Sun, sea, sand and hot, hot stories! #BeachHolidays #EroticRomance #eBooks #Mallorca

sunset

I’ve just returned from a fabulous family holiday in Mallorca (or Majorca, however you want to spell it), and feel so relaxed it’s ridiculous. Not only did I get some quality time with Hubby and the two sproglings, but I also conquered a fear or two, and read FIVE book – count ’em, FIVE. Okay, so four of them were more novellas than full-on books, but they still count!

When we arrived at Iberostar Club Cala Barca, it was early evening and after we’d unpacked and eaten, we headed for the beach. The hotel is set in it’s own private Cala, and at sunset is so quiet and peaceful, and beautiful. While the kids paddled, I sat back on the sand and soaked it all in. For months I’d been planning this holiday, packing, ensuring passports and insurances were all up-to-date, having panic attacks about all sorts of possible scenarios (the kids drowning or being kidnapped being the two most common), and we were finally there. So far, no incidents.

beach

Before we left, I asked for recommendations to download onto my Kindle, and was inundated with suggestions. Kindle loaded with a range of books from erotica to paranormal, I settled myself into the holiday.

I have a fear of the sea – well not the sea per se, but being out of my depth with things touching my legs. It comes after a few incidents at the beach stemming back to my childhood, when holidaying in Wales I was playing in the sea and a big wave crashed over me, leaving me with worm-like eels in my hair. Follow that with a honeymoon in Mexico, snorkelling three miles off-shore, with heatstroke and nearly drowning, and my fear was set in. So while Hubby took the kids out to look at the pretty silver fish swimming over the rocks, I unfolded a towel and started working on my tan. I was soon joined by a shark (originally named Sharky by Boy-Child).

Over the period of three days I managed to read four books in Tirgearr Publishing’s City Nights Series, a series I have two books in myself. I read Rome, New Orleans, San Francisco and Amsterdam, and for a while Hubby thought he was married to my Kindle.

In between reading books, we moved around the hotel and tried various pools. But while the children swam and played, I read and drank. Club Cala Barca is an all-inclusive hotel and so plenty of cocktails were consumed, including a Caipirinha de Fresa and many, many Pina Coladas! Of course the children stuck to raspberry and cola slushies. Food was plentiful as well, and I think I may have consumed my weight in paella.

food

During one day by the beach though, I was all on my own, reading my Kindle, when a ball came screaming through the air and landed by my side, narrowly missing my whiter-than-white stomach. The gorgeous dad who’d been playing with his son, apologised profusely, and inspiration struck! WIP5 is currently being worked on… This did not go down well with the family, who now not only believe they’ve lost me to my books, but also to my notepad. Well of course I always carry one with me, I am a writer after all!

writing

To apologise to the small-people, I decided to bite the bullet and get in the water. The pool was first. We found one close to the bars and restaurants, with a shallow end for me to dip my toe in. Bloody hell it was cold! But soon, I was splashing and playing with the children, book forgotten. We needed to dry off though, so I sent hubby into the pool, switched the Kindle back on and read book number 5 – a paranormal romance ‘Shadows of Jane’ by Amy Hale.

pool

And then came the conquering of fears. I really should try my hand at snorkelling. And I did! Complete with lilo to keep me afloat, and mask, I went out of my depth, stuck my head in the water and swam with the fishes. GO ME!

But the week is over now, and we’re back home. It took getting up at 4.30am, a 2 hour bus-journey, queuing at Palma, a 2 hour flight (delayed by an hour), and a 2 hour drive from Cardiff to Somerset, but we are home. I’m less white than I was – although unlike Girl-Child who goes brown just looking at the sun, I’m a red-head and it’s more a case of freckles joining together.

freckles

And so begins work on WIP5, and planning next year’s holiday…

All reviews can be read on my latest blog: heartthrobs.wordpress.com 

The hotel review will be available on my TripAdvisor account shortly.

Tomorrow is the day…

City Nights: One Night in Edinburgh

IS RELEASED TOMORROW!!

One Night in Edinburghby Charlotte Howard - 200

It’s all over Facebook and Twitter that tomorrow is an important day in publishing, because Sylvia Day’s next Crossfire novel is out, and I am just as excited as the other Gideon Cross fans. But, for me, tomorrow is more important because it is also the release date of my first short erotic story, One Night in Edinburgh, a part of Tirgearr Publishing’s City Night series.

