Here, there, everywhere…

To say that I started 2017 with the plan of not planning, it’s certainly been a busy couple of months. A Different Kind of Therapy is out and doing well (whaddya mean you haven’t bought a copy? Click here, buy it.) Seven Dirty Words has been dropped to 99p / 99c for Tirgearr Publishing’s fifth birthday. (Lots of prizes to be won. Click here for that!) And I’m still writing, writing, writing! So blogging has taken a backseat while I work on my resolution of being more organised. I realise the irony in this.

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I have some new aims for 2017. It’s the year I turn 35. I always promised myself that this would be the year that I hit the best seller’s list, and while I’m not doing badly when it comes to sales, that coveted title is still out of reach. So despite not having plans, I do have lots of work to do! Market, market, market.

I’m pretty determined to make that dream come true. At 29, I promised myself that I would have a book published before I turned 30. And I did. Seven Dirty Words was originally published five years ago by Rocking Horse Publishing before being taken over by Tirgearr, two years later. So there is no reason why I shouldn’t see my name listed in the Sunday Times or similar, within the next six months. Here’s hoping anyway! If you’re reading this, you’re reading it for a reason – hopefully because you enjoy my work. I would be ever so grateful if you would help me reach my goal, and share links to my books. Which sort of brings me around to my other not-planned-in-any-way plan for 2017. A street team.

I’ve heard good and bad things about having a street team, but I’ve decided that it’s probably about time that I set one up. What is a street team? It’s essentially a group of readers who plug the work of the author. I’m currently working on creating team kits, including bookmarks, business cards, flyers, magnets, and other bits & pieces, including a bag to carry it all in that will be sent out to members who sign up to join me. Have an idea for popular SWAG? Want to sign up? Email me: charlotte@charlottehowardauthor.co.uk

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As I said, Seven Dirty Words is currently on sale as well, to support Tirgearr Publishing’s fifth birthday. This won’t be the last sale of the year for my books, however I won’t be reducing the prices as frequently as I have in the past. To combat this, I will be running more giveaways though! The first giveaway will be held once my Facebook page reaches 1,000 likes. So get sharing if you want to be in with a chance to win a copy of one of my books!

I’ve been asked if I’m writing a third part to the Words series. In short, no. I’m sorry, but Paige’s story is finished. However, I am working on several more novels – one of which will definitely be part one of a lengthy series.

So, for a not planned, relaxed 2017, I seem to be very busy! Hopefully I will, at some point, find the chance to finish a novel and maybe get some reading in myself.

Back online!

Oh my goodness. This past month has been hard. I know it’s a “First World Problem”, but living a month without any landline, limited internet access (what I could get on my crappy iPhone 5s) and freeview TV has been an absolute nightmare. Freeing, but a nightmare all the same.

Why a nightmare? I am enslaved by technology. My whole business is online. From my alter-ego “Miss Lottie” to my writing and blogging, everything is online. I had a new book come out on the 29th December, and I was completely unable to do anything when it came to promotions and marketing. (PLEASE, visit Evernight Publishing and check out my latest novella!) I have been unable to promote or market any of my other books, other than a few hit and miss Facebook posts. And uni work… Oh. My. God. Uni work. I do a course through the Open University and the majority of it is online, so writing up assignments without access to the forums and tutorial notes has been beyond difficult.

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The new book

But, I’m back online now, and desperate to catch up. If you include the fact that I had Christmas off, I have two months worth of crap to catch up on, including fan mail, general emails, marketing, promoting, sales, writing, assignments, editing, transcriptions, and so much more.

Thank you everyone for your patience while I endeavour to pull myself back into the 21st Century!

Coming Soon: A Different Kind of Therapy by Charlotte Howard

Heart Throbs

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COMING SOON FROM EVERNIGHT PUBLISHING

A DIFFERENT KIND OF THERAPY

Blurb:

Psychology student Hayley, has always been intrigued by sexual fetishes, so when the chance to be mentored by renowned sexual therapist, Adrian De Silva comes up, she jumps at the chance. It soon becomes apparent that the kind of therapy Adrian offers is far from mainstream, and Hayley is introduced to the world of domination therapy. As her training begins, Hayley finds herself falling for her boss and dreaming of being his submissive. Then she meets her new client, and it is Hayley who must be the dominant one.

 Will Hayley take to her new role? And how will her personal feelings affect her work? Can Hayley really provide A Different Kind of Therapy?

***

Extract:

From Chapter Two

“So I suppose the first question should be why do you want this position?” He rested his elbows on the…

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Christmas is coming, and so is a new book!

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A Different Kind of Therapy will be published by Evernight Publishing in 2017

We’re on the final week before Christmas, I have a uni assignment due before the 6th January, we have a big family birthday coming up, and on top of all that, my latest novel will be published in early 2017. The last few weeks of 2016 are going to be hectic to say the least.

But I’m slowly getting there. The turkey has been ordered. Present shopping is done, with one side of the family all wrapped and ready to be shipped up to Lincoln. Christmas cards have been written. Cake has been decorated. Uni work is half-done, only 1,200 words to go and a round of editing. A Different Kind of Therapy is on its second round of edits, and has a cover being designed. We are getting there.

Right now, 2017 promises to be an eventful and interesting year. We just need to get 2016 done and dusted.

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It’s not surviving, it’s living…

I’ve said before that I think I might be a secret prepper, but from January that might become true.

2016 has been a God-awful year. Yes, we’ve had some joy in the form of books being published, contracts being signed, and the best family holiday that we’ve ever had. But like the rest of the planet, it has not been all happiness and smiles. As well as Brexit, the US elections, and the deaths of numerous celebrities taking over the news, we’ve had  hard time ourselves. My daughter has been in and out of hospital with her on-going issues (although we had the good news that they think it’s only a lactose intolerance as opposed to anything life-threatening / changing), she had problems at school (again, dealt with but still stressful and upsetting), and someone I considered to be a friend sadly passed away only a few weeks ago. All of this, and more has forced us to re-evaluate our lives and we came to one big decision – something needs to change.

