Dealing with rejection

Phoebe Morgan

One of the things that crops up again and again when speaking to writers is the idea of rejection. Hand on heart, I don’t think I know a single author who has not been rejected in some shape or form, so believe me when I say it is not uncommon and you are NOT alone!

There are lots of examples of famous writers piling up their rejection letters – J.K. Rowling and Stephen King to name just two. However, we can’t all become household names (sadly!) and I think it’s also helpful to think about those who might not have gone on to stratospheric success but have overcome rejection – it’s the persistence part that truly matters.

One of the things which I think can be really tough for writers is feeling as though the rejection is personal – as though the editor or agent you submitted it to really…

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NaNoWriMo Writing Prompts – Bad Boy Romance Edition

David Gaughran

Lots of people will be diving into NaNoWriMo in a few days, and lots more are sitting on the fence. I’ve been on that fence, it’s made of excuses!

Today, I’m going to do you a solid by taking one of those excuses away. You’re getting some Writing Prompts. And not just any Writing Prompts, but Bad Boy Romance Prompts.

(Please note that no actual romance writers were harmed in the making of these prompts.)

Prompt #1: You are foreign. Maybe Australian! Your scammy non-fiction books aren’t selling too well, but you spot the latest trend: bad boy romance, and decided to write under a woman’s name – no, screw that, several women’s names! You eagerly stuff several books into one, artificially inflating your page count and stealing from your fellow authors. You do this across all your books – who cares anyway, they are all ghostwritten.

Prompt #2: You’re…

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What is wrong with the world?

What is wrong with this world?

 

What is wrong with this world?

It’s a question I ask daily, whenever

I see the news flicker on the television

set, or on my laptop screen.

A headline screams CARNAGE! to

describe seven parked cars hit by a passing

driver, yet the man who killed 59 innocent

people is labelled as a nice guy who

enjoyed gardening.

 

What is wrong with this world?

We are a society that shames women for

covering up, but equally for showing

off a bit of flesh. We are a society,

where a  young girl is not allowed to

flash her collar bone, yet the boy’s

swim team stand there in their

budgie-smuggling pants, with no

dignity to speak of.

 

What is wrong with this world?

We are a society where a woman has to

prove that she was raped before she

is allowed to remove that blob of jelly

that is less than a flicker of light from

her own womb. Yet the boy who forced

himself upon her is regarded as a

hero because he scored so high in

his last test.

 

What is wrong with this world?

This world that dials its hate and decay,

its deceit and denial into the telephone

of life, and then yells “HEY GOD!

Why are you letting those 500 people hurt?”

All the while, ignoring the thousands that

died on the other side of the world

before they’d even had their morning

cup of Joe.

 

We are what is wrong with this world.

Every single person who ignored the pleas

of their fellow human being, left out in the

cold. Every single person who thought,

it’s not my problem. It’s nothing to do with me.

Every single person who has shouted about

their right to bear arms, and then cried about

the madman who killed children on their

way to school.

 

We are what is wrong with this world.

In a world where a woman is labelled

TERRORIST for covering her face, but

stoned to death if she dares to reveal

more than her eyes. A world where parked

cars is carnage, but a man who kills fifty-nine

people is an  accountant, who was just having a

really bad day.

 

All copyright of this poem belongs to Charlotte Howard. Please share, but please give me credit! 😉

The Black Door – #99p #99c #Kindle #EroticRomance #ContemporaryRomance

Yes, that’s right. The Black Door is currently 99p / 99c on Kindle. Get it while it’s cheap!

theblackdoorbycharlottehoward1800hr

ISBN: 9781311762207
ASIN: B00LP0EN70

Blurb: Imogen Pearce is a single mum of four children and fast approaching 40, she works at Ryedale Incorporated where she has to battle a younger and smarter generation to get to where she wants to go. If that means taking on the account of Cherry and Sean Rubin’s adult shop, then she will. But what happens when Imogen discovers the private club that they run at the back? And what happens when she realizes she knows quite a few members?
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Extract:
Chapter One
Men. All the bloody same.My mind traced back to the day I had given up on one-sided monogamous relationships.

The children were at school or work, and the sun was beating down. It was a glorious day, and I had decided to go home for lunch, rather than spend it in a stuffy office.

