Innocence Release Day – Holly J Gill #contemporary #romance #tearjerker #heartbreak #trust #friendship #Loyalty #innocence #HollyJGill #MFRWauthor #Outnow #live



‘Don’t make promises you cannot keep!’

#contemporary #romance #tearjerker #heartbreat #trust #friendship #Loyality#innocence #HollyJGill #MFRWauthor #Outnow #live

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Calvin Edwards has everything he could dream of running the family real-estate company back in London. But what was just a holiday up north, visiting his parents, turns into him talking a young pregnant woman from taking her life. Wishing desperately to help, Calvin befriends her, only fears he may be out of his depth. Just when he thinks he has it all under control, his past resurfaces, sending his life crashing.

Kacey is pregnant and her life has spiralled out of control. With nowhere left to go, she returns home in one last attempt to get help. only to have the door slammed in her face. At her wit’s end, she’s alone, scared, and helpless, until Calvin comes along. He becomes the only friend she’s had in years, offering her kindness, something she thought no longer existed in the world. Only her past is knocking at her door, mistakes she’d made and pain she’d buried have all come back to life!

Would either of them survive a truth lost with innocence?





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Read the first chapter of Later for free! #99p #99c #kindleunlimited #free #romance

Later -ebook


‘LATER’ is now available on Amazon Kindle for 99p / 99c, or free on Kindle Unlimited. It is also available in print.


Claudia Martins and her boss, Elliot Shepherd have worked together for five years, and have become close friends. After her boyfriend cheats on her, Claudia turns to Elliot for support. But, she’s been offered a job with a rival company – one that comes with the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder and make something of herself, and one that means leaving Elliot behind.

Would you pick a man over your dream job?

print poster

Chapter One:

Claudia sipped at her water and stared at the man sat opposite her. Damien Crowley, CEO of Crowley’s International, stared back with intense brown eyes. He was in his late fifties, and although he was old enough to be her father, she thought he was still a handsome man. But, it wasn’t his looks that stopped her from speaking.

She glanced down at the contract he’d slid across the table. It was everything she could ever have dreamed; personal assistant to Mr. Crowley meant travelling the world, a pay-rise, a company car, a wardrobe allowance, and more importantly, it meant that at twenty-five years old, she finally had the chance of being someone. Yet, her conscience tugged at her heart. Working for Crowley’s also meant leaving Aries Limited, and leaving Elliot Shepherd.

Her employment at Aries Limited had started off as a temporary position, covering for a receptionist while she finished her degree, but Elliot had taken her under his wing. He’d mentored her, and eventually, she had been made his PA. But, she also knew that it was the highest rung on the corporate ladder as far as his company was concerned, and the bonuses were limited.

“I would say take all the time you need, Miss Martins, but I need an answer by Friday.” Mr. Crowley checked his watch, the sunlight that streamed through the restaurant windows caught the diamonds and shattered into a rainbow across the cream linen. “If you would like to take some legal advice, I can recommend a lawyer.”

“I doubt I could afford them,” Claudia said, trying to smile and find some humour in the situation. She’d always relied on comedy to mask her nerves, something that Elliot understood, smirking at her little self-deprecating jokes. Mr. Crowley, however, frowned. Claudia cleared her throat. “Thank you,” she said. “I appreciate the offer, and I will certainly give it my full attention.”

“Good.” He clicked his fingers, beckoning a waiter over, and handed him a few notes to pay for the light lunch they’d eaten – a light lunch that had cost more than Claudia spent on a whole week’s worth of groceries. Mr. Crowley stood up and straightened his suit jacket. “Please understand Miss Martins, you were head-hunted for a good reason. If there is anything…” He tapped a long finger on the contract. “That you don’t understand, or you want changing, you only need to call me.” He pulled a business card from an inside pocket and placed it on top of the papers. “The ball is in your court.” He winked, and one corner of his lips curved into a smile.

She looked over her shoulder and watched him leave the restaurant, waiting until he was sat in the back seat of his Jaguar, and exhaled a thick breath. She was grateful when her phone trilled, breaking the tension that had settled in her shoulders and reminding her that she had to go and pick up the tickets to Charlie’s gig before heading back to the office. Standing up, she hooked her handbag over her shoulder and clutched the contract to her chest as though it were worth its weight in gold – to her, it was. She wondered what she was going to do with it; it was too big to hide in her bag, and she still had to work four more hours until she could go home.

