Clarissa has entered a world of shocking passions and unheard of acts, welcoming Michael with open arms. Hidden behind a mask, and with the help of a whorehouse madam, she finds she’d do just about anything to win her husband back. But will it be enough? And will the deep cravings they explore as strangers reveal more devastating secrets? Or will they discover their dark passion and wicked desires can lead to a greater love?
I wrote a book once about sayings, and the main character wondered where they came from. Yesterday, I revisited a site I went to about the origin of sayings and it gave me an idea… Want to play a game? It’s called “Fill in the blanks”. Let’s try and create some really funny new sayings, just because we can, just because it’s childish and fun to be immature sometimes, and just…well, just because. You know, kind of like: What the hell. It’s insane to play this game, I really wouldn’t normally, but it’s Friday, for God’s sake, and I fancy being silly.
Before the game, though, here are some interesting (I hope!) facts on adages, the originals on THIS SITE:
Getting out of the wrong side of bed
Apparently, this saying comes from way back when, when many children shared the one bed. When one got up, having to climb over all the others, it woke those still sleeping, causing them to be in a bad mood. I can agree with that. Imagine those poor little buggers being clambered over. Yes, I’d be pretty naffed off too. An elbow in the temple or a knee to the groin isn’t my idea of waking up happy.
To let the cat out of the bag
I like this one. Apparently, in medieval England, piglets were sold and given away in bags. Most probably sacks. Off you go to market, thinking, “I’m going to buy a little piggy today. I could fair do with a pork chop for my dinner!” only to get home and find a cat in it instead. Enraged, the next time you go to market, you check in the bag, make sure your little piggy is inside. If you see a cat again, that’s it! You’ve let the cat out of the bag. Love it!
On the wallaby
On the bloody what? I’ve never heard of this one, but many Australians might have. It refers to men from years ago who trekked through Australia looking for a job. It possibly means they jumped from town to town, much a like a wallaby, although that image leaves me a tad disturbed. I can’t imagine men holding their hands up together in front of their chests, fingers curved, and jumping around. Then again, I’m quite a literal person, possibly insane, so this image popping into my head doesn’t surprise me.
And now for the game! Fill in the blanks with as many words as you like to make a new adage:
Good things come to those who __________
A problem shared is ___________
Practice makes _________
Come on! Make me laugh with your new adages!
Join me on Three Wicked Writers Plus Two for some fun with adages and the guarantee of getting one of my Sarah Masters or Charley Oweson books FREE!
Thanks to all those people who kept SM/CO/Em a “secret” and, if you guessed they were me by my blog post style, thanks for not emailing and asking if they are me, therefore putting me in a bit of a “spot” on whether to admit it or not.
So, today I jazzed up this site to reflect “me” more instead of someone I’m not. I suppose I did my polkadot site because it’s far removed from who I really am. You know, keeping everyone separate. But now I can be me in all the genres I write.
Did you just hear that clonk? That was a huge weight falling off my shoulders.
Have a great day, folks!
One of the decisions regarding my career that I’ve been struggling with of late is whether to “come out” as the EC author. Today is the day I do that. It’s been hard keeping myself quiet, and I haven’t much liked, while in Natalie Dae mode, speaking to people I know as Emmy/Sarah as though I don’t know them. It’s like deceiving people, and although the whole point of having different pen names is so you can “be” someone else, I realise it isn’t for me.
Thanks to all those people who kept ND a “secret” and, if you guessed she was me by my blog post style, thanks for not emailing and asking if she is me, therefore putting me in a bit of a “spot” on whether to admit it or not. And if you’re thinking, “Natalie WHO? Never heard of her!” then that’s because of my piss-poor promotion.
So, today I’m off to jazz up my ND site to reflect “me” more instead of someone I’m not. I suppose I did my polkadot site because it’s far removed from who I really am. You know, keeping everyone separate. But now I can be me in all the genres I write.
Did you just hear that clonk? That was a huge weight falling off my shoulders.
