Spotlight: Seven Dirty Words (The Word Series, #1) by Charlotte Howard

Originally posted on the Romantic Fanatic:

BookCover_SevenDirtyWords

Purchase from:

http://www.amazon.com/Seven-Dirty-Words-Word-1-ebook/dp/B00XB8JCH0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440075200&sr=8-1&keywords=SEVEN+DIRTY+WORDS

Description:

Paige Holmes hides herself in a masculine world in a desperate attempt to remain safe.

Just as she is ready to face her fears and her past, she finds herself torn between Matt Jackson and Vance Ellery: handsome, rich, and safe – or handsome, rich, and dangerous?

Which will she choose?

The one who appears to be the most perfect, or the one who makes her use all Seven Dirty Words?

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Excerpt:

“I’ve never seen a girl eat like you.” He laughed.

“I’m starving,” I said, in between mouthfuls of prawns and peas, trying to ignore the dinning room. A crash overhead started the storm’s symphony. Fat raindrops splattered against the window as the room lit with a sudden flash. Seconds later, another rumble filled the air. I shuddered.

“Are you okay?”

“I don’t like thunder storms,” I admitted, finishing the last of my noodles. The…

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Seven Dirty Words by Charlotte Howard *review and giveaway

Originally posted on Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock:

BookCover_SevenDirtyWords

Seven Dirty Words

by Charlotte Howard

BLURB:

Paige Holmes hides herself in a masculine world in a desperate attempt to remain safe.

Just as she is ready to face her fears and her past, she finds herself torn between Matt Jackson and Vance Ellery: handsome, rich, and safe – or handsome, rich, and dangerous?

Which will she choose?

The one who appears to be the most perfect, or the one who makes her use all Seven Dirty Words?

excerpt

“I’ve never seen a girl eat like you.” He laughed.

“I’m starving,” I said, in between mouthfuls of prawns and peas, trying to ignore the dimming room. A crash overhead started the storm’s symphony. Fat raindrops splattered against the window as the room lit with a sudden flash. Seconds later, another rumble filled the air. I shuddered.

“Are you okay?”

“I don’t like thunder storms,” I admitted, finishing the last of my…

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A Saturated Market

OR Why I Won’t Self-Publish a Self-Help Book

About a week ago I decided to set up a new company – RW Literary Services – offering editing, proofreading, manuscript assessment, CV writing, and freelance article writing. (www.rwls.co.uk) I was asked by a couple of people why I think I have the experience to set that company up, after all I’m just an author and I have a team of people who do all of this for me. If I can’t do it for my own books, how can I do it for someone else?

Well, for a start, I wasn’t always an author. In fact I started out as a freelance writer, creating articles on pet care, beauty, and parenting. This developed into advertising and eventually a full-time job in editing and fact-checking. I was on good money. But it wasn’t where my heart was. I wanted to concentrate on fiction, so in 2013 jacked it all in and decided to throw myself into promoting Seven Dirty Words and Four Letter Words, and writing more novels. So I do have the experience and skills to set up the business, but it got me thinking – why was I asked that in the first place? If someone opened a restaurant, you wouldn’t say “oh I guess anyone who cooks can run a business like that”, would you?

It should be well-known by now that authors tend to have a real job as well as writing, but most of us want our novels to be full-time and paying the bills. So we look at ways to support our work. Some have written non-fiction books on how to write books, how to get published, or how to get an agent. Some (and it has to be said, mostly self-published) authors have set up publishing companies. Through a little bit of digging and research, my opinion is because setting up a house and then publishing under that name gives you a little bit more credibility when it come to marketing to readers. It also allows you to reach a wider market, getting your book listed with the likes of Gardners and Bertrams. After a few books have been self-published, a few of these authors decide to help others and publish their books as well, and voila! A new publishing house with multiple authors is born. Some of these have worked and gone on to become sought after houses, others have flunked and struggle to pay their debts.

