger
Money-grabbing
Slut
Whore
Bird
Bitch
Stubbourne
Pre-menstral
Pushy
Woman!
Diva
Milf
Baby maker
Blonde
Dizzy
Crazy
Nuts
Harpie
Hot
Fit
Do-able
Just like the rest
Home wrecker
Tart
Easy
Dear
Darling
Sweetheart
Babe
Tease
Frumpy
Frigid
Cougar
C@nt
Tramp

 

But we don’t need feminism. Right?

It HAS to stop. Period. Women are unique, beautiful and exquisite in all their shapes, sizes, colours, abilities and are worth far more than the value placed on them by others.

I also want to stand up and APPLAUD all of the wonderful, caring, sensitive, respectful and AMAZING men that empower women every day! You guys rock. hard.


I Am Woman, Hear Me ROAR!

Song – Roar by Katy Perry

Thanks to all the wonderful women who submitted their pictures for the purpose of this video.

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My life as an author. The story so far…

While sitting in my garden today; enjoying the sunshine, I began to think about my journey as an indie author thus far. I won’t lie. some of this gets mushy where I take the time to thank some people. I couldn’t possibly thank EVERYONE but I know that my amazing friends and book peeps know just who LOVES them!

 

When I first began writing, I was totally unaware of the enormous world of literary genius that I was about to dive in to. Heck, I had never even considered publishing my little novel until a good friend educated me on the ways of self-publishing.

I deliberated, thought long and hard and eventually decided to take the plunge! Well, I more or less tripped and fell right into the publishing boat!

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So, there I was! A brand new little fish in a gigantic pond full of amazingly sparkly, talented and successful authors. I was a newbie. I had no idea about blog tours, promoting, giveaways or how to run a rafflecopter!

It was by the grace of God and Facebook that I happened to meet a collection of truly amazing people. First and foremost, I met Karen. I have no words to describe just what Karen means to me. From teaching me the ins and outs of self-publishing, to being my constant friend and confidant through some particularly difficult situations. Karen is by far the most generous, amazing and genuinely kind person I have ever met. I was a stranger, sitting behind a computer screen thousands of miles away, and she befriended me. Without her, I would not be where I am now.

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Her blog, Book Crush, just grows and grows. I believe it’s due to the way in which Karen and her fellow bloggette(s) conduct their reviews. Always constructive, fair and friendly. Just as a review should be.

Blogs play an important role in the book world and I am blessed to have a close group of good and trusted bloggers and friends! Nic and Denise were my first bloggers! Flirty and Dirty Book blog was not what drew me to these two fabulous ladies either! Not that their blog doesn’t totally kick ass, it was simply their fantastic humor, witty conversation and warm personalities that sucked me right in. I was Mzalped!

 

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The many, MANY blogs that have sprinkled their pixie dust and brought magic to my world are invaluable! Bookboyfriend Reviews. Through The Booking Glass. Rockstars Of Romance. Candy Coated Book Blog. Love N Books. Shhh Mom’s Reading. An Indie Affair. Bookworm Betties. SOOOOOO MANY OTHERS! I love you all!

 

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I cannot put a price on what they do, but if I could, it would run into the thousands! Promotions, blog tours, giveaways…it all adds up! But they do it for free. Why? Because they love to read and I have it on good authority that they also just simply LOVE to help authors. These hard working ladies and dudes are my sparkly, shimmering, strut their stuff superstars!

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I can’t possibly continue without also mentioning the authors, readers and endless amount of supportive individuals that make writing and indeed, being an author, worth while. I have met some incredible people over the past two years.

My readers, I cannot express my gratitude enough at the messages of support and well wishes I received during my pregnancy. Pushing the release of Burning Up back was a tough decision for me, but you were all so supportive and sweet, and I cannot thank you enough. Truly.

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Authors Rhonda, Laura, Tiffany, Mary, Stacy, Jenn, Ashley, Kerri, L.B,  GOSH, SO MANY! My author and book world friends..I have no words. You rock. So here’s a GIF.

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So, what have I learned so far on my journey?

Well, it’s not been a smooth ride. Far from it. But over the past 2 years, I have had to learn some difficult lessons about being an author.

  • Lesson 1. CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK! Author’s are human! Okay, I’ll admit it, I obsess over my books. I obsess while I am writing them. I worry that they aren’t good enough. Too short, too long, too much humor, not enough humor, too much my personality, not enough my personality. You name it, I can almost guarantee that I obsessed about it. Many a long and late night was spent pouring over page after page of literature. I lost countless days, yes days, of sleep. My health became poor and I was on the verge of exhaustion.