Have a great day, folks!
Yesterday was a particularly shitty day, where certain things seemed pointless. I went to bed early after a nice bath and woke this morning with remnants of the shit still lingering. I opened my emails, saw some things I didn’t feel like dealing with and wanted to literally run. Ever get like that? Where things get too much and you just want to get away from whatever it is that’s bothering you? Like this computer, for instance. There is no reason why I shouldn’t just walk away from the computer today. Nothing that can’t be left until tomorrow, but after realising that hey, if I didn’t pull my socks up and stop feeling like shit it would take a stronger hold, I had a cigarette and told myself off. I do that regularly. Sometimes out loud when I’m on my own, and other times in my head so family members don’t think I’m really mental.
Anyway, I logged onto Facebook, still wanting to run, still wanting to say “Fuck you, world!” and saw a wall post Hubby had left me before he went to work. It’s just a series of letters, but it means something to us, and seeing them took all the shit away. That he had been thinking of me down here while I slept up there, that he knew, because of yesterday, that I had come very close to hitting rock bottom about something—I don’t usually cry, so that gave him a good indication—made me get everything into perspective.
He loves me. Wants what’s best for me all the time. And like he said last night before sleep, whatever decision I make, he’ll support me all the way. I knew that—he always has—but hearing it made me feel better.
So, my options today are:
1. Walk away from the computer and tell the world to fuck off today.
2. Dive in and get on with things, get them off my back so they aren’t on my mind.
3. A bit of both.
I’m choosing option 3. I’m going to do what I have to on here this morning, and if I stay on here after that, all well and good, but if I don’t, who cares. What does it matter if I’m not “doing” something with regards to my career every damn day?
I got good advice from friends via email, good advice from Anny Cook on my blog post yesterday, and support from Hubby with hugs and knowing to just leave me alone with my woes. I’m lucky that I have such people who help me through the dark dips that get hold of me, and I feel guilty I dump my shit on their shoulders, but they are the angels who keep my wings from breaking. Muddling through alone would be very crap.
Soooooooooooo, without further ado, I thank those who supported me yesterday—again!—and will plug on today, get things done, and shift back into “You won’t beat me!” mode.
After all, I’ve done that so often I’m a sodding pro.
Have a great day, all.
Favourite genres can and do hang around for quite a while at times, though, so if an author can get a book written fast enough, they stand a chance of having their book purchased. The problem is, what if you don’t want to write the genre everyone apparently wants to read? And the question that arises from that is: But are you cutting your nose off to spite your face?
It’s a dilemma many authors face, whether to write what their heart tells them or write what the market/readers want. It’s all well and good if you can write “to order”, being able to switch styles and voices at the drop of a hat, but not everyone can do that. It’s a shame, because lots of writers are kind of left behind when the fads crop up. Conversely, if the fad you love writing the most just happens to be the “in thing”, you have a head start.
Lately, I’ve noticed ménage appears to be a top seller. I have yet to write one—not entirely sure I will either, but you never know—and also the more…hardcore erotic tales. It brought other questions to mind: Is the romance book a dying breed? Or does it just seem the more “out there” books are taking over? (I’d like to say I’m not against “out there” books. Just thinking out loud here.)
Surely not. I don’t believe every reader follows the trends and buys whatever they feel everyone else is reading. There are people out there who like romance without all the bells and whistles.
From my blog browsing and reading comments to various posts, I’ve noticed many people have admitted to skipping the sex so they can get along with the “real” part of the story. So my question is answered, really, in that people don’t always want rampant sex in their reading matter. That’s good to know, because I don’t always want to write books containing rampant sex either. But I have wondered: If people are skipping the sex scenes, are authors just wasting their time writing them?
No. Obviously, not everyone skips. Readers buy the books for the sex scenes too. I think what I’m struggling with at the moment is finding where I “fit” in this ever-growing e-book market. Every book I’ve written so far in this pen name is different (although two feature the 1800s), and I have no clear genre or voice I “belong” in. I wonder: Do I need to belong in one?