Other authors, like myself and quite a few friends, have gone into editing, offering literary services to help develop unpublished works and get them polished and ready for submission. But it doesn’t mean that we’re going to stop using each other. Yes, I run a business that edits, proofreads, and gets your book to the best it can be. But I still email my editor with manuscripts and hand over my cash. Yes, I offer advice on marketing and PR. But I still email my publicist and say “What the hell am I doing wrong?” Does this mean I’m crap at my job? No. It means I’m not arrogant enough to think that I’m the best in the biz and don’t need help.

Recently I’ve been asked, if I can edit etc., if I have the experience in self-publishing, why don’t I write a self-help book for new authors? Why don’t I set up a publishing house? Why? Because the market is saturated with authors who have done exactly that, and all these self-help books say the same thing, which I can do for free:

  • Have a blog
  • Keep writing novels
  • Join social media and interact with your readers
  • Network with other authors, editors, publishers etc.
  • Invest in marketing tools and an author kit – business cards, Facebook banners, postcards, posters etc.
  • Go to events and organise book signings
  • Spend money and use companies like ENT, ReadCheaply, BookBub, and Fussy Librarian.
  • Talk about yourself
  • Have a street team who talks about you and hands out bookmarks
  • Give your book away every now and then – run a competition on Goodreads, Facebook or Twitter
  • Make sure your novel is professionally edited and proofread and has a professional jacket

Done. Did that take up 15,000 words or cost you a penny? Nope.

I won’t set up a publishing house because, while I did self-publish a novella back in 2010 (no longer in print for a very good reason), I’m not a publisher. I have never worked with a publishing house. It is not my area of expertise. I’m not saying I’ve never considered doing either of these things, because it did cross my mind that I could. I’m saying that I won’t add to an already over-flowing market, and I won’t risk losing the time to write books by concentrating on other ventures.

I started RW Literary Services because I want to run my own business, and editing and proofreading is something I’ve been doing for almost 10 years under a variety of websites and for other authors, so why not start charging an actual fee for it? I can do it in my own time, pick and choose work, and still find time to write my own books and look after my family.

So yes, please, look at my website and email me for a quote. But please, don’t for a second think that I’m over-priced or under experienced – you get what you pay for and quality costs money. And please don’t ask when I’m going to write that self-help book or set up a publishing house.

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Out Now – Liaison Liability, Book 3 of the Fantasies, Inc. series by Piper Denn

Out Now – Liaison Liability, Book 3 of the Fantasies, Inc. series by Piper Denna

What happens at FM

BLURB:

 

What happens at Fantasy Mountain stays at Fantasy Mountain…except when it doesn’t.

Trusting the “anonymity algorithms” Fantasy Mountain advertises, Emily treats herself to Blind Date weekend at the upscale sex resort. Her kinky side is a bit too risqué for the small community where she owns a business and holds a public office, so she’s taken herself completely out of the dating game. Still, a girl has needs, and the guy she hooks up with her first night there does an incredible job of meeting all those needs. Breaking the resort’s rules, they prolong their scheduled two-hour date and spend the entire weekend together.

As he leaves the resort, Jase realizes why Emily looks so familiar to him. He’s seen her business card—on his desk. Since he’s still recovering from a major emotional slapdown, he isn’t interested in a relationship, but he and Emily are smoking-hot in bed, and he’s not ready to tell her goodbye. A business meeting puts them in the same room, and Jase does everything he can think of to convince Emily they should get into bed again.

Going public with a new boyfriend now would be political suicide, especially since the guy is a client at her business. Still, Emily finds it impossible to resist seeing Jase on the downlow. Each tryst requires more trust, and puts everything she’s worked for at risk. The rush of sneaking around only serves to heighten her pleasure…and her appetite for more. But what will happen when their private play becomes public knowledge?

