Out Now—A Werewolf State of Mind by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #PNR #shifter #werewolf #romance

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Blurb:

Anneke’s typical day at the office is thrown into disarray when she finds her next patient is an unwitting werewolf. And it doesn’t end there.

From the moment Caleb Kitt walks into Doctor Anneke Lund’s office for his psychiatry session, she knows his problem isn’t mental. He’s been experiencing night terrors, having violent and bloodthirsty dreams, and waking up naked in strange places. But he’s not losing his mind, as he suspects. He’s actually a werewolf—he just doesn’t know it yet.

Anneke isn’t just a psychiatrist—she’s also an empath, meaning she can read minds, and influence thoughts and behavior. She rarely uses her powers, but recognizes she may have no other choice as Caleb must be convinced of his supernatural status before the next full moon arrives. When it does, though, she finds herself going way beyond her duty of care to ensure Caleb doesn’t hurt or kill anyone when he transforms. But at what cost?

Please note: A Werewolf State of Mind was previously published in Coming in Hot: Rescue Me boxed set.

Available from: https://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/a-werewolf-state-of-mind/

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Excerpt:

The intercom buzzed. “Anneke?” came the voice of her receptionist, Ellen. “Your one-thirty is here.”

Anneke pressed the button to respond. “Thanks, Ellen. Send him in.”

“Will do.”

Anneke took a moment—knowing she had a few as her patient made his way from the reception area, down the short corridor and to her office—to pull up and glance at his notes on her computer. There wasn’t much information, since he was a new patient, but there was a brief description he’d given of the problem, which had spurred him on to book the psychiatric consultation with her in the first place.

Caleb Kitt was a thirty-five-year-old personal trainer who, in his own words, thought he was losing his damn mind. He was experiencing night terrors, having violent and bloodthirsty dreams, and waking up in strange places—certainly not where he’d gone to bed.

A multitude of potential diagnoses popped into Anneke’s head, but she refused to jump to any conclusions. There was no way to know for sure what his problem was, not without speaking to him, hearing his story, finding out more. And if she struggled to get to the root of his issues using traditional methods, there was always her back up plan.

Anneke was an empath. Her unique talents comprised of mind reading, mild mind control, and being able to sense supernatural creatures. However, using those talents was always a last resort. She preferred to do things the right way, the way she had been trained to in her years at medical school. It felt like cheating otherwise, and she couldn’t help feeling it was unethical to tap into people’s brains without their knowledge or consent.

For the vast majority of the time, she didn’t have to use her gifts—just her skill and hard-earned education. But occasionally—very occasionally—when a patient wasn’t being forthcoming, or their problem proved elusive, tricky to diagnose, she would reluctantly tap into her powers. Rather that than have a patient suffer unnecessarily, when she had the tools to help them. This fine balancing act between using her paranormal abilities and her training and education made her an incredibly effective psychiatrist, and she had to be incredibly careful not to come across as too good, too quick at diagnosing patients, otherwise she’d attract attention for all the wrong reasons. She dreaded to think what would happen if people found out what she could do.

There came a knock at the door.

“Come in!” she called, minimizing all the programs on her computer screen, activating the screen saver, then getting to her feet.

The door opened, and a tentative looking, but incredibly handsome man entered the room. To her surprise, a millisecond later her gifts kicked in and she realized what his problem was—he was a werewolf. And he clearly didn’t have a clue.

She frequently sensed other supernatural creatures when she was out and about—in the street, the supermarket, the cinema. But this was the first time she’d ever had one walk in to her office, as a patient. This was going to be interesting, to say the least.

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Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

 

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

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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.

About

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How I knew he was a keeper #Romance #Love #Marriage

It’s a little known truth that I met Hubby through Lycos Chat. (That’s a chat-room on the internet, just in case there is anyone here from pre-2003. We didn’t have such things as Facebook, Twitter or Tinder back then!) For two years we chatted. I only knew him by his screen-name “Vodkaprince”, and I was known as “Shy_Tiger”. (Hence my Twitter name.) We also had really dodgy photos on our profile pages. So dodgy that I believe they have been “lost”, which means that I can’t share them with you. Damn.

But I looked something like this:

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Anyway… After a couple of years, Vodkaprince started bugging me to meet up IRL. Meet up?! Really?! But you could be a mad-axe murderer! I kept putting him off, faking illnesses a few days before we were due to meet, that sort of thing. But eventually I gave in. I was 20 and working as a veterinary nursing student in Lincoln at the time, so we agreed that he would meet me at the surgery. When he turned up, I was not at my best. I had the world’s dodgiest perm, no makeup, and we had just operated on a cat that had resulted in me being sprayed in blood, whilst wearing my ever-so-sexy uniform of trousers and a baggy polo T-shirt. We were running late, so I asked if he wouldn’t mind coming back later. (My flatmate had already warned me not to leave him alone in the flat in case he stole her hi-fi system. Again, it’s 2003. We didn’t have smartphones and iPods.)