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When I unexpectedly fell pregnant, a lesson had to be learnt and quickly! No more late nights. No more obsessing. A novel cannot be rushed or pushed to meet demand. Sometimes, as a reader myself, I know it can be difficult to wait for a sequel. God knows I nearly died waiting for the third Kellan Kyle novel! But authors are human. We have lives and families like everyone else. Sometimes life gets all up in your way. But I also think it’s important to make sure that the readers are kept updated. That’s why I love my Facebook and twitter!

  • Lesson 2. Get a thicker skin. This is a bit of a ‘hot topic’ in the book world and I know the general feeling about reviews, but here’s my two cents. I had a very very thin skin when I released my first novel. Holy heck, I was faster than a rocket to react to a negative review. It’s easy to say “just ignore it” or “It’s just one persons opinion” but for me, I had just given the world my baby and there it was being poked and prodded. I had not yet learnt the many ways in which reviews are conducted.

I would sit at my computer and scour through the comments and reviews left on various sites.

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This was me. Scary, huh?

 

Some reviews were amazing! Even a two star review can be constructive. I won’t lie, I often still found myself a little upset…

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But when a review is done well, it is fantastic for an author! So much can be taken from a review to inform future work. I find reviews endlessly useful in looking at ways in which to better develop my characters, story and flow. Regardless of the rating, if a review is fair and kind, it’s a great review!

And then, there’s the mean ones. I would tell myself it didn’t matter. I would totally put on a front and pretend I wasn’t bothered by mean reviews.

 

Alice

But in reality, I’ve had some real clangers. One such favorite read “What utter drivel. The author should be ashamed of writing such crap and iTunes ashamed of selling it.” And that’s me sugar coating it.

That one and those similar, kind of made me feel more like this….

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Of course, I then began to see more and more comments like this. If I’m honest, I was probably subconsciously looking out for them. I felt terrible. Here I was pouring my soul into a novel and it was not only being ripped apart before my eyes but I felt as though they were setting my heart on fire. Every single one I read just added to my dismay.

tumblr_ms1kc7Fltx1rb924bo1_250 tumblr_ms1kc7Fltx1rb924bo2_250…and then it would.

I reacted poorly. Knee jerk reactions of a newbie author. It was dangerous stuff. I threw around some hurtful words and tossed my toys out of my stroller. But, again, I’m human. I wasn’t used to this criticism. I was blissfully unaware of the feelings and high running emotions that I would encounter. I was going to end up in some serious trouble if I didn’t develop a thicker skin and soon. I was perfectly aware that everyone experiences a novel differently, but I simply couldn’t understand the need for meanness.

Then, and as if by magic, a fairy godmother came to my aid.

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Ok, so she was considerably younger and WAAAAAAY hotter, but a fairy godmother she was, none the less. She talked to me about the things to expect as an author. Jenn Sterling, is not only an awesome-sauce author, but she is also an incredibly warm, friendly and sweet human being. I cannot thank her enough. Through talking with Jenn, I learnt about author etiquette, how to handle knee jerk reactions (wine helps by the way, Jenn), dealing with negative and mean reviews and most of all, how to conduct oneself when in the public domain! She is an excellent role model and example of how an author should behave and I am in her debt always! 

I could finally see the error of my ways.

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Stupid. Stupid. Stupid girl!

  • Lesson 3…Knowing who to trust and maintaining privacy. I had to learn very quickly that not everyone who ‘friends’ you, is your friend. Be aware of those out to get their needs met and those, also, that will potentially turn on you for their own personal gains. It happens to people every day. Be careful who you befriend. People looking for handouts, to ride on your coat tails and to assist you with your promotions, can sometimes quickly forget you when your star begins to fade. Equally, this can be said for some authors. Guys, ALWAYS REMEMBER those that helped you on the way up. You may need them on the way down.

I am very fortunate to have a very close group of bloggers, authors, friends and family that I know I can trust and rely on. I ALWAYS recommend these ladies to new author friends. I trust them implicitly. They’re my breath of fresh air and with them, I can be me! Moody and demanding ;)

 

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  • Lesson 4. Try and have ME time! Even if it doesn’t quite turn out the way you hoped. Yeah, that home gym is really just gathering dust and holding my junk these days.

 

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Totally happened.

  • Lesson 5. NEVER give up! You have a story to tell? TELL IT! Write. Write poorly, wonderfully, endlessly, tirelessly…but write! It’s your story and it has the potential to take people into a world of love, laughter, magic, pain, angst…the possibilities are endless and so is your talent! Be determined. Be brave. You can do it! I believe in you!