It was a challenge to write. The brief was to pick a city, anywhere in the world that hasn’t been a part of the series already, and write a short story / novella of around 25k words. It must be a contemporary erotic tale that takes place over a period of 12 – 24 hours. I already knew that I would choose Edinburgh. It’s one of my favourite cities to visit, and I have some great memories of time spent there. The problem was to have a whole day spread over 25,000 words! If you’ve read any of my other books you’ll know that a day usually takes up two or three chapters, perhaps four or five depending on the scene. That works out around 7,500 words – nowhere near the 25k guideline!

Once I sat down and thought about the story though, it flowed. I wrote the entire first draft in the space of three days. It took a while longer to edit and polish, but by the end of the month I had a novella that I was happy to submit.

The Story:

The story centres around Chloe Shade, who has travelled to Edinburgh in order to meet with a potential client. Lowe ‘n Beholden are one of the adult shops, and Chloe’s company is desperate to get their line of sex toys stocked with them. Unfortunately the travel arrangements didn’t take Chloe’s fear of flying into account. It’s on the plane that she meets Ethan, a sexy American who takes her completely by surprise. It’s not long before Chloe is seduce by his charm and ends up in his car, bed, and everywhere else he can get her. But there are bigger surprises to come and Chloe will have 24 hours to make some life-changing decisions.

Review:

“This is a short erotica novella that will only take most readers about an hour to read, but it is packed with hot and steamy scenes of making love….

…Considering how much had to be done for the set up and plot, then adding in the needed love scenes (because all good romances these days have hot private times written in), I believe the author has done an outstanding job with this tale. Charlotte Howard has a talent for storytelling and I will be keeping a close eye on her in the future.”

Read the full review by Huntress Reviews here.

Buy Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Smashwords

Smashwords Series Link

Apple iBook

Kobo

Nook

Tirgearr Publishing

Charlotte’s Website

Extract from Four Letter Words

Read Seven Dirty Words? Continue Paige’s story with…

Four Letter Words

FLW2

Nightmares teased and taunted me that night. Great hulking beasts tore away at my skin. Their gnarled fingers with long, scratching talons, tore at my flesh. I tried to scream, but they had stolen my voice. Breathless, I struggled onward, down the twisting path of infinite darkness. Cackles and howls surrounded me, flooding my senses. I tripped over my own confusion. Even on this one road, with no other way to turn, I knew that I was lost. Everything was lost.

  I scrambled on, clawing my way up the path. My body was heavy, forcing me down as though gravity had increased. It was impossible to stand. I dragged myself through the muck, tears streaming down my face, creating a sea beneath me. If I didn’t find my way home, I was going to drown in my own sorrow.

  The beasts continued to harangue me, spitting putrid bile in my way. I felt sick. I could taste the acrid stomach acid building in the back of my mouth. I gagged on my humility. But nothing was freed. I kept heaving, hoping to relieve some of the weight, make myself lighter so that I could stand.

  Then he was there. TDS stood in front of me. He loomed over my pitiful frame, towering as though he were twenty feet tall, a resolute statue of demanding respect. His stare as pitch black as my surroundings. Soulless.

  “Please help,” I tried to say. But my mouth wouldn’t move. “I’m sorry.” Still no words could be heard.

  An unknown force flipped me over. Invisible restraints held my wrists flat against the cold, hard ground. The ocean of tears soaked through what skin remained. Dirt crawled up my body like tiny insects. I struggled. But against what? There was nobody there.

  TDS was gone, and in his place, a callous reminder of my past. 

***

REVIEWS:

If you loved the first one then buy the second you won’t be disappointed!”  

The book pulled me in from the beginning and kept me on my toes throughout.”

A brilliantly written book is a must read…”

BUY LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble

Waterstones

Rocking Horse Publishing

Today’s the Day!

FOUR LETTER WORDS IS RELEASED TODAY!

It’s been a long year, but the day has arrived. Four Letter Words will be available for sale as soon as America wakes up. You can order it directly from Rocking Horse Publishing, and in print or in e-book format from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, and most other places that sell books. (No doubt it will be on eBay as well at some point!)