It is possible for an author to write in many voices, many genres, and still have a following, where their readers don’t expect a certain book from them, but look forward to whatever has been written. This is where I think I will always be, a bit of this, a bit of that, but I’m interested in other people’s opinions on this. Do you, as an author, have a definite style and genre you stick to? And readers, do you do the same, or are you open to trying anything and everything?
I’ve had a bit of a revamp around here. I got bored with the white and decided to go with something more in keeping with the darker aspects of my work that I’ve been leaning toward lately. Sort of combining my “old” self (Charley Oweson) with the newer, m/m self (Sarah Masters). I love writing dark books, but it remains to be seen if the darker work will be taken as well as my other m/m. We’ll see.
The last two books of the Blinded series—Wildfire and Shimmer—are at the formatters, so they should be available soon. Scared is with two beta readers, so that novel will be sent to the publishers shortly. A single title, Grafton’s Point, in the Dreams & Desires anthology, the proceeds going to a battered women’s shelter, will also be available soon. As for WIPs…at the moment I have four books on the go. One for EC, one for who knows where, one co-authoring with Jaime Samms, and an m/m. You’d think with 4 to choose from I’d have the urge to write at least one of them, but I don’t. So, I might well start a new short today just so I keep up with my chapter a day regime that I’ve been sticking to for the past two weeks now. It’s working well, although some days the procrastination fairy does sit on my shoulder and prod me to do other things. Like she did this morning by making me re-do this site. Bless her…
I’m on a bit of a downer today, but ho hum, such is life, and I’m sure I’ll knock myself out of it in an hour or two. Sometimes life throws a curveball and makes me wonder what the fuck the point is with certain things, and I ask myself whether I need to take a new direction. Still, I’ll plod along as usual, see if anything changes—God, I’m always saying that!—and then if it doesn’t, I’ll think about making some changes of my own. Sometimes it’s like I’m beating a dead horse, know what I mean? I reckon it can apply to anything in life: When do you decide enough is enough? When do you say, “Right, that’s it! Fuck this for a game of soldiers!”
Yeah, it’s to do with writing, my career, whether all this hard work is worth the virtual paper it’s written on. But…that’s a story for another day. I think I’m just tired, may possibly need a break after hammering out Scared. Unfortunately, I never know when to quit until I burn out. So maybe I just need to either start a new book or go and do something else for a week or two. Avoid manuscripts like the plague. Um, yeah. That’s likely…
Whatever you’re doing today, I hope it’s a good one, and if you need to reflect, like me, I hope you come to the best solution for you. One that makes you happy. TTFN, loves!
With persistence, Ryan draws Kat into his world of dominance and submission, where quiet commands and lengths of rope awaken needs and desires she never knew she possessed. But Ryan’s intimate, erotic shibari sessions frighten Kat as much as they excite her, for each simple knot requires infinite trust and inspires complicated emotions.
Then a family crisis tests their love and threatens to snap the fragile ties that bind them. Will fortune ever smile on this unlikely couple, or will fate tear them apart?
Reader Advisory: For those who subscribe to a “more the merrier” philosophy (*cough* we do *cough*), this story contains a scintillating m/f/f/m scene.
Come and have some fun with me at Three Wicked Writers Plus Two! I’m discussing doing housework when you’re not fully clothed! Oooh-eerrr, missus!
After twelve days of writing like a loon, my first m/m novel, Scared, came in at 67K. It’s one of those books that, as soon as the plot formed, I had the urge to keep going until it was done. No stops, no procrastinating. I had the plan to write a 3K chapter every day, but obviously some days went to two or three chapters. I wrote it arse-backwards all the way, skipping chapters so the loudest characters got their say first, then went back to fill in the ones who didn’t have the courage to bully me into writing their parts. Bless them.