 

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  • Lesson 6. Don’t lose your voice.

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It’s important sometimes to hold ones tongue. And sometimes, it’s also important to remember we have one! If you feel passionately about something, say so. But be tactful, polite and remember, you’re in the public domain. Be respectful. You have a voice, use it. 

  • Lesson 7. Release days are nerve wracking, but try not to sweat it! You’ve worked hard and the big day finally arrives! It’s exciting! So why are you pacing up and down, refreshing that web page every ten seconds and searching every social media to check if people have noticed your baby just hit the market? BREATHE! Whenever I have a release day, I get my purse, my nicest dress on and I go out for the day! I go shopping, out for lunch with the girls or even just to the park to read. But I get out of the house and OUT OF MY HEAD.

Otherwise, I end up like this…

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AND FINALLY….

  • Lesson 8. You wrote a book! ENJOY THE RIDE! Have fun. Enjoy the amazing accomplishment and be proud! You’re an author. You rock.

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Update

So, I’m sure many of you have been wondering where on earth I have disappeared to. I know you have wondered this as I receive lots of emails and messages telling me so! I have not died, this was a particularly sad rumour considering no one sent flowers. Waited all week for wreaths and bouquets. I am currently wrapping up my second year at university which, as you can imagine is hard going. It is also a lot harder while juggling the role of being a new mum! I am totally smitten and in love with a 7 month old with blue eyes and his fathers smile.

So what about the BOOKS!? I hear you scream…Well, I am still writing, however, I am writing much slower than I would like. As a mother of a young baby, I am determined to spend no more time away from my little bundle than absolutely necessary. You never get these moments back. Coming Down IS in progress and I am also writing the second book in the Confessions series in between for my own sanity! Layla and her dramatic, angsty, sexy life can be a bit overwhelming. I do love to drop in on Vanessa and her kinky, fun and humerous life.

I therefore CANNOT set a release date but I assure you that as soon as I know when the novels will release…so shall you. I would however, prefer to release a book that I am happy with and take my time, than rush to meet demand and release a novel I dislike.

I love you all for your support and continued patience.

 

Marie xx

Authors Against Book Theft

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I am beginning to get very tired of reading the following sentence on reviews not only of my own novels, but others that I have read or considered reading.

“This book fell way below what I expected. I’ll be returning it for sure.”

It doesn’t always read as these words, but the message is the same. The EPIDEMIC of people buying and returning novels  due to them ‘not being to their liking‘ is becoming ridiculous.

‘It didn’t end the way I wanted’. ‘It wasn’t what I expected‘. The reasons are irrelevant and they do not warrant a return. Would you return it if it was a paperback? Walk into a store and say “Sorry but it wasn’t my thing. Can I have my money back please?” Probably not? Then why are amazon continuing to allow people to do this with Kindle novels? Reading and returning a book is theft. When a consumer buys a novel, they are knowingly taking a risk that they may or may not enjoy it. Don’t we do the same at the movies? I’ve never asked the box office for a refund though and believe me, I’ve watched some real clangers!

Books should be returned for the same reason any product should be – if it is FAULTY. I refuse to sugar coat it. Does the book not read correctly or display correctly? No? It’s fine? Then SUCK IT UP sweetie. You bought it, you didn’t like it but you knew the risk. It has to STOP.

 

**AND….breathe….**

Burning Up – Epilogue

Here’s a little something I rustled up as an epilogue to Burning Up. It didn’t make the final edit but I wanted to share it with you anyway! Here’s Ollie’s POV!

 

***PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A DELETED SCENE REMOVED BEFORE THE FINAL EDIT. IT IN NO WAY REFLECTS THE THEME OR PLOT OF THE FINAL NOVEL***

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I’m in hell. Yep, hell. Holding my head in my hands, I groaned deeply. Sitting down beside me, Eric rested his hand on my shoulder.

“What’s up, dude?”

He was kidding, right?

“What’s up? Are you serious? Did you miss what happened back there? I finally won, Eric. I got her! She told me she wants me, loves me and she actually chose me. And then, she watches me climb onto a bus with you two assholes and a chick I used to fuck! She’s probably going fucking nuts right now! I know I would be!”

Turning around in his seat, Nick leaned over the back of it and smirked at me. “Pffft. So she gets a little dose of jealousy, sounds fucking justified if you ask me. She deserves a little paranoia.”

