Five Golden Rings

In time for your holiday delectation… I have re-released FIVE GOLDEN RINGS!

This is the kinky Caribbean Christmas holiday contemporary romance I did with Carina Press. I’m re-releasing it – and the other three Facets of Passion books – over the next month or so. For now, if you like your holiday romance with sunshine, beaches, and a bit of BDSM (who doesn’t???), then check out FIVE GOLDEN RINGS!
This week at the SFF Seven, we’re talking social media. We’re asking each other on which social media platform are you most active as an author? Why that one? What makes it work better for you than others? How often are you there?
These questions, more than most, are dynamically changing ones. This becomes even more apparent with the passage of time.
~ clears throat and grabs cane for shaking ~
So, I’ve been on social media for a long time now. I had a website (which I programmed myself) in the nascent days of the internet. I used A-1 mail in the late 80s and had a MySpace account. I joined Facebook in January 2009 and Twitter that September. I’m still on those two. Heck, even this blog, of which I am one of three remaining founding members, is over ten years old! That’s like a century in internet time.
Right, actually answering the questions posed:
I’m most active (thinking in terms of daily and weekly activity) on a couple of Discords, then Instagram and Facebook, followed by Twitter, which are all at least daily, if not more often. After that is my podcast (4x/week), and this weekly blog. I am theoretically on Tik Tok – because I feel I should be – but I’ve yet to grok it. With the exception of the Discords and my podcast, which are pleasurable social interactions for me, the rest are pretty much driven by business considerations. I use the ones where my readers are. (With the salient except of Tik Tok, which I really need to learn. In my spare time.)
The stuff I do most often, as I mentioned, is the stuff I enjoy. I made that decision early on – that social media is social, and therefore if one hates the medium, that will come through.
My other point in going into this history is that social media is an ever-shifting sea. Lots of Twitter people are fleeing to Mastodon, which I haven’t done yet, but likely will. Ask me these questions tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year and you might get a different answer!
And that’s okay, too.

First Cup of Coffee – December 5, 2022

Today sees the re-release of my Kinky Christmas Caribbean Vacation, FIVE GOLDEN RINGS! I’m talking about where I’ve been, what a writing retreat can do to clear the mind, refill the well, and provide a creative reset.



The Best Title That Never Was

Our topic at the SFF Seven this week concerns the reality of having to change names. We’re asking the crew if they’ve ever had to change the name(s) of a character or place in a book after we’d drafted it? Who is the character who will forever go by their “unpublished” name in our minds?

For me, it wasn’t a character. But I will tell you about the title I wish I hadn’t changed. 

THE FATE OF THE TALA Not Yet – But Close!

This is the time of year when kitties display their cunning in knowing when and where the rising sun will hit – and their wisdom in knowing to be ready for it. Also: tongue baths and sunbaths go together. Jackson, cat guru, at your service.

So, today is January 15, 2020. But no, it is not the release day for THE FATE OF THE TALA.

For those who don’t follow the podcast, I can officially announce that THE FATE OF THE TALA is done, done, done!! It came out at just shy of 109K and is in the hands of my fantastic editor, Rebecca Cremonese. I told her not to bitch at me about how long it is; she said not to bitch at her about how long it takes. So we’ll see. As soon as I get her edits, I should be able to turn that around and get it formatted within a couple of days. I’m hoping to get it uploaded and on sale the last week of January.

And wow: that book was a difficult write. Some books go slower than others, and that one was determined to unspool at its own pace. With a Prince

It’s not just me, either, because I’ve switched over to moving some other projects forward and those are speeding right along. One thing I’ve noticed – in trying to figure out why my overall wordcount production has dropped – is that some genres also write faster for me

than others. I could see from my handy charts that 2014 and 2015 were my highest wordcount years. I went to writing full time at the end of 2015, so this was NOT the trend I expected. What I’ve realized, however – and what the chart doesn’t show – is that I also moved to writing a LOT more fantasy, and much denser fantasy, and pretty much stopped writing any erotic/contemporary. The closest I came was writing books two and three of the Missed Connections series, WITH A PRINCE and SINCE LAST CHRISTMAS, in 2017 – and, notably, 2017 was my third-highest wordcount year. It’s anecdotal data, but the correlation is enough to satisfy me.

I’d forgotten that I used to alternate writing Fantasy stories with Erotic/Contemporary ones. And that worked for me. Many of you know I hadn’t finished the last two books I’d planned for the Missed Connections series because they just weren’t selling as well as the Fantasies. But, heck, even books that don’t sell amazingly well are better than books I haven’t written! Besides which, some of my other erotic stuff – PETALS & THORNS, the Falling Under series, and the Facets of Passion books – have all continued to sell steadily. Clearly writing those has served to keep my words flowing all around.