There are six main characters, something I didn’t expect when I started. Originally it was meant to be a novel about Toby and Russell from my short story Grave Findings, expanding on that book and what happened after that one ended. Whoa, lots happened, and a small part of Grave Findings, where Toby stops a couple of men harassing a young boy, turned into the basis of the plot in Scared. Boys abducted in order to be sold on in the sex trafficking trade.
It isn’t a pleasant subject, and I’m praying I handled it well, but it’s something that has bothered me for a long time. I read a true-crime book once, that stated more boys are abducted than girls, just for this purpose. It’s shocking and frightening, and when you delve into this terrible world, you realise there’s so much nasty stuff going on right under your nose.
Tomorrow I’ll be going through the book again from start to finish, making sure, because of me skipping chapters, everything runs in sequence and makes sense. The second draft also gives me the opportunity to add extras, things I tend to skimp on with the first draft, because I want to just get the main story down.
I felt lost when I finished. The book has literally controlled my life the past few days, and now maybe I can get to sleep without thinking on what happens next. Unfortunately, I don’t think that will be the case. The bad guy in Scared, “Frost”, decided he has a tale of his own to tell, so don’t be surprised if I do another mad few days writing another novel all about him. But that can wait for a little while. I need to give my poor brain a rest, not to mention my fingertips.
But, ahhhhhhhhhhh, it feels so good to have got that story out of my head and onto the page. I’ve just got to hope readers like it, despite the horrific subject matter. Eep!
As I’ve aged, I’ve found I’m being ruder to people on the telephone. You know the people I mean—telemarketers. I now understand why some old people are beyond grouchy. They’ve had enough of people asking them for something, bugging them when they just want a bit of peace, and generally being in demand. I mean, those old folks have had years and years of it.
Eff knows what I’m going to be like by the time I’m their age. I’m starting to get bad now.
Take ten minutes ago as an example. I’m waiting on an important call, and the phone rings. Whey hey, excellent. I can get this call out of the way and return to a book cover that’s been giving me fits all morning.
Except it wasn’t the call I was expecting. It was some guy from my internet provider trying to get me to “switch” to their company. After he gave his spiel he then said, “Do you know what the best thing is about this, Mrs Ellis?”
I said, “NO, but I’m sure you’re going to tell me…”
“Yes, Mrs Ellis. The best thing is—”
“The best thing is,” I said, wanting the ability to stretch my hand down the phone line and strangle the mofo, “I’m already with your company with the deal you’re offering.”
“Oh, are you, Mrs Ellis?”
“I am, sir, and I’m really busy so I need to go.”
“Right, Mrs Ellis, let me just tell you—”
“Let me just say—“
“Let me just say—again—I’m busy.”
“Is there a time I can call you back when you’re less busy?”
“Yes, there is.”
“And when would that be?”
“When I’m asleep. I’m busy all the time, so take your chances.”
“Right on, Mrs Ellis. We can discuss—”
“The fact that I’m already with your company, with the deal you’re still trying to tell me about even though I’ve told you once I’m with your bloody company and have that very deal.”
“Yes, Mrs Ellis. That’s right!”
“Oh my God. Right. I’m going to be rude. Please bugger off. Thank you. Byeeeeeeeeeeee!”
Yes, I really said that.
Now, let me grow into a grumpy old bastard in peace, will ya?
Come on over to Three Wicked Writers Plus Two and have a whinge and a laugh with me about being the oracle and knowing where everyone’s “thingy” is!
Yep, you read the title right. $1.96. God, I’m so bloody rich I could squeal. This amount was apparently made this past year plus a few months on one of my titles. Of course, it’s below the stated amount where the publisher issues royalties, so that whopping amount is probably not accruing significant interest by itself but may well be when popped into the bank along with other authors who haven’t made enough to be issued royalties either.
The thing is, if I was also paid for the 75+ covers and 20+ edits I did for the same publisher, then I could be given that $1.96 along with the other royalties. Sadly, after I left the company, working my month’s notice I might add, the publisher has seen fit not to pay me another dime, despite breaching her own contract by doing this.