I scowled at him. “I don’t want her to suffer and be all paranoid and shit! I need her freaking out and getting pissed at me like a hole in my damn head!”

Ignoring Nick, who had now moved to the seat directly behind mine and begun kicking at it, I turned to Eric for advice but shrugging his shoulders, he quickly stood and made his way to the back of the bus.

“Thanks for the advice, dickwad” I yelled over my shoulder at him. He’d only been out of the seat for five seconds before Shaye was suddenly planted in it. Her fingers were winding through my hair and as I pulled my head from her grasp, she chuckled.

“What’s eating you, hot stuff?”

I scowled at her. “Don’t ask stupid questions, Shaye. What the fuck are you doing here?”

She snickered and leaning back in the seat, she swung her feet up onto the one in front.

“Relax will you? Jeeze. A thank you would be nice.”

I stared at her with confusion. “Thank you? For what!?”

Smiling, she winked at me. “Who do you think got you noticed? Regina Littman was looking at hooking me up with some lame ass girl band. I figured while she was in town, I would show her a good time. So I took her to Benny’s. I remembered you going on and on about how you guys played there. She saw you and after I plowed her with booze, she was eating out of my fucking hand begging for details. But I figured I’d keep her hanging, make her hungry for you guys on her payroll. When she called to say she found you, she was desperate for details and digits. So, I tossed her a little back story on you guys in exchange for a place in the group. She owed me. She fucking knew she’d struck gold finding you guys.”

I shook my head in disbelief. Now I was supposed to be fucking grateful to her? Great. As if I didn’t have enough problems, now, I had Shaye to deal with. Of all the bass playing, vocalists that the label could have picked, they had to go and hire the one I happened to have fucked!

“So that piece of ass you were holding on to on the sidewalk, was that your latest lay – em and leave – em buddy?” she asked with a raised brow.

I rolled my eyes. “No. I don’t do that shit anymore, Shaye.”

“Shame. I was hoping for a repeat of the last time we met. Even you have to admit it was the best fuck you’ve ever had.”

I winced as the memories of that night flashed in front of me. “It was fine,” I lied. Truth was, sex with Shaye had been…almost supernatural. I mean the girl was fucking possessed! She was crazy insatiable. We had sex that you see in porno’s. It was swinging from the light fixtures and feeling like you just went eight rounds with Mike Tyson, kinda sex!

“Fine? Who are you trying to kid? Seven hot hours of sex and you call that fine?”

Leaning over the back of Shaye’s seat, nick practically drooled. “Seven hours? Are you fucking kidding me? This chick went for seven hours and you threw her back!?”

I reached behind me and smacked him around the head. “Shut up, Nick. It was just sex.”

Rubbing his head, Nick grinned. “I bet she could teach Layla a thing or nine!”

I almost leapt out of my seat as I turned around and reached for him over the back of it. I caught the collar of his shirt and gripped it tightly.

“Dude, I will end you. Don’t ever fucking talk about Layla and sex in the same sentence ever again. I don’t even want you thinking about it. Layla and the sex we have is none of your business. Douche.”

Grabbing my hand, he chuckled. “Okay, okay! Relax dude. I swear to never talk about Layla and her lack of kink ever again.”

Letting him go, I glared at him suspiciously.

“But you can’t stop me thinking about it,” he threw over his shoulder as he began walking away from me. But walking soon turned to jogging and almost sprinting when he saw me jumping over Shaye and heading right for him.

Eric sat at the back of the bus with his guitar in his hand, chuckling at us. Nick halted, closed his eyes and held up his hands defensively.

“Dude! She’s a total hottie. All tits and ass.”

That did it, leaping at him; I tackled him to the ground and held him in a headlock.

“Stop that you fucking perv. That’s my girl!”

Eric practically rolled around with laughter as Nick and I wrestled on the floor of the bus.

“Ollie, man, it’s a compliment. Your girl is a hot piece of ass!”

I kicked him in the thigh. “Shut up!”

Rolling his eyes at us, Eric groaned. “Ollie, as much as I enjoy watching that sick, sexual predator suffer, we need him. He’s the only drummer we got. Don’t break him.”

Letting Nick go, I shoved him playfully one last time. “Ass.”

The sound of heels behind me caught my attention and wincing a little, I turned to find Shaye right behind me.

“No need to fight boys, there’s plenty of Shaye to go around. Form a line behind Ollie. We might be a few days.”

I let out a groan and squared up to her. “Shaye, drop it. Your siren, come get me I’m yours act might work with these assholes, but I know the real you. All of you. Don’t push my buttons.”