Also, the Missed Connections books have very nearly earned out my investment – I’m only about $500 in the hole on the three books so far – so those of you waiting for Julie and Ice’s stories may yet be in luck! Also, I think I’ll write more short erotic stuff, if only as a palate cleanser. Dark Wizard, anyone? You know I’ve been stewing over that one for a long time.

For the sharp-eyed among you who noticed that 2019 was the lowest wordcount year since I began tracking (*sigh*), I attribute that mainly to taking off most of July and all of August from writing – the longest break I’ve taken in ten years! Also, everything I did write was Fantasy, one project worked up an entirely new world in a new-to-me genre, and one was the very slow moving THE FATE OF THE TALA. So it goes.

Now, off to write something erotic… ~rubs hands together in glee~

Bobby Cooking Love and Getting Sucked In to Going Under

ruby-scallops-three-ways-labelI mentioned the other day that the delightful Elisabeth Lane planned to recreate Bobby Prejean’s seared scallops from Ruby on her Cooking Up Romance blog. It’s up today. It’s just so amazing to see these recipes. Yes, I totally want to make them.

I also love that she gets Bobby – everything about him, from his controlling ways, to his need to feed people to his marshmallow heart. Yes, yes, yes.

 Over at the Contemporary Romance Cafe today, I’m talking about my upcoming NEW erotic romance release, Going Under. There may be an excerpt for you all there. 🙂

If you’re in the U.S., Happy Independence Day and long weekend! (If you’re in Canada, we know you people just took the entire week off – you can’t fool us.)

Why I’m Proud to Say I Write Erotic Romance

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Many things going on today. Why today, I don’t know. Beware the Ides of October?

I’ve got a guest post over at What’s Beyond Forks today. She also gave Rogue’s Possession a lovely review.

I also am up over at Paranormal Romantics, talking about the map I drew for my Twelve Kingdoms trilogy and why maps of imaginary worlds are so compelling.

Finally, the BDSM Goodreads group is featuring Ruby on the group homepage. You can listen to a clip of it, which is really quite fun, I think. There’s also an interview with me, in case you don’t know everything already. :-p

Whew!

That’s stuff for Covenant of Thorns, Twelve Kingdoms and Facets of Passion, all on one day. What I get for simultaneously writing erotic romance, fantasy romance and fantasy.

It’s funny because I was at a conference this last weekend sponsored by a non-RWA writers’ organization. So the attendees wrote in a wide mix of genres. I gave a workshop called “More than Wham, Bam, Thank-you Ma’am: Wooing the Female Reader.” I wanted to make the case for adding love and sex to a story in ways that appeal to women. A number of the writers present came from a more hard-core epic fantasy lens. In fact, one guy handed me his book to peruse and, though the jacket copy mentioned probably five or six characters, not one was female. I nearly said I’d never read a book that doesn’t even mention a female character in the jacket copy, but I figured he wouldn’t care. I wasn’t his reader.

But I think I did take people aback a bit – even though I dedicated a slide at the start to a Fair Warning! that I write erotic romance and talk frankly about sex. A few people did leave, but more stayed. We had a great discussion. One question that comes up over and over is if I admit publicly to being a writer of erotic romance.

I find it funny that people ask that question. As if it’s something to hide, possibly to be ashamed of.

The gal who gave the opening luncheon address tossed off a remark that she wouldn’t want E.L. James’ paycheck (the writer of Fifty Shades of Grey) because she wouldn’t be able to face her grandchildren.

It struck me as a very odd thing to say.

After all, I have grandchildren. They’re obviously too young to understand now, but when they grow up, I’d be honest about what I write. I’d hope that they’d be proud to have me for a grandmother.

At a neighborhood party recently, the mother of three kids down the road said something interesting to me. She told me that she grew up in a farming community, filled with corn and conservative people. I wasn’t sure why she was telling me about it, but she finally said, “I am just so happy that my kids are growing up in a neighborhood where an erotic romance writer lives up the street. Even if they can’t read your books, it’s so good for them to know amazing people like you.”

It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me.

On Being a Writer of Genre Fiction – & Cover Reveal!

001bI’m over at Here Be Magic this morning, talking about internal conflicts over writing “genre” fiction vs. “literary” stuff.

Also, the lovely Amy Remus at the So Many Reads blog is doing a cover reveal of Five Golden Rings, the newest Facets of Passion installment! Hie on over and take a look – full of sexy fun!

Snippet Saturday with the Mean Kitty!

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From Jody Wallace:

Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors select thematic excerpts from their work and share them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday’s snippet is author’s choice. I thought I’d share a “cat-themed” snippet from an author friend, Jeffe Kennedy!

Go here for the rest…