Out Now—On Her High Horse by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #romance #medical #cougar

Heart Throbs

onherhighhorse.jpgBlurb:

Do first impressions always last?

When veterinarian Brett Coulson and stable owner Samantha Hanson-Bishop meet, it’s hate at first sight. He thinks she’s a snobby, stuck-up bitch who wouldn’t know nice if it bit her on the backside. She thinks he’s a blundering, inexperienced little boy who shouldn’t be within fifty miles of her prized horses. But it doesn’t matter much—they’ll never have to see each other again. Or will they?

When fate throws them into the same room together at a charity fundraiser, the resentment between them quickly resurfaces. But mixed in with that resentment is something they both tried to deny… attraction. Will the chemistry between them cancel out the animosity, or were their first impressions just too powerful to change?

Note: On Her High Horse was previously published in the Coming in Hot Boxed Set.

Buy links:

Amazon (universal link): http://mybook.to/OHHH

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2ucGHKX

iBooks…

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Why I don’t do book signings, AKA: Social anxiety & me.

I get asked all the time: “Are you doing a book signing any time soon?” “Are you going to the RNA conference?” “Are you going to the **insert local town** festival?” And my answer is always “No”. Why? Because I suffer with social anxiety.

Hubby and I joke about me being anti-social. I distance myself from people all the time. I turn down coffee mornings, I make excuses so I can’t go to parties and events, I even avoid going into town if I can. Social anxiety sucks. But is it really that bad? Is talking to someone really going to kill me? Probably not, but that doesn’t stop me feeling like I am about to die. So what are the symptoms of social anxiety?

*Sweaty palms

*Feeling sick

*Chest feels tight

*Need to go to the toilet every five minutes

*Churning stomach

*Aching muscles in my neck

*Headache

*Panic attack (feeling faint, chest pains, can’t breathe properly, arms and legs start shaking)

*Feeling like everyone is looking at me

*Running over worst case scenarios in my mind

Imagine going through all of this at just the thought of having to talk to people. That’s social anxiety. You can read more about it here.

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At the Festival of Romance in 2014

Every time that I have done a book signing or gone to an event I have had to take someone with me; my mum, my husband, my two best-friends. I cannot do it on my own. And even then, when I stand up and do a reading, I feel like I’m going to pass out and rush through it so that it’s done.

I can’t help my social anxiety. I’ve had cognitive behavioural therapy, which has made it easier (I can go as long as someone I know and trust is with me, as opposed to just avoiding them all together), but I still struggle on a daily basis to meet new people.

I would love to organise a book signing, and get my face out there, but the prospect of being an utter failure (like the Festival of Romance where I sold 2 books and gave 1 away, and then came home with 50 books in a suitcase that I am STILL trying to shift) weighs on me. I don’t want to be that sad, lonely author sat in a bookshop begging people to buy a book – and yes it does happen, because I’ve had it happen to me. I was a reader, and an author literally cried because nobody would buy his books. I ran away and hid in the children’s section until I could sneak behind him without being grabbed again. I don’t want to be him.

I want to go to more events. I want to interact with other authors and readers. I want to sell my books. But even meeting people I’ve met before can be tricky. I feel like I’ll look like an idiot, because I’m very good with faces, but I’m convinced that nobody will remember me. That’s happened before too. Not in an author / reader setting, but I started chatting with someone I’d met a few times through Yeovil Creative Writers, and she ran away because she clearly had no idea who I was. Super embarrassing because it happened in front of a group of other people who saw it all. I wanted the ground to swallow me up, and I’ve avoided bumping into her since, in case it happens again, or she laughs about how she didn’t know who I was. Ha, ha, ha.

Equally, there are times when I don’t know who people are – for instance, authors who like their anonymity. I’ve never seen their faces (because we’re friends online), but spoken to them loads. I’m supposed to know them. I don’t want to be that person who runs away and feels awkward because I can’t put a name to the face. See, that’s another problem. Something that might be construed as “do you remember that funny time when I didn’t know who you were, and how we laughed…” for “normal” people, is an event that makes me want to curl up into a tight ball and cry.  So, I avoid group events where I could bump into people I’m supposed to know, or where they are supposed to know me. Just in case that awkward “who the hell are you?” moment happens.

So, I sit at home with my social anxiety, trying to convince people to buy my books online, because I can’t physically meet anyone.

It’s not you. It’s me. And my stupid anxieties.

Cover Reveal! Sinful Pleasures: An Anthology of Erotic Tales by Sinful Press (@sinfulpress)

Heart Throbs

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Release date 20th August 2017.