I recently asked for my rights back on The Book That Has Sold Fuck All, only to be ignored—as I knew I would be. In my contract, I’m within my rights to have the book returned to me, and in my email I asked if I needed to send a registered letter or would my email be enough. I’m taking it that I need to send a registered letter, but if rumours are to be believed, that will get ignored too. So, why waste my money on postage? I’d rather buy bread or milk with it. Also, there is another bother regarding this publisher. My contract automatically renews if I don’t write to them 90 days before the renewal date stating I want my rights back. Who is to say, when I do that, the letter will even get acknowledged? The publisher could say they never received the letter. As I’m UK and they are US, I have no clue whether I could check on whether the letter got there or not.
My take on it is, if I’ve sold so little of that book, why would the publisher even want to keep it on their shelves? Far be it for me to insinuate the book is selling and I’m just not aware of it, because that would be a naughty thought, but I’ve thought it all the same.
I could join the author group, a bunch of disgruntled people who have banded together to fight for their rights, and it seems those who have joined are getting their rights back. So it seems the rest of us, who don’t want to join the group, are being ignored. We’re not threatening legal action, so we can, to put it bluntly, go fuck ourselves.
You would think, due to the recent “news” about this company, the publisher would do all they could to iron out the wrinkles, keep people happy. Still, all I can say is if you’ve ever considered buying my book there, and I’m guessing you can work out for yourself which publisher I’m referring to, don’t bother. I’d rather the book languished in the dusty cyber files than be purchased.
It’s sad that all those authors who support this publisher have no idea that their editor or cover artist hasn’t been paid (providing I was said cover artist/editor, although there are other editors I know haven’t been paid either). Where does that royalty money go? I mean, 75+ covers and 20+ edits…you can’t tell me NONE of those books have sold.
It is, quite frankly, a crock of stinking shit when you’re used in this way. You may ask yourself why I’m not pursuing this, why I’m not raising my fist and demanding payment. The answer is easy. I believe in karma. If I’m treated unfairly, be it in situations like this, being accused of something I didn’t do (another topic entirely), or some other slight directed towards me in life, I leave it to karma to bite people’s arses. I’m not into retaliation, getting my own back, going around behind the scenes doing spiteful things to the people who have upset me. (And yes, people have been doing that to me. Well aware of it. You have a nice day now, all right?) No, things have a way of working out for themselves. If I got arsey and went about using my energy to ruin those who have upset me, I’d lose lots of precious time and gain a lot of angst, and really, I can’t be bothered to chase folks who mean jack shit to me. For me to respond and come out fighting, I’d have to give a shit about the people who wanted to piss me off in some way.
And quite honestly, I don’t.
Beauregard Charles Wainwright is the epitome of a Southern gentleman. But this modern-day Rhett Butler is more than just a gambler, he is a collector of sorts, acquiring properties and developing multimillion-dollar dreams. So he knows a sweet deal when he sees one. And Jury Yates is awfully sweet. She’s exactly what he wants, and he is determined to have her. Now all that’s left for Beau to do is convince Jury that he shouldn’t have to pay for the sins of his father.
Let’s face it, making money as an author, decent money, is something we’d all like to do. However, many people I know who are not in the publishing business are shocked when I tell them how things work. They’d thought that by being an author it meant you were automatically coining it in. This isn’t so. I can’t speak for everyone, because I have a few friends out there making as much money per month as they would by going out to work five days a week. Not so for me and many others I know. It’s just lucky my husband’s prepared to be the worker and that I can stay at home and write because I love it. I tried writing with the making-money-in-mind thing going on, writing what was selling out there, but it took away my creativity by treating it like a job. Doing this works for many people, but in my case it just took the fun out of it. So I’ve gone back to writing because I love it, and if I make big money, that’s fine.