 Meet me

BUY LINKS:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B012BTOTT0

Amazon short link: http://amzn.to/1Ku5oVD

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B012BTOTT0

Apple/iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1022112486

B&N: http://bit.ly/1fAtsIO

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1GV01ae

Page Foundry/Inktera: http://bit.ly/1Ku5GMc

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EXCERPT:

 “Can I interest you in lunch, to celebrate our new business relationship?”

Not a freaking chance in hell. “I’m afraid I’ll have to take a raincheck.” She forced her most professional voice. “I have three other appointments in the area today.”

“I see.” He pulled an engraved pen from its stand on the corner of his desk. “No doubt with other managers you plan to woo.” As he signed the contract, he nearly pressed the ink pen through the paper. And on the second copy, the page actually tore.

Uh. Was he pissed professionally because he wasn’t the only hotel account she intended to sign, or… She fought the urge to fan herself. The idea of Jase being jealous, caveman-y, made her want to climb into his desk chair with him. With effort, she made herself recall that night at the election debate when Ted Kettle brought up her sexcapades with an “employee” in front of all those interested voters. The things she’d done with Jase, and where she’d gone to do them, could never, ever go public.

 Mixing business

RESORT AND TRAILER LINKS:

Fantasy Mountain website: http://fantasymountain.webs.com/

Fantasy Mountain trailer (PG-13, probably not for viewing at work): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abYhMUK4p58

AUTHOR BIO:

Romance is sexy. And often funny, and sometimes tangled up with suspense. Let’s face it: all sorts of things get mixed up with romance in real life.

Piper Denna’s stories are not cut-and-dried romance. Her characters deal with issues female readers can relate to: independence and trust, empowerment, inhibition, an unfaithful partner, motherhood. Sometimes her characters make mistakes, and often her “bad guys” are not 100% bad. She hopes to take the reader on an emotional journey to a happy ending…with enviable sexual encounters along the way.

When she’s not writing, she edits, raises two teens along with her husband, and collects scrapbooking material.

She enjoys books or movies with a comedic twist and hopefully a love story with lots of tension, too.

Sexiest parts of a man in Piper’s opinion? The hands and eyes. Shoulders are nice too, and of course, great pecs are never amiss…

AUTHOR LINKS:

Newsletter signup: http://mad.ly/signups/105424/join

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2803378.Piper_Denna

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Piper-Denna/e/B002BO81WC/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1414991055&sr=1-2-ent

Site: http://www.piperdenna.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PiperDenna

Twitter: https://twitter.com/piperdenna

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Marketing, PR & Publicity

My sales aren’t terrible, but they’re not terrific either. I won’t be quitting my day job any time soon. So the hubby and I sat down the other night and discussed my marketing techniques and we came to the same conclusion: I’m sh*t at sales. This is not a good thing when you’re a writer and need to be able to sell not only your books, but yourself as well. Also, I’ve just set up a new freelance editing business – my marketing skill mean the future does not bode well.

But why? Why am I so shocking at selling myself? Hubby thinks it might be because I don’t relate to my target audience – married women in their 30s. But I’m a married woman in my 30s! How can I not relate? I would much rather be sat on my ass playing games or watching action and thriller movies than I would rom-coms or doing the housework. Surely I’m not alone in this? I can’t be so far from the stereotypical housewife that I’m bodering on being a man?

Maybe it’s my brand. I’ve discussed branding before. I’m never going to be a sexy woman who flaunts everything she’s got – I’m comfortable in my skin, but I’m even more comfortable in a pair of skinny jeans and a baggy T-shirt. I figured my brand would be “houswife with a cup of tea”. But I’m not that either. Yeah, I drink tea, but housewifey? Nah… Like I said, I hate housework. I’m never going to be the girl-next-door or competing for Housewife of the Year.

Poster

Flyers, bookmarks and postcards get shoved into every paperback copy of Seven Dirty Words

So now I’m googling marketing, pr, publicity and books. But every blog says the same thing:

*Set up a Facebook account. Check. Readers can friend me or like my page. (Chowardauthor or Charlottehowardauthor)

*Tweet. Lots. Check. (@shy_tiger) I have in excess of 800 followers.