A few hours later he returned.

You know that saying: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”? Well it goes for women as well. Rich turned up with three bags of shopping, a huge bunch of flowers and the biggest Easter egg you have ever seen. (It was April 2003.) And then he said those words that every woman wants to hear: “I’m going to cook dinner.” I could have swooned right there and then.

The vet and the receptionist started discussing whether it was love or lust. The vet (male) said it was definitely love, while the receptionist (female) said it was lust, we hadn’t known each other long enough. I can promise you, the moment I realised he had filled my fridge and freezer (I was a poor, lowly student vet nurse), it was most definitely love.

pizza

He did pizza that night – simple enough. And we watched Top Gear. It wasn’t overly romantic, but I was on call, so we couldn’t drink. The next day (Sunday), I had to go down to the surgery and check on all the animals. I broke my flatmate’s rule and let him stay unattended (to be fair, the flat was above the surgery). I came up at lunch time to find he had cooked lamb chops with curly kale, roast potatoes, and some other veg. I don’t know why I remember the curly kale and roast potatoes, but I do. Probably carrots. Whatever, it was delicious, and yup. I was DEFINITELY in love.

He was romantic, he could cook, he cleaned up afterwards, AND, as the next day was Bank Holiday Monday and I wasn’t on duty, he even came over to meet my family – on the third day of our relationship. Three days, and he met my mum, step-dad, two younger sisters, and my grandparents.

He was a keeper.

Why I can’t sell for toffee

Just recently I have been inundated with requests and queries regarding the formats my books are available in. The majority of them are only available as an eBook, in fact the only book available in paperback is Taking Care of Leah, and even then, this is on a “Print on Demand” (or POD) service. I knew that my books had to reach a certain criteria before being available in print, so I emailed my publisher at Tirgearr Publishing what that criteria was, and she came back with a detailed and interesting response. It was pretty lengthy, but the gist of it was that each book has to sell 180 copies within a set period of time before it will be considered for print, and that we should all consider writing as a business, and treat it as such.. Absolutely fine, I understand that. But my problem (which I have blogged about before) is that I am a writer, not a saleswoman.

My college course was on Equine Business Management, meaning I  am qualified to run a riding school and livery yard. And the business management part of that course was limited – I essentially spent one day a week for two years, mucking out stables, clipping horses, and creating posters on different types of rug. Hubby however, is a salesman. And a damn good one. Unfortunately, he sells ink cartridges, printers and laptops. He does not sell books, and he hasn’t ever read a romance novel, so while he can give me a few pointers, he doesn’t have the contacts to really push. But yeah… pointers… How do you treat writing as a business? Particularly when you have a limited budget of like… zilch.

Communicate with your readers

Sign up to every single bit of social media going. I’ve done that. I have a Facebook account that readers / writers are welcome to friend, a Facebook page, Twitter account, Linked In, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, a website, and obviously this blog. I’m active on Facebook (perhaps a little too active), and Twitter, and I try to keep this blog and my website up-to-date. I both loathe and love Instagram, but the rest of my social media accounts are hit-and-miss.

It’s also been suggested that I sign up to forums. Sadly, I’ve had a lot of bad experiences when it comes to forums, particularly those associated with Goodreads. One of which ended up with me being labelled as a “Badly Behaving Author” and having numerous blogs and posts dedicated to slating my name – all because one woman that I used to work with, got a bee in her bonnet because I quit my job before the company could go bust and leave me redundant. Plus, I get totally confused and forget what I’ve posted where. My small brain is not capable of living inside internet forums. I was a member of a chat room back in the late 90s / early 00s, and that ended up with me meeting some weird bloke, who I then married and had kids with. (We’re still married. I love him really.)

I also have the issue of connecting with my target audience. Apparently, my target audience is women between the ages of 25 and 50 years old, most of my readers will be married or separated, and have children. Apparently. Which is great – because that’s what I am! I read books, I’m married, I’m in my 30s, and I have children! Except I’ve always struggled to relate to women in my peer group. Even stood in the playground, I tend to talk to the dads more than the mums, or just stand in the corner, with my one friend having a moan about kids, money, and the weather. Introverts with anxiety issues do not socialise.

Network, network, network

As well as being active on Facebook, and being “friends” with hundreds of authors and hundreds of readers, I am a very active member of Yeovil Creative Writers, and have recently looked into joining a group a little bit closer to home. It’s all about networking. And it does work. If I hadn’t gone to the Festival of Romance a few years ago, I would never have met Lucy Felthouse, and in turn wouldn’t have thought about submitting to Tirgearr Publishing or writing for their City Nights series. I also wouldn’t have “met” all the people I have, or gone to the Smut.UK weekends and actually, physically, met some amazing writers. So networking does work, but it doesn’t necessarily result in sales.