FLW2

Original Concept

FLWCover-PDF

Final Front Cover

But don’t forget – you can’t read this until you’ve read Seven Dirty Words!!

I only hope that it lives up to expectation. I look forward to hearing and reading your reviews!

Hello 2014!

2013 was a rollercoaster year. I went from being a freelance writer and housewife to a published author. I took part in literary festivals, did my first ever book signing, saw my name listed on the Waterstones’ website, and watched my book hit the top 1% of sales on Amazon Kindle, before plummeting down and then soaring back up. I finished writing the sequel, as well as a third (unrelated)  short novel, and starting a fourth. I was featured on several blogs that are highly sought after by new authors and gave interviews to newspapers and a radio station. Suddenly I was no longer “Rebecca and William’s Mum” in the playground – I was Charlotte Howard, the romance novelist.

But it wasn’t just my professional life that was a whirlwind. My personal life has seen some dramatic changes as well. One of the happiest moments had to be the birth of my nephew in April. I can’t describe how happy we all were to welcome him into the world. Unfortunately, as with everything in this world – balance is needed, and 2013 also saw the death of my grandad, someone I admired and loved with all my heart.

September brought more pride and happiness though, when my son started primary school. With him being my second child, I was prepared for it, and managed to go the whole day without shedding tears. It was a bit odd to begin with, not having him sat on top of me while I tried to write, or clinging to my leg while I did the housework, but seeing how he has blossomed and proved his intelligence makes it all worth while.

For Christmas, we went up to see the Nottingham side of the family. We also discovered that a week is not enough time to travel around the Notts / Lincs / Derby counties to see absolutely everyone. But nevertheless, it is certainly going in the books as one of the best Christmases we’ve had. Despite the empty metaphorical chairs, there were plenty of physical bums on seats. I was able to reminisce with my cousins about times gone by, and watch as my children were spoiled by their aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins.

It’s definitely been a noisy year, and even seeing in 2014 didn’t go by quietly. Somerset is one of the many counties currently suffering due to the relentless wind and rain. Okay, so it’s nothing compared to the storms that are seen around the world, but we’re a small island and not prepared for floods! (Although we really should be since it happens every year). So as I write this, and plan for 2014, I am also wondering how the heck I am going to get out of the village since the roads are all closed either due to a severe amount of water, fallen trees, or landslips.

FLW

2014 promises to be just as exciting. Starting this month, I will be working tirelessly with my publisher and her amazing team of editors and designers to get the long anticipated Four Letter Words published. Once it is out, the work continues as we do the marketing and advertising – hopefully with more interviews lined up. (Make sure you check out my website: http://www.charlottehowardauthor.co.uk for all updates.)

But Four Letter Words isn’t the only book I wrote last year. I also wrote a shorter novel (currently without a title), which is in need of editing and hopefully publishing. I’m also currently about a third of the way through a fourth novel (currently entitled The Black Door), and have every intention of writing yet more novels. And here’s a small exclusive – I will be adopting the pen name of Lark Dumas and writing a fantasy series. (More on that when it actually happens.)

I will be attending more events as well this year, with Smut  by the Sea already booked. I am also hoping to get a book signing event set up in South Somerset at some point. (email: Charlotte@Charlottehowardauthor.co.uk if you are interested in helping me out there!!)

And what of my personal life? Well, I start working as a midday supervisor for a local school as from Monday. And R W Books has not been forgotten – the business plan is still being created, and the money is still being saved. I also have friends getting married and having babies, so lots of exciting times ahead.

As always, I have made a list of New Years Resolutions. The top one is the same as each year; cut down on the takeaways, eat more healthily, and start exercising. **Scoffs** Yeah, like that will actually happen. But it’s the 2nd of January and we haven’t given in yet, which is further than we get most years. My main resolution though, is to focus more on my family and appreciate what I have.

Following the death of someone I went to school with, only a few weeks before Christmas, I came to realise just how short and fragile life is. For the past 7 years I’ve been saying “We’ll go back to Jersey and grab that drink.” We never did get that drink, and now it’s too late. Yes, we have long-term plans and goals, but we’re also going to live for the moment. No more moaning about things we’re unwilling to change. No more putting things off until tomorrow. 2014 is about living for today.