*Build an author kit. Check, check and check! I have a website (www.charlottehowardauthor.co.uk and http://www.rwls.co.uk) I hand out business cards, flyers, postcards and bookmarks with every copy of Seven Dirty Words I sell. I take them all to any events like Smut.UK and stuff them into hands, goody bags and books. I have a street team who do the same.

*Connect with your readers. Check. I try to converse on Facebook and Twitter with readers and other writers – okay I’m a bit lax in the forum department,  but only because I don’t want to be a pushy, in-your-face, BUY MY FRIGGING BOOK kind of author.

*Keep writing. Double check. Four novels, one short story published, one recently submitted, and another one being written.

So I give up. I’ve decided that I really couldn’t sell toffee to kids and looking for a PR company to represent me.

My dream was to have a publishing contract by the age of 30, and I did that. My next goal is to be a best-seller before I’m 35. 2 years to go. Let’s see what this week brings…

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Lucy Felthouse’s Birthday Bash! @cw1985 #erotica #romance #giveaway #sale #99c

Lucy Felthouse is having a month-long celebration for her birthday, and she wants you to get involved!

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She’s giving away presents…

For the whole month, her erotic short story anthology, Multi-Orgasmic, will be just $0.99/99p in eBook format! The links are below for you to grab your copy:

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon AU
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
iBooks UK
iBooks US
Kobo
Smashwords

And secondly, she and some of her friends are running a huge giveaway at her website! The giveaway is also running for the whole month, and one lucky winner will get gift cards and a whole bunch of eBooks. So be sure to head over to Lucy’s site and make your entries:

http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/?p=12760

Enjoy the celebrations!

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Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house. She owns Erotica For All, is book editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

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Why being a writer is like motherhood

Whoa! What did she say? Being a writer is like being a mum? She probably doesn’t have kids…

Actually I do. Two gorgeous little sproglings who drive me crazy. Which is why I can honestly say that being a writer is exactly like venturing into parenting – because I’ve done both.

Before having babies we had an idea of how it should be. I am probably the worst person for saying things like “I won’t let my kids watch TV for 8 hours a day.” It’s the summer holidays, I still have to work, it was raining, so I stuck the TV on and let them watch it all day the other. “I won’t let my kids have tablets in their bedrooms.” Guess where they are right now… It was the same pre-writing. “I won’t change who I am once I’ve written a novel.” I’ve created two personas – mum-me and writer-me.

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A naive, 20-year old me. Pre-child.

Every pregnancy is different. I know women who walked through 9 months, pop out a baby, and voila! Parent. I know women who struggled to get pregnant, and went down every avenue to have their precious child. Personally, I had a horrendous time throughout the process. Getting pregnant? Took me 3 years. The pregnancy? Well I’ve lost 4 babies, my daughter was born by emergency c-section at 32 weeks, and with my son I was hospitalised from 27 weeks onwards and then his labour was 36 hours long.

Writing is no different. I know writers who sat down, tapped on a keyboard, threw up a great novel, got published and now have writing as a full-time career. I know writers who have an amazing amount of talent but struggle to finish anything. I’ve been rejected numerous times – I kept my very first rejection letter to keep me grounded for when I hit the big time. I went the long route as well. I wrote fiction, but started working as a freelance writer and through that made connections in the publishing industry, which most definitely helped with getting that coveted contract (of which I now have two!)

Pregnancy is a time to nurture. You’re growing a child – a tiny little miracle that begins as an egg and develops into a living, breathing, human being that you can hold in your arms. You’re given a load of advice, lists of Dos and Don’ts, and you don’t know what to believe. Mums who have been there, done that, tell you what it should be like. “Oh I ate blue cheese throughout my pregnancy with little Zak.” Doctors who haven’t ever given birth tell you “Braxton Hicks don’t hurt” (trust me they do). You buy book after book, scour the internet, write a birthing plan… And then that goes out the window the moment your first contraction kicks in.