Her stomach churned. Claudia walked down the busy streets of London, the smell of a dying autumn mixed with the steady heat and fumes being spat out by the stand-still traffic. She went to the bar first. Posters had been slapped across the outside walls and windows, advertising her boyfriend’s band, due to play live that Friday night. She’d never been to one of his gigs, and he’d been raving all month about how they were about to hit the big time, so to surprise him had bought an Access All Areas pass. She tucked it inside her wallet and made her way back to the tall, looming offices of Aries Limited.

It was almost two o’clock before she was back behind her desk. Her makeup had begun to melt, and her hair had started to come loose from its top knot, with sticky curls clinging to her neck and forehead. She hid the contract in the bottom drawer of her desk, and retrieved her emergency makeup clutch from her handbag, then went over to the door that connected her office to Elliot’s. With any luck, he’d be stuck in another board meeting and she’d be able to use his private bathroom to freshen up before he realised that she was running late.

Claudia pressed her ear against the wood and listened carefully. There was no shouting, no swearing, and no exhausted sighing coming from the other side, which meant that she was in with a good chance of it being empty. She wrapped her hand around the brass knob and twisted slowly, peering around the door. She jogged across the office floor towards his bathroom.

Slipping out of her high-heeled court shoes, she peeled off the tan-coloured tights, swearing when her nail went straight through the nylon fabric. She pulled the bobble from her hair and stripped out of the white blouse, draping it over the closed toilet. Running the taps, she filled the sink with cool water, and splashed it around her neck, under her arms, and over her face, rinsing away the residue of smog and sweat that clung to her like a second skin. There was a white towel hanging on the rail by the door – she was careful to pat herself dry and hang it back as it was.

Chewing on her bottom lip, she opened the mirrored door of the medicine cabinet and borrowed the spray deodorant that she knew Elliot kept in there. It wasn’t unusual for him to work all night, so he’d asked her to stock his office and bathroom like it was a mini apartment. The powdery scent floated around her, and she inhaled the pure masculinity of it. She was reapplying her mascara when he opened the door.

“Shit!” She jumped, stabbing herself in the eye with the wand. Tears streamed down her cheeks, leaving inky stains.

“Crap, Claudia, I’m sorry…” Elliot grabbed a cotton face cloth and soaked it in the sink before pressing it to her face. “I didn’t…” He stopped. “Why are you in here?”

Claudia looked up at him with one eye as she wiped away the remnants of her smudged and smeared makeup. He glanced over her. “And why are you half naked?”

“Sorry,” she mumbled, crossing an arm over her chest to cover what was left of her dignity.

Elliot shook his head and left her to it. Quickly, Claudia washed her face and re-dressed, tossing the torn tights into a small metal bin by the sink. She rinsed the face cloth, wringing it out and folding it back into a square.

“Sorry,” she said again, stepping back into the office. She raked her fingers through her curly brown hair, pulling it into a high bun. “I was running late from lunch, and got all hot and sweaty…”

Elliot chuckled. “It’s fine.” He sat behind his desk, his eyes fixed on his screen. “Next time I want to use my bathroom, I’ll knock to make sure there aren’t any stalkers hiding in there.”

Claudia rolled her eyes and sat in the chair opposite him. She took him in. He was dressed in a navy suit, with a crisp white shirt, and had an expensive watch fastened around his wrist. His blue-grey eyes were hidden by the thin-rimmed glasses he wore, and his dark brown hair had recently been trimmed, “How was the meeting?” she asked.

He shrugged. “Same shit, different day. More red tape and bureaucratic bullshit. How was lunch?”

She bit her lips together and ignored the heat rising in her cheeks. “Good. Thanks.”

“And, you managed to get those tickets?”

She nodded. “Yes. Thank you. Charlie will be thrilled.”

He looked up. “You don’t sound so sure.”

“It’s been tough, you know… Since he…” She trailed off and looked around the room, resting her sights on the Yucca plant in the back corner – anywhere but on Elliot.

“Since he cheated on you, broke your heart, and destroyed any trust you had left,” he said for her.

She shot a look at him. “Yes, since that.”

“You know I’m here for you.” His tone was subtle, gentle, and he looked at her with a soft gaze. Elliot sighed and removed his glasses to pinch at the bridge of his nose.

“You look tired,” she said.

“I am. It’s been a long week.”

“It’s only Tuesday,” Claudia pointed out.

Elliot shook his head, waking himself up. “There are more meetings lined up for next week. I’ll email them over, so you can add them to the diary. Dad might be joining us at some point. I need to set up a meeting with Yvette and Marcel as well,” he said, referring to the two lawyers he preferred to use. “Nothing to worry about, just—”

“Red tape and bureaucratic bullshit,” she said with a nod.