Her eyes widened and she moved back slightly before shaking her head a little and smirking. “Whatever you say hottie. But we both know you’re just a few bourbons away from screwing my brains out.”

Glaring at her, I pushed her out of my way and stormed across the bus to a large round bed in the corner. Pulling out my cell, I dialed quickly. Shaye sauntered up and laid down beside me, draping her arm around the pillow above my head. I gave her a warning look but it did little to deter her. I waited for what felt like forever on that phone as it rang and rang in my ear.

“Ollie?”

Her voice purred at me down the line and my insides instantly heated.

“I was missing you already.” I said as Shaye began teasing her fingers through my hair. Damn this girl was seriously pushing her luck. Couldn’t she take the hint?

“Aww. You’ve been gone like fifteen minutes rock star.”

Grabbing Shaye’s hand, I pushed it away from me and shook my head.

“Minutes feel like years when they’re spent away from you.”

Shaye rolled her eyes and began putting her fingers down the throat in a gagging fashion. Bitch. I mouthed at her to knock it off, but smiling, she simply shrugged and rolled over to look out of the window.

“Layla, you know I only want you, don’t you? No one else comes close. I’ve fought too hard and too long for us and I’m not about to throw it away for some girl I hooked up with when I was stupid and damaged. She was nothing and means nothing.”

Turning around sharply, Shaye smirked at me. It was un-nerving. Leaning closer, she pushed her tongue into my ear and moaned deeply. Fuck! I tried to move away but her hand caught my hair and gripping firmly, she held my head in her hands.

“Ollie, I trust you. It’s her I don’t trust. She’s bad news and she clearly wants a repeat of whatever you had before.”

I tried to concentrate but as Shaye’s free hand moved south to my crotch, it was near impossible to keep my cool. I was ready to kill this bitch but if Layla even got a sniff of something going on, I was a dead man and our relationship would be buried with me!

“Baby, I love you. That’s all you need to know. She can do whatever she wants, she can tease and she can try, but I’m not interested.”

I glared at Shaye who was nibbling on my earlobe as I spoke, hoping she’d get the message. Smiling at me, she pulled away and thrust her hand into my jeans, grabbing me in her palm. I almost leapt from my fucking seat! Clasping her wrist, I pulled her hand out and shoved her forcefully from the bed and on to the floor. She stared at me and bit her lip.

I turned away from her and sighed deeply as Layla began rambling about trust and how she needed me to trust her too. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust her, but based on our history, I wasn’t without my doubts. But then, could you blame me?

“Layla, stop! I trust you. Okay? I love you. You’re the Courtney to my Kurt.”

She giggled a little and it made me smile. I loved the sound of her laughter. It was bright and always reminded me of summer. I never could figure out why.

“And you’re the Kermit to my Miss Piggy,” she chuckled.

I laughed with her. “What, all green, bug eyed and web-footed?”

“No. You’re the frog I kissed to get my handsome prince.”

I smiled broadly. “Smooth, Superstar. Very smooth.”

The sound of voices in the background caught my attention and I immediately recognized the shrieking and shrill tones of Mel’s voice.

“I better go, Ollie. Mel wants us to help her pick out a dress for her fathers big dinner this weekend.”

A little disappointed, I let out a long breath. “Ok, baby.”

“I miss you, Ollie. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

Hanging up, I turned my attention to Shaye who was now laying on the floor with her feet on the edge of the bed.

Standing over her, I snarled fiercely. “What the fuck do you think you’re playing at!? You seriously crossed the line back there. Are you that fucking sick!?”

She shrugged and smiled up at me. “It was just a little fun, Rock star. Chill out. This trip is gonna be a serious drag if you don’t lighten the hell up, buzzkill.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! Bending down, I growled at her. “You might have talked and fucked your way into this band, but you mean nothing to me. If you pull any of that shit ever again, I will make your life a living hell.”

Moving closer, she pressed herself against me and inhaled deeply. Her lips grazed my ear and I felt my cock twitch. The memory of our night together was still one of the hottest I could recall. It wasn’t that I wanted her, it was involuntary. I was powerless to stop myself as the thoughts heated my blood and I was certain she knew.

Smirking like a cat that got the cream, she glanced down at my crotch before snickering at me. “In your dreams.”

I watched as she walked slowly away from me toward Nick and Eric. Running my fingers through my hair, I took a deep and calming breath.

Fuck. I needed to get this shit under control or I was going to be in some serious and dangerous trouble.