Sadly, networking and attending events like Smut.UK, Festival of Romance etc. usually requires money for travel, hotels, food etc. And money is not something I have an abundance of at the moment.

It’s also very difficult to network as a contemporary / erotic romance author when there is still so much taboo around the subject of sex. I’ve personally experienced being disowned, ignored, and looked down on because I’ve mentioned the fact that I enjoy writing graphic sex scenes. I do feel stuck between genres. For erotica events, I am too contemporary. For romance events, I am too erotic. And then there is the fact that I can’t do book signings, because I don’t have any paperbacks to sign. Rock. Hard place.

Marketing, publicity and promoting

There are several companies that I would recommend using to marketing and publicise work: Writer Marketing, GoddessFish, BookBub,  and eBookSoda being a few of them. But, yet again, they cost money. BookBub in particular is quite expensive, although does result in sales. However, for most of these it is usually a good idea to reduce your book’s price to 99c / 99p, and unfortunately books sold that are on promotion do not count towards the 180 quota I need to get them into paperback. So while Seven Dirty Words did outsell the likes of Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series and EL James’ FSOG for a couple of days, it did so while it was on sale, and not at full price.

Facebook groups are obviously free to use, but how many of those actually result in sales? By my experience, not at all. And then there is the risk of being blocked and reported for spamming. (21 days in Facebook jail is not fun when you’re a FB addict!) But you can promote posts with both Facebook and Twitter. I’ve done this and feel that it was a waste of money. I may have reached over 1,000 people according to the statistics, but I didn’t sell a single book during that time.

SEO values and hashtags

There is a trick to getting SEO values and hashtags right, one I have not mastered yet. If I had, then my social media would be getting a lot more hits than they are! I’m a self-confessed technophobe. I know how to use popular areas of the internet, and Microsoft Word. I can’t even use Excel, never mind get to grips with ensuring that my website is attracting the correct traffic!

Money and socialising

That’s what it all comes down to. Having the money to push into titles to promote the hell out of them, and the ability to socialise and talk to actual real-life people. Neither of which I have.

Don’t feel sorry for me though. I’m skint because I have two small people who depend on me to provide them with food and a roof, and because my world revolves around them, I have the bad habit of spoiling them rotten. So the chances are that I will be skint until the day they leave home. (Ten years until university…)

Socialising, as I’ve mentioned before, is a problem for me, because I am not comfortable around people. I have qualifications in animal-related subjects because I can talk to a cat or a dog with ease, whereas people scare the living hell out of me.

So as you can see, I am doing my best as making my writing a business, but struggle on a daily basis, because, well… Yes, it is a business, it really is. I tried working in sales once, and got fired. For being crap at it. And when you get fired by your own husband for being unable to make money, then it’s probably safe to assume that sales is an area to avoid in the future! I am a writer, not a saleswoman.

 

 

Guest blog by Daithi Kavanagh (@Daithik3)

How Reading Helps my Writing

Recently I have noticed I have been finding it more and more difficult to write. I am on my third book of The Tadhg  Sullivan Series. Up until now my writing has flowed along at a fairly steady pace. Yet this winter, because I am in third level education I have noticed my ability to write wane. Initially I panicked thinking that the pool of imagination that drives my stories had dried up. Then one night after giving up on trying to write a new chapter in my latest book, I went down to the bookshelf in my living room and picked out a book I thought I might enjoy. I was only a few pages into it when I found I couldn’t read another word.

Was the same fatigue that was affecting my writing now affecting my reading as well?

Panic gripped me! Here were two of the things I loved doing, starting to feel like they were becoming a chore. What could I do to get out of this rut? I went back to the bookshelf and took out another book, this time in the same genre in which I write. The book was “Headhunters” by Jo Nesbo. Initially I found it hard to get into but I persevered. And like with my writing my perseverance was rewarded. The book began to grip me. I’ll be forever grateful to Jo Nesbo for writing this book, as shortly afterwards I began to write fluidly again. My enthusiasm returned and as with Nesbo’s book my writing began to speed up, as I was eager to find out what was going to happen next. These are the moments when I know my writing is going in the right direction, when I am feeling excited about the direction the book is taking.

For me, writing is not a formula. It is not something that I can always plot and steer in the direction I would like it to go. Instead, the characters often take on a life of their own and I just go with them. Tadhg Sullivan is one of those characters who will always do his own thing and forces me as his creator to travel the road that he chooses.

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The Gun

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NU8MDTA

http://amzn.to/150nxrL

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/480887

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gun-tadhg-sullivan-mystery/id924662452

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http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gun-daithi-kavanagh/1120426981

https://www.amazon.com/author/daithikavanagh

The Brotherhood

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00USBGLJU

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00USBGLJU

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/528030

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/brotherhood-tadhg-sullivan/id977708227?mt=11

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-brotherhood-a-tadhg-sullivan-mystery-book-2

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-brotherhood-daithi-kavanagh/1121480796