Sinful Press welcomes you to lose yourself in Sinful Pleasures.

Join us as we weave our way from mainstream erotic romance to surreal sex-filled dreamscapes and everything in between, created by some of the best new and established voices in the erotica genre.

Janine Ashbless

Ella Scandal

Sonni de Soto

Jo Henny Wolf

Lily Harlem

Lady Divine

Gail Williams

Samantha MacLeod

Tony Fyler

Ellie Barker

Lisa McCarthy

Pre-order links:

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/SPebookAmazon

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/sinful-pleasures/id1254941861?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Janine_Ashbless_Sinful_Pleasures?id=NnUqDwAAQBAJ

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35452279-sinful-pleasures

Note: Sinful Pleasures will be available through all main online bookstores in print and digital on the 20th of August.

Excerpt from The Pier By Night by Janine Ashbless:

“What do you want to do now?” James asked, as they came level with another set of concrete stairs leading back up to the promenade. The question was lightly posed, but it seemed to carry…

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Mean Girls by Lucy Felthouse Now Available in Audiobook Format! #audiobook #audible #romance #BBW #Rubenesque

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Lucy Felthouse’s Rubenesque erotic romance novella, Mean Girls, is now available in audiobook format. Narrated by voice artist Xanthia Bloom, you can now listen to this sweet and sexy curvy girl tale on the go!

Mean Girls Blurb:

Adele Blackthorne is a big girl, a curvy chick. She knows it, and she’s been picked on all her life because of it. But she’s gotten to the stage where she doesn’t care. She may be Rubenesque, but she’s healthy, too. Much healthier than the mean girls at the leisure center that point and stare and say spiteful things about her. Adele rises above it all, and simply enjoys her secretive glances at the center’s hunky lifeguard, Oliver.

As the bullying of Adele becomes worse, Oliver finds it increasingly difficult not to intervene. He doesn’t want to get into trouble with work, but equally he can’t stand to see Adele treated…

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Measure for Measure by EM Denning

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Blurb:

Millicent Hughes—Millie—is an author on the brink success. As a former foster child, her past wasn’t a bed of roses, making her current success even sweeter. But despite her skyrocketing career, she knows something is missing: him.

When her best friend is killed and she’s attacked by what police believe is an obsessed fan, her life is thrown into turmoil. Even her publisher comes under scrutiny. Can her former foster brothers keep her safe or will they have to take drastic measures to catch a killer?

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Buy links:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/measure-for-measure/id1178447137?mt=11

Reviews:

on January 13, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
From the very first page I was hooked on this book! Mille is a character that drew me in right away and I couldn’t…

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What it actually takes to write a book

I know this has been done to death, and there are several books on Amazon that claim they are able to help writers become best-sellers, but just recently there has been an influx of “it must be nice to not have a real job” and “oh I would love to have the time to write a book”. So, here is my input on what it actually takes to write a book.

An Idea

It might sound obvious, but you need to have a plot. I’ve read a few books that didn’t really have a storyline, just a jumble of characters that went from A to B. There was no substance to them though. There was no progression. When children are taught to write a story at school, they are given “a hill” to work with – start, build up, conflict, resolution, end, and that is a good basic plan to follow. When planning a new novel, I visualise my story arc, and follow that. Characters are terrible for going in their own direction, but that’s okay, as long as there is still a hill to climb up and roll down.

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Keep a notepad and pen in your bag at all times, for when inspiration hits you!

Characters

We’ve all read books that have hundreds of characters in them, but unless you are JK Rowling or George RR Martin, it’s generally a good idea to stick with a small-ish number. I tend to write with no more than five or six characters. I may add a few extras here and there, but they aren’t even minor characters, they are just background noise to give it a more realistic feel.

Character profiling is a thing. Some writers will create spreadsheets with every minuscule detail written down. I try to keep it simple, but it is important for your characters to be like everyday people – with different quirks and flaws. Nobody is perfect. Add a scar, or bitten nails, a short temper, a love of Marmite, just one tiny thing can make that character go from being flat and wooden, to realistic.

Editing

I don’t care if you plan to self-publish, find an agent, go directly to a publisher, or just print it out and give it to a friend, editing is vital. And not just the once either. The Final Straight was the first romance novel I wrote, but it certainly wasn’t the first to be published, because it spent so long in editing. I re-wrote the entire novel three times before even sending to be considered. Seven Dirty Words and Four Letter Words started out as a trilogy, but was condensed into two books. Taking Care of Leah was originally a full-length novel, but got tightened into a short novel. And this was all before I handed it over to a professional editor.