Elliot snorted a laugh. “Yes. That.”

“Okay.” Claudia stood up and brushed her hands down her skirt. “Thank you for…” She pointed at the bathroom.

“Any time.” He gave a dismissive wave, and she took the cue to leave.

Sinking back into her own chair, she pulled the contract that Mr. Crowley had given her and started to flick through it, scanning over each page. She wondered if Marcel would be willing to look over it for her, or whether that would be bad business. Her phone trilled out, and she swiped at the screen to see a text from Charlie announcing that he would be late home that evening due to another band practice. She fired one back saying she was working late too. At least a couple of extra hours alone would give her time to consider all of her options.



Unorthodox Union Cover Reveal #coverreveal #eroticsuspense #BDSM #romance @lilahenoir

Title: Unorthodox Union
Series: The Unorthodox Trilogy, #3
Author: Lilah E. Noir
Genre: BDSM, Erotic Suspense, Romance
Release Date: December 15, 2018



No other woman could understand me like you. We know all we’ve been through, Lina, and I remember every scar on your body and soul.


We were together in the darkest pits of hell.
He cleansed me through the cruelty of pain and led me to my bliss.
I’m exactly where I belong.
A leader in the boardroom and a purring submissive for Thomas.

When the right chance comes along… do we dare reach for the stars?


I have the woman of my dreams and a chance for a new beginning.

Lina faced all of me, my dark, ugly and violent sides, yet she chose to stay.
She restored my lost balance and help me find peace with who I am.
I’ve never been so happy… and that’s what scares me the most.
After all, we have been through, can we have it all?






Get Book 1 of the Unorthodox Trilogy for FREE until November 25th.

She was his boss at work and his submissive at all times.
I’d never noticed him before.
He was just a lonely, scared boy when I hired him.
I was too busy to notice the lust in his eyes.
Now I’m at his feet begging for every bit of pleasure and pain he’ll unleash on me.
She enthralled me.
Her body. Her mind. Her wicked laughter and unreadable eyes.
She was out of my league yet I knew what she longed for.
I only had two months to kill her nicotine addiction and make her crave me.
I’d use every trick I had to claim her as mine.

Grab your copy or read on


After some hesitation, I gathered my hair and stared at him with nervous expectation. He smiled warmly and placed the leather against the front of my neck. Powerful shivers went through me as his deft fingers clasped the metal buckle from behind and fastened the collar around my neck. It was wrong on so many levels, such a symbolic act of dehumanization. So why did my pulse race with excitement? At that moment, another, more powerful, awareness stood side by side with the excitement taking control of my mind. Pride and intimacy. As if I truly was a treasured, protected pet who could put her trust and submission in the person holding the leash. Complicated emotions overpowered any resistance in my brain and a lump got stuck in my throat.
Thomas slid his fingers down the inner sides of my wrists. Then he gently pulled them away, letting my hair cascade down my back. He picked up the leather extension of the collar and moved one step back to look at me.
“You look great like this, boss. Consider it part of your uniform while you’re here with me.” When I squirmed with slight discomfort, he tugged on the leather and chuckled. “I know you like it. I saw how your eyes lit up.”
I did. I felt like someone had lifted the burden of the entire week from my shoulders. My mind was overfilled with emotions raging from relief to lust. Shame had no chance to creep in, but how could I put it all into words when my own body still dominated me, demanding release from the fire of my lust?
I hadn’t realized my vision was blurred with tears until Thomas brushed his thumb below my eyelid and wiped them away. He stroked my cheek with a sympathetic expression and whispered,
“There’s no need to say anything, Lina. You’ll figure it out in the process. Just allow yourself to feel now.”





Lilah E. Noir is an author of dark erotic novels and psychological stories. Her work has elements of taboo, seduction and different aspects of the BDSM lifestyle, with a touch of romance and tenderness. If you love flawed characters, submissive alpha females, unconventional dominant heroes, angst, emotional darkness, lots of kinky sex scenes her books might be your kind of pleasure.


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Making a book trailer with Powerpoint: The idiot’s guide #booktrailer

YouTube Book Trailers

Book trailers are a visual marketing tool that can be uploaded onto social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, to help reach out to possible readers. There are many different ways to create videos, and a lot of authors will use video software such as Movie Maker. When it came to making the book trailer for ‘Later’, I looked at all these possibilities, but each one required a licence to be bought. But, while Googling, I came across an article that suggested PowerPoint could be used to create a video using still images. I’m not the most competent of people when it comes to technology, but it worked.