Writing is the same. You have this seed of an idea that you want to grow into a fruitful career. You care for it, nurture it, develop it. Other writers try to intervene with contradicting advice. “An adverb is telling now showing.” “Adverbs are fine.” “Don’t say she said, he said, tell us how they’re saying it.” “Don’t describe dialogue, it should be obvious.” So you buy book after book, scour the internet, write a plotline… And then the characters take you in a completely different direction.

Giving birth. Oh. My. God. Some women brag how they birthed their children without painkillers, at home, in a car, up a tree… Okay, maybe not up a tree, but you get the picture. Me? Well, an emergency c-section at 32 weeks was not on the birthing plan, and because of the complications I’d had with my son, I wasn’t even allowed to make a plan!

Producing a book? It can be just as painful as labour. There are writers out there who don’t bother editing or getting a Beta-reader, they just through it at an agent and poof! A book appears. They are rare though. Most writers, including myself, finish a novel and then spending longer going through edits than they did writing the original story. I have three trusted Beta-readers, 2 are my highly critical best-friends and 1 is a fellow writer. 2 women and a man. Exactly like in the labour suite – 2 midwives and a very confused husband. I also pay someone to read it and give me an honest critique – she’s a bit like the health visitor. The woman who you trust to give you good advice, because it’s her job.

There you have it. Your new baby. And writers do tend to consider their books as children. But it doesn’t stop there. You don’t give birth and throw it out into the wide world alone. We’re not sharks! Well, not all of us.

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Pregnant me

Your book goes through the same stages as a growing child. You need to teach it the way of the world, get it out into the open, and show it off. You need to choose appropriate clothing in the form of a book jacket. You need to work with your editor to make it as perfect as possible, teaching it right from wrong. You let other people read it for their critiques.

Parents will ask, “What age should you stop breast feeding?” “When should you potty train?” “Does this look like chicken pox?”

Writers will ask, “Is this a good first chapter?” “Is there a different way I can say this?” “Is this chapter necessary at all?”

If you’re going down the traditional publishing route, it’s a bit like sending your baby off to school. You have to trust that the publisher knows what they’re doing, but if you’re not happy you have every right to ask questions and make suggestions. “What’s that? A bigger title is bullying my book off the shelf?” That’s because that title has an entourage of reviewers behind it. That’s because that title went viral. Sometimes this happens, and there is nothing you can do. You can protect your book, hide it away from the public eye, and hope the big book goes away. Or you can tell your book to stand its ground and prove that they are the better story. Tell your publisher that you’re not happy with the sales and they will give you some advice with regards to marketing and publicity.

Some parents hire a home tutor for their children. Writers should most definitely do some home tutoring themselves – social media, blog tours, media interviews, release blitzes, reviews… It all helps to mould and improve your book’s chances of getting higher up the ladder.

Home-schooling is an option, as is self-publishing. I don’t know much about either of these options. I trust our education system since I work at the local primary school. However, I have ventured into the realm of self-publishing. My first novella was self-published. Like a new parent, I had no clue what I was doing and it was all guess work. It didn’t go so well. But like with a first child, I learned from my mistakes (yeah, us first-borns are always practice kids according to my Mum!) and when Seven Dirty Words was finished, it was a marked improvement. But if you get the advice and do the research, you can be just as good as an established education department or publisher.

Your child has flown the nest. Off to uni, got married and had kids of their own… But they’re still your child. I still ring or text my mum every day for advice or a moan, especially when it comes to parenting and cooking. Yup, you guessed it… Just because your book is published and on the shelf, doesn’t mean you can ignore it.

All those interviews? Connections with your readers? They still need to continue. You still need to be the proud parent, showing it off whenever you can.

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My other children

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