I would highly recommend finding a professional editor to give your work the once over before submitting it to be considered. Don’t just Google it though, do some research. Some editors are better than others, and some may specialise in your genre. But remember, just because an editor makes a suggestion, doesn’t mean you have to accept it.

Self or Traditional Publishing

I am traditionally published. That means that I have a contract with various companies who publish my books, provide me with an editor and a cover designer, hand it out to beta and proof readers, and work with me to make it perfect before putting it into print. The publishers then send me royalties (between 25% and 60%, depending on whether it’s an ebook or paperback, and the company). Self-publishing means doing that yourself. There are companies who help with self-publishing, but they cost a lot of money.

For the love of all that is good, do not self-edit, make a cover on Paint, and send it to KDP. If you can’t afford to pay for the work, then find a traditional publisher, or save up and wait until you can afford it. The market is saturated with bad covers that my nine-year-old could have made. And just because your mum said the book was good, doesn’t mean that it will sell.

Be Prepared for Negative Reviews

We all get them. One-star reviews are a badge of honour – it means you wrote something that not everybody likes, but you’re strong enough to shrug your shoulders and get on with writing the next project. Don’t cry, don’t whine, don’t stamp your feet and threaten to report them. Haven’t you ever read a book that everybody loves, but you hated? I have – The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl, Fifty Shades Freed (the other two were okay, but by the third book, I was bored), Harry Potter Series (love the films, can’t read the books). All of these are best-sellers, and all of them are books that I will never read again, and wouldn’t recommend to anyone. So someone told you that your book was crap and won’t read anything you write ever again. So what? One person, out of billions. Unless your book only ever gains one-stars, I wouldn’t worry about it.

http://writermarketing.co.uk/

Organise blog tours and release blitzes to help get your title out there!

http://writermarketing.co.uk/

Marketing & Publicity

The bane of my life. When a new book is released, I tend to organise a blog tour or a release blitz, with various companies to get the title out there, and to get my book cover seen. But once that’s done, what do you do? Keep at it. There are plenty of companies out there that will help market your book, although discounted prices and a certain star-rating with Amazon is generally required. But you can also use social media like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc. to help get in front of readers. Marketing is hit & miss though, and it doesn’t always work. The advice I was given was to just keep writing, keep talking to readers, create a brand for yourself and keep your blog up to date. I’m terrible at all of those, except the keep writing bit.

Paying the Bills

Sadly, my book sales do not cover my bills. They cover marketing and editing costs, but that’s it. I make a loss each year because of National Insurance Contributions – yes, you need to register as self-employed and pay your taxes. So you need something to cover bills while you’re on your quest to become an author. I’m lucky that I have Hubby, who works damn hard to pay for everything, and I work as a child-minder and dog walker to pay for the luxuries in life. I did run a business working as a freelance writer, editor, and cover designer, but the truth is that it got too much like hard work, and writing should be about having fun.

Positive Mental Attitude

Staying positive is the hardest part of writing a book. We all have bad days – what’s the point, why do I bother, etc. etc. And writer’s block is a nightmare. But take a break, have a cup of tea, go for a walk, whatever it is you need to do to refresh yourself and remind yourself that this will work, if you keep at it.

Writing isn’t for everyone. I hate it when people say they have a book in them, waiting to come out, as if we can sit and spit a few words onto the page, and voila! A best-seller. It’s hard work, and it can be draining. But it’s also very rewarding.

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Out Now—The Tryst by Monique Roffey #eroticromance

Heart Throbs

Tryst cover.jpegAn exciting new direction from acclaimed novelist Monique Roffey

London, midsummer night. Jane and Bill meet the mysterious Lilah in a bar. She entrances the couple with half-true, mixed up tales about her life. At closing time, Jane makes an impulsive decision to invite Lilah back to their home. But Jane has made a catastrophic error of judgement, for Lilah is a skilled and ruthless predator, the likes of which few encounter in a lifetime. Isolated and cursed, Jane and Bill are forced to fight for each other, and, in doing so, discover their covert desires.

Part psychological thriller, part contemporary magical realism, The Tryst revisits the tale of Adam’s first wife, Lilith, to examine the secrets of an everyday marriage.

“What makes The Tryst an unexploded virus isn’t just the quality and brightness of Roffey’s writing on sex, even as it uncovers inner glades between flesh and fantasy where…

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