My book trailers are not masterpieces, but they serve the purpose for which they were created. They advertise my books, and I haven’t had to go and spend money on more software.

This chapter follows the making of a book trailer for my contemporary romance novel ‘The Final Straight’.

Start with a Blank Canvas


It might sound obvious to open with a blank screen, but when I first started using PowerPoint I was overwhelmed by all the different designs. I went through most of them, fiddling with various ideas, I did the ‘Take a Tour’… But I was left more confused than I’d started!

I found that by starting with a blank screen, I was able to create the effects that I wanted, without having to figure out how to move that box where.

Title Screen

The opening screen is the first thing that the viewer sees. It’s what draws them. Some people start with pretty pictures, opening lines etc. I prefer to start with an image of the book cover. However, just sticking up a cover of the book might be a bit boring:

As you can see, it has offered design suggestions in the right-hand column, while the left-hand column shows all the individual slides that have been created.

To insert your image, go to the Insert Tab, click picture, and then find the file with the right image that you want to use. You can move it around your screen as you prefer or use one of the design ideas provided.

I like to have a background for my title page, to make it more inviting. Since ‘The Final Straight’ is set on a livery yard, I’ve chosen an image of some horses that I found on and inserted that. As you can see, it again offers me design ideas, however none of them are how I see the final image. Right-click over the image, and it brings up several options, including to send the larger image to the back.


You can then move your book cover around the screen until it’s in the position that you like.

Once you’re happy with the position, you can alter the image to give it a frame to make it stand out even more:


And of course, add a title:


Click Insert, Text Box, and then drag the box to where you want to write your title.  It’s advisable to use a simple font that’s easy to read, and one that’s similar to the one used on your book cover if possible.

You can also add the author’s name, and any useful information such as the release date, price, ASIN / ISBN, website, and any one-line reviews that you’ve received.

Remembering that this is going to be a video, you can also add some animation to the over-laying book cover:


Click on Animations, make sure you’ve clicked on the image / text you want to animate, and choose your poison! Once you’ve chosen how the image / text will appear, you can alter the duration of the animation, and the delay. I would suggest setting duration at 1 second, and delay by 0.5.


The next screen should be an introduction to your book. It’s a good idea to use the blurb that you’ve used on seller sites, websites etc.

To make the second screen, go to Home, New Slide, and Blank.


Using the book cover as an image helps to keep viewers on track as to what the blurb relates to. Add a background image that relates to the story and keep the blurb short and sweet. But don’t write it all in one go. Spread it out over a few screens, so that the video can progress and doesn’t just hop from one image to another.

Using the same image for each sentence / paragraph of the blurb, allows the images to merge neatly into each other, giving a smoother transition.


I do like to use the design ideas during this bit, but again you can fiddle about with the images and backgrounds, to make it how you want it.

The introduction can go over as many slides as you need it to, but two or three is a good number as it doesn’t drag on for too long, but at the same time isn’t over an instant.

The Teaser

The next few slides should be a teaser – an extract from your book.

At this point, you can start looking for stock images that relate to your book, rather than using the book cover. Find a scene that you really enjoy; one that draws in the reader and leaves them wanting more. You could consider your opening scene, or the last few lines of a chapter. For a romance novel, I tend to choose a scene that builds on the relationship between characters.

When choosing images, choose one that could be connected to the scene. If you use images of people, try to make sure they resemble your characters in some way, i.e. same hair colour, same build etc. And the images don’t have to be still – you can use video clips as well.

When laying the images out, you don’t have to use the same image for each section, but it might be an idea to use the same image for two scenes that are linked, such as continuing dialogue.


Use images that draw on an emotive response. For instance, if the scene is heart-wrenching, don’t be afraid to find some dramatic pictures, or if it’s an erotic scene, using erotic photographs. Although do be aware of social media restrictions. To be used on sites such as Facebook and YouTube, images should be suitable for anyone over the age of 13.

The final image should be powerful, leaving your readers with a hook.


Sales Pitch

You’ve teased the reader, now give them the sales pitch. What format is the book available in? Where can they buy it? How much is it?

Make sure if you use a background image at this stage that you make it slightly transparent, or with a large void space so that it doesn’t detract from the information you want to get across to the readers.

If you want to transition text, revealing small bits of information at a time, duplicate the images:


Click Home, New Slide, and go down to Duplicate Selected Slides, then add further information as necessary.

And don’t forget to animate important information that you want to pop out to your reader!


The Final Word

After the sales pitch, dropping in one more line from the book can tantalise the reader into wanting to know more. Use a couple of slides to transition from picture to text, and don’t forget to include the book cover.