Hubby currently works for a computer consumables sales company, supporting his business as a photographer. He’s also fast-approaching 40. Life’s too short to spend it doing nothing but working. So, we’ve given ourselves two years, and then once Hubby has hit the big four-oh, we’re both going self-employed, full-time. No more working for other people. I will have finished my OU degree by then, and we will have the time and energy to push his photography and my writing. Unfortunately, it means a massive pay cut.

Money may not be the ‘be all and end all’, but when you have to pay rent, council tax, utility bills, and feed your family then it has to be considered. We already know that we live beyond our means, something that has to change. But we have 2 years to get ourselves together, save what we can, and essentially prep for a time when we haven’t got a steady income.

The first step is food. Our family is all about food. I even have a (not very well-kept) blog on food, specifically for children with allergies and intolerances. We have a huge fridge and two freezers, so my plan? Batch bake and freeze. For the next two years, I will be filling my freezers with pre-cooked and slow-cooker meals.

At the moment I’m planning and writing lists, something I enjoy doing anyway. It’s going to be a shock to the system when it all gets put into action in January!

If you have any tips, please let me have them…

Review: The Billionaire and The Wild Man by Lucy Felthouse & Victoria Blisse (@cw1985 @victoriablisse)

Heart Throbs

AMAZON UK

BLURB:from Amazon

Flynn Gifford is enjoying a simple existence in a rural Derbyshire village when Caroline Rogers crashes into his life, barefoot and panicked. Their lives could hardly be more different—she owns a successful luxury hotel chain, and he’s a penniless nomad who’s off the grid—yet neither can deny the attraction that burns between them. As Caroline reluctantly starts to open up to him, Flynn finds himself divulging some secrets of his own, secrets he thought he’d take to his grave. But can a billionaire and a wild man ever make a relationship work, or will their secrets keep them apart?

REVIEW:

This is not the first book from either Lucy Felthouse or Victoria Blisse that I have read, but it is the first written by both, and I was not disappointed.

The story revolves around the story of Carrie Rogers, a billionaire businesswoman recovering from a…

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That time I tried my hand at domination…

…and found out how bad I am at it.

I guess my fascination with BDSM and domination started after I read a certain infamous trilogy (still haven’t seen the films), and I was introduced to world that I knew about, but had never given much thought. Of course I’ve seen those programmes on the telly about the Dominatrix who looks like a normal housewife until you see the man in her back garden, wearing nothing but a gimp mask as he mows her lawn. But apart from that, I had never really given it much thought.

Then I started writing erotic romance.

At first, it was very “vanilla” romance – nothing much more than a few scenes of oral sex, missionary and the occasional doggy-style. The Black Door stumbled over an adult shop, and the possibility of alternative lifestyles. Then I wrote One Night in Edinburgh, and introduce toys. My internet search history suddenly became more tainted than it already was. I kept writing. Taking Care of Leah was next, and broached the subject of BDSM.

Through networking, I have “met” quite a few Dommes, both lifestyle and pro. (Lifestyle means it’s a way of life, pro means they actually get paid for it and it’s classed as a job. I think.) And I started asking questions – what would be good for a beginner, a flogger or a paddle, sort of thing. Then, my friends suggested we went to Torture Gardens. It was great fun, and I met some really interesting people. My interest peaked, and I started talking to Hubby about the idea of being a Dominatrix. It sounded fun!

I started writing a book (working title “A Different Kind of Therapy), due to be released next year by Evernight Publishing. It required research into domination used as a kind of therapy. I found the website FetLife – which is a bit like Facebook, only for those into a kinkier lifestyle. I created a persona. I didn’t want to show my face, so put up a picture of my feet. And got a lot of attention.

Instagram. OMG. Instagram is a hive of weirdness anyway, but put up a picture of your feet with #footfetish #footworship attached, and I was inundated with private messages asking for more pictures, and they were willing to pay me! Then someone contacted me on FetLife asking if I would be their Domme. They wanted someone they could send Amazon gift cards to in return for some conversation and humiliation. I giggled and showed Hubby.

Now, you have to remember that my marriage is based on trust. Hubby is a photographer and has done a lot of glamour photography. With his support, I decided to set up a Skype account, Twitter account, and have a go at this online Financial Domination. Essentially, men would pay me for conversation and to look at my feet.

£20’s worth of Amazon gift cards arrived in my newly set up email account. And after this “conversation” I felt the need to shower in bleach. Nope. Not happening again. I get regular dick-pics anyway, but being told what someone wanted to do all over my feet, and then lick them clean made me gag.

“You’re not dominating enough,” Hubby said. “You need to remember you’re in control. Abuse them.”

Apparently, I am not very good at being abusive or humiliating. If anything, I felt it was the other way around. For five days I tried to hurl abuse via email and Skype to weird men, and it got me nothing but weird, whiny, needy messages.

I’m not doing this right. I’m not intimidating. I’m fishing in a shallow pool. I am not a dominatrix. Accounts got closed and deleted, and I gave up my life as a Mistress.

I’d like to say it was fun while it lasted, but I’m not convinced that £20 is really worth the dick-pics, the accusations of being a prostitute, the nasty messages claiming I was “too fat to be a whore”. I’m pretty sure (because it’s the internet) that there are still pictures of my feet with an email address that no longer exists attached to it.

It was an experience. That’s for sure. And not one I intend to try again. However, it will make a good base for a possible storyline…