I pulled up outside the house and a fleeting thought passed through my mind when I saw Connor’s car sitting in the driveway. My husband of eighteen years had had the same idea.

I crept into the house, hoping to surprise him. But, it turned out that his idea had involved a slutty bottle-blonde.

I wanted to blame the events that followed on a red mist descending over me. The truth is that in the time it took for my mind to register that some tart was riding my husband in what I later found out was known as reverse cowgirl, my mind had calculated the necessary response.

The skank lost a good handful of bleached hair, roots and all. I allowed her to gather her clothes and watched as she tugged her pants on whilst running out of the house. If nothing else, the neighbours got a good show.

Connor yelled at me. But his words were drowned out by the blood pumping in my ears. I marched back up the stairs and into his little study. Opening the window, I saw Miss Slut stood in the middle of the road, screeching obscenities at me. I looked at the Ferrari in our driveway and smiled.

I think his Xbox enjoyed its first and final flying lesson as it sailed out of the window. The fact that it landed in the bonnet of his prized mid-life crisis proved that Karma does exist.

Connor. Holly.

I made a mental note of the two names at the top of my imaginary hit list.

I blinked and I was back in the boardroom.

 

The Black Door by Charlotte Howard - sm banner

FREE SHORT STORY: An Overheard Conversation By Charlotte Howard #freestory #shortstory

An Overheard Conversation

By Charlotte Howard

Click. Click-click-click. Click.

Clack. Clack.

Bang!

“Graham?” Sally hung her coat on the rack by the front door. She dropped her keys onto the coffee table alongside her handbag. “Graham? Are you home?” The cat purred and rubbed itself against the soft satin of her tights. Sally bent down, scooping the creature into her arms, and pressed her nose into his furry head before letting him jump back to the ground. She kicked off her shoes, adding them to the pile that grew and blocked the cupboard under the stairs. Leaning on the wooden rail, she tilted her to the ceiling and strained to hear any sounds.

Tap-tap-tap-tap.

Sally smiled to herself, and tip-toed towards the spare room. She stood in the doorframe, and watched as her husband continued to work. A heavy thump came from beneath the headphones that were glued to his ears. Sally walked over, and removed one. Graham spun around, eyes wide.

“Jeez… Sorry love. I didn’t hear you come in.” He looked at his watch. “You’re home early.”

Sally grinned and pressed her lips to the scratchy stubble of his cheek. “Oh Greg sent me to a meeting and it finished early. How’s it going?” she asked, scanning over the screen and not understanding a single word.

“Not bad. A client wants their website updating before this evening, so…”

“So you’re hiding away in your cave, and I will be an HTML-widow for the rest of the day.” She said it with a slight laugh, used to her husband choosing work over her. “I suppose it could be worse.”

Graham turned back to the screen. “Hmm?”

“You could be at the pub all night, or watching football,” she said, walking into their bedroom.

“Sorry what was that?”

“Nothing, love,” she called back, as she drew the curtains against the dying sun and the harsh orange light that forced its way through the clouds. She stripped out of her white blouse and knee-length black skirt, dumping them in the laundry basket in the corner of the room.

“Greg sent you to a meeting?” Graham asked, sneaking up behind and placing a kiss on the bare skin of her shoulder. “That’s a good sign isn’t it?”

“He had one with a client at lunch and it ran over, so he asked me to cover the one with the supplier.” She twisted around to face him, lifting a hand and sweeping her fingers through his dark brown curls. “You need a haircut,” she murmured, and pressed her lips to his. “I did overhear something today.”

“Yeah?” He wrapped his arms around her waist and they swayed from side-to-side.

“The girls at work were talking.”

“Girls tend to do that.”

Sally batted at his chest. “You know what I mean.” She pulled away from his grip, and walked over to her set of chest of drawers. Bending to the bottom one, she opened it up and took out a baggy T-shirt, tugging it over her head. She stared in the mirror for a while, and ran her fingers through her shoulder-length blonde hair. “They said that Greg was looking for someone to promote as his assistant.” She bit her bottom lip and turned to face him. “Do you think I’m in with a chance?”

“Of course you are love.”

Sally sat on the edge of the bed. She rolled down her tights and flung them so that they landed in a ball, on top of the blouse and skirt. “Do you think?”