You should also have a final page that simply lists your books details such as ASIN / ISBN, website, and of course appropriate attributions.



Now you have all your images and text together, go back and make sure that everything is as you need it.

To add music, go to your first slide, click Insert and go down to Audio, and Audio on my PC.


Choose music that you are legally allowed to use, such as – a website that provides royalty free music that can be used on book trailers as long as you attribute them accordingly.

The music you use should be appropriate to your book. It’s no good choosing fast or classical music if it’s a slow, romantic scene that you’re promoting. Equally, easy listening piano music wouldn’t suit an action scene.

Once you have chosen your music, add it to the slideshow.


Click Play in Background and make sure the Play Across Slides box is ticked.

To make sure the slideshow runs automatically, go to Transitions, Advance Slide, and check the After box, adding in how many seconds you want between slides – 5 seconds is a good call. Click Apply to All.


Check that everything works by reviewing it. Go to Slide Show, and down to Play From Beginning:


If the audio clip is too long for your slideshow, right click on the icon and go to Trim, moving it to how long your video clip is.



Time to save! Save as a slideshow in the usual way. To make it into a video, go File, Export, Create a Video, ensure it’s saving in HD, and click Create Video! It really is that simple.


PowerPoint saves videos as an MP4 file, which is compatible with sites such as YouTube, and can easily be uploaded.

And that’s it!

Creating a book trailer doesn’t need to be daunting, and once you’ve done it, it’s something you can do over and over again for future books.

Fiddle, play, learn, and have fun!


ABC Destiny

Ian D Smith

I’m posting this to help fellow author Val Portelli publicise her recently republished novella ABC Destiny.

ABC Destiny by [Portelli, Val]

It’s the story of six characters and how their lives become entwined by destiny with unexpected results. After being deserted by her lover when she falls pregnant, Delphine loses the baby and goes to work for an unsavoury character with a villainous reputation. Many years later, she is reflecting on what might have been when fate reveals the connection between her, the three girls and the two men who were involved in her past.

The three girls (the A, B and C in the title) were from very different backgrounds; Abigail from a comfortable, middle-class home, Beatrice manipulated the system in an endeavour to escape a life of poverty, and Cecelia had a pampered upbringing where her every wish was indulged by doting parents.

The chapters are told in the voices of the…

View original post 696 more words

Social media and the spotlight: Advice for new authors

Social media is a necessary evil.

As an author, I rely heavily on social media to reach out to readers. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are my preferred sites, but there are others that occasionally visit. Anyone who is friends with me on Facebook will know that my page is open all day, hovering in the background, distracting me from writing. Publishers suggest that authors, particularly debut authors, set up social media accounts so that we can interact with the public, and put ourselves in the spotlight. They also strongly suggest that you use a Facebook page rather than an account, so that your account can remain personal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work like that.

Once you put yourself in the public eye, your life is under scrutiny. I’m not a best-selling author (yet), and I am by no means famous or have celebrity-status of any kind, but I still have to be careful about what I post on my personal pages, because it can come back and bite me in the backside. And that’s exactly what happened yesterday. Not to me, but to another author.

This particular author made some hateful comments regarding the LGBT+ community, saying she’d “beat the gay” out of her sons. She bragged about how she was raised by a racist, homophobic member of the biker community, and that’s how she’d raised her sons – to think that it’s wrong to be in love with someone of the same gender, or a different race. This is a woman who also calls herself Wiccan with Native American blood. She made all of these comments on her personal page.

I’m not friends with this woman, in fact I blocked her as soon as her name came into the light because I have no time for hate like that. The only reason I found out about it is because someone who was friends with her took a screen shot of the comments and posted them publicly.

This woman, an author, has now lost numerous “friends”, contacts in the industry, and readers due to comments she made on a private account.

I have no sympathy with her. We must all pay the price of our actions. However, it made me think…

My publishers have said use a page to connect with readers, keep your account private. Do not make statements on your page that could deter readers, keep it on your private account. Yet, there is nothing private about social media. This woman made those comments on her private account, and readers still saw them.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. I’ve blocked other authors who have made similar comments. I know of other authors who have had their careers destroyed because of one status update. I know of authors who have lost traditional publishing contracts because of rants on social media.

So, my advice to any debut author is this: Make those accounts. But don’t for one second think that your private account is private. Be mindful of the comments you make. Anyone can take a screenshot and share it. We all have bad days. We all have days where we need to rant. But, it will only take one inappropriate status update to label you as a “badly behaving author” and ruin your career.