So I got to wondering what the very best-selling ebook authors do to create such high earnings. Do they promote like crazy? Or does their writing/genre appeal to readers and they sell lots of books because of that? And what about promoting when you have no money to pay for ads and, in my case, you’re not comfortable with what feels like ramming your books/brand down people’s throats? I hate promoting. I’m just about happy to put up notices of a new release, and some days I’ve even forgotten about a release day, a subconscious thing, I think, so that I don’t have to announce it. Don’t have to say: Look at me! Buy my book! It doesn’t bother me in the slightest seeing other authors promote. They’re happy doing it, and if they’re not, then I commend them in doing something I can’t seem to bring myself to do.
This probably sounds crazy, and some people would say: Well, if you don’t promote, serves yourself bloody right that you don’t make any money from your work.
I can agree with that to a point, but when I did promote, I didn’t sell many books either.
However, there are people out there who don’t promote yet still make good money, so then I’m back to the idea that some author’s plots, genre, and writing style are what a reader wants. I clearly don’t write in a style the majority of readers require. Readers apparently want something uncomplicated to read in their busy lives. This may well be true, and it may be the kind of thing I need write in order to gain more sales, but come on…what if I don’t want to write that way? What if I’ve tried it and I can’t? What if I’ve tried it and I’m unhappy with the final product because it isn’t me?
So then we’re back to the fact that I’m writing because I love it. I’m not writing to make money or to always pen books for people who don’t have the time or energy to read something a bit more complex/using words and sentence patterns that come across as “too much hard work to read”. I’m writing for me. This may be a stupid business decision, but it’s one I can live with. I’m all about my inner self being happy these days, and if writing for these reasons is what makes me a happier person, someone my kids enjoy being around, then that’s what I’ll do. If the books I’m writing for me just so happen to match what a publisher wants, then that’s a bonus.
I came to another decision lately, and that is to write tales as they want to come out and not manipulate them to fit the market. If the book won’t sell anywhere because it doesn’t have oodles of sex, that doesn’t matter. I’d have written the book as my soul intended, and if it sits in a file forever, or goes out as a free read, then so be it. So, my latest, an m/m I began last week, used to have 4K of sex at the beginning. It used to have a break at Chapter Three, which would have been all sex. Yes, used to. Now it has none. It alludes to the fact my men have sex, but with this story I didn’t feel it needed to be shown. A bit like my Reverse Blackmail. No sex between my men in that one. And it hasn’t sold as well as my others that do include sex, but do you know what? I don’t care. I loved writing that book, loved the fact they didn’t have to have hot monkey sex, loved that I didn’t have to pause between non-sex scenes and work out how to fit a sex scene in. Just a plain old book about two men living together, sex not needed.
Then that got me to thinking: Because it hasn’t sold as well as the sex books, in order to make money, do I have to write sex? Is that right? Sad, isn’t it? Yes, I’m an erotica writer, that’s what I do for the most part, but deep down inside I’m not. I’m a mainstream writer. Would love to write plain horror or psychological, thrillers or actions, tales where cocks aren’t allowed to strut into lady gardens. I started out as this kind of author. Did the agent route, got asked for partials, got asked for whole manuscripts—the end result all rejections because, and I’m paraphrasing here: People don’t want to read such frightening things about the realities of life.
Oh, really? I do. My daughter does. My friends do. And clearly others do too, because there are books out there just like the ones I have written and want to write.
Maybe they should have just said my writing was crap, as were my plots, and I should fuck off now before they chewed the ends of their fingers off in frustration at my shitness.
Regardless of my last foray into that side of publishing, I’m going to do it again. My m/m book is now mainstream, urban fantasy, and will hopefully be one of the best books I’ve written. Because I want to write it in the 1st person, Brit-Bloke style it’s coming out as. Because it feels right to do this. Because I want one last shot at writing what I really enjoy. I’ll still be writing erotica for those interested, by the way, but also going back to my roots.
And if it doesn’t get sold, then you’ll see it as a free read. With no sex.