“Yeah…” He knelt behind her and pressed his thumbs into the knotted muscles of her shoulders, circling and rubbing until she was moaning with delight. “He sent you to that meeting didn’t he?”

“Uh huh.” Sally closed her eyes and tilted her head up, groaning as Graham continued the massage. “There’s rumours of a takeover.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. Greg’s being going to loads of lunch meetings just recently, and been really secretive. Head Office have been in too. Rachel thought that he was being fired, but he was in this morning, so Tamsin said it was probably a takeover or something.” She stopped and twisted to face him. “Do you think he might be getting a promotion and moving to HO? Perhaps… Oh don’t stop… Mmm… Perhaps they’re looking for someone to replace him. Oh wow. Can you imagine if I got Greg’s job?”

“That would be great.” He kissed each spot where his hands had been. “I need to finish work.”

“Sadist,” she teased, and stood up. Graham disappeared into the spare room. Sally breathed out a frustrated sigh. Ever since he’d left his job, he’d spent his whole time buried under a mass of wires and USB drives. It hadn’t been all that bad though. He’d picked up some freelance work as a web designer, and was much happier than he’d been working from someone else. And he wasn’t seeing her every single day anymore. But the regular paycheque had been sorely missed.

Sally opened her wardrobe doors and ran her fingers over the different fabrics until she found a pair of comfy yoga pants. “What do you want for dinner?” she called as she pulled the pants on. She scraped her hair into a messy bun, and checked out her reflection. Even dressed in what she referred to as ‘scruffs’, she was still looked pretty damn amazing.

“Oh I don’t mind…”

Sally leaned around the doorframe to watch her husband as he continued to work. “Takeaway?”

“Erm… yeah. Sure. Why not? Do you mind if I just…” He let his sentence trail, and gestured towards the screen.

“Yeah.” Sally exhaled a nasal breath. “Of course. Sorry.” She headed downstairs, and grabbed her phone, ready to text her best-friend about the frustrations of out-of-work husbands and overheard conversations. She sank onto the sofa.

Clatter. Bang. Clatter. 

“Everything okay?” she called up.

“Yeah,” Graham called back down. “Bloody cat sent everything flying.”

Sally frowned, and stroked the animal laying on her lap.

***

“Be quiet,” Graham hushed, peering out of the bedroom door. “She’ll bleeding well hear you. I’m sorry, okay, I didn’t know she would be home so soon. I thought she was working late again.” He pressed a finger to his lips.

“Are you sure?” Sally called.

“She’s in the living room. If you’re quiet, and quick, you can make it out the front door. I’ll… I’ll distract her.” Graham walked down the stairs and into the front room. “Cup of tea?” he asked his wife.

“Please.” Her forehead wrinkled, her eyes narrowed. “What was all that noise?”

“I told you,” he said. “The…” He looked down at the animal that she was stroking. “Cat… Shit. Sally, it’s not what you–”

“It’s her again, isn’t it?” The cat hissed as it was shoved to the ground. “Jeez… Graham, I thought we were over this. You promised. You said…” Sally pushed past Graham and stopped dead in the hallway.

“Sally, please. I can explain. I–”

Sally stared ahead. “Greg.”

THE END

Bio

 My career as a writer started when I was young, writing poetry and flash fiction for my friends and family. After a few minor successes of having pieces published in anthologies, and later on-line, I decided to have a go at writing a full-length novel. My first attempt was a bit of a disaster, but after years of practice, I finally got that coveted First Contract. Since then, I’ve written several more novels and short stories, and I don’t intend to retire for at least another 50 years.

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Italian Playboy by Holly J. Gill

Heart Throbs

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Title: Italian Playboy

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Author: Holly J. Gill
Genres: #Romantic #Erotica #BDSM  #adult #language #18+ #HollyJGill #Italianplayboy

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Can A Playboy Ever Be Tamed?

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I’m an arrogant, self-righteous Italian guy who only thinks through one thing… I never see the same woman twice – it’s my rule. I throw the most outrageously wicked and sexy parties for my own satisfaction and relish on women like I do my fine dining. I’m a playboy by day and a playboy by night. They call me the Italian Playboy and I love it! Only, all of that changed one night when a dark haired beauty stepped into one of my sex parties. From the moment I laid eyes on her, I had to have her. But no sooner than…

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