Saturday, November 18, 2017

Win a Kindle Fire and a $50 Amazon Gift Card! (#sale #99cents #Preorder #Win #KindleFire #amazon #kobo)

YOU'LL ENJOY THIS ONE! 


Limited time at #99cents during #preorder #NewRelease #paranormalromance #vampires #shifters #gargoyles, oh my!

#NaughtyBeasts#NaughtyLiterati on #Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077K5PPNY


.99 PREORDER ON AMAZON - LIMTED TIME... HURRY!

OR SIGN UP for our Naughty Beasts Review Tour to get a FREE copy of Naughty Beasts and a chance to WIN a $50 Gift Card with your early review!




REVIEW TOUR SIGN UP NOW FOR A CHANCE AT A $50 AMAZON CARD!

AND we are still taking sign ups for the Phantasia Review Tour!





And TWO (2) chances to WIN a KindleFire LOADED with Naughty Literati books INCLUDING:

Naughty Beasts!







and Naughty Phantasia!









AND DON'T FORGET... NAUGHTY GETAWAYS is 40% off on KOBO until Nov. 20 with promo code at check out!

Naughty Getaways: Eleven Sultry Stories
Box Set promo on Kobo!

40% off with promo code 40BOX includes Contemporary, Fantasy, Historical, Magic, New Adult, Older Woman/Younger Man, Paranormal, Rubenesque, Sci-Fi, Stepbrother, Threesome Romance from best-selling authors writing as The Naughty Literati!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Love Regency Romance? Here's a Great One! (#RegencyRomance)

Will he choose love or honor?

Orphaned Kate Scoville is trapped in a tower prison by her scheming uncle, who plans to wed her to his loathsome son in order to gain control of her fortune. Plucky and resourceful, Lady Kate escapes to London to ask for help from her guardian. She's sure the elderly Earl of Devere will help her in her plight.

Kate is astounded to find that the Earl has died, and his son has become her guardian.

Quinn, the present Earl, remembers Kate from his childhood as an awkward child he loved to taunt and tease. But now his ward has grown into a beautiful young woman. Though honor prevents Quinn from making Kate his, their attraction is irresistible…

Will Kate tempt Quinn into abandoning honor? Will the wicked uncle trap Kate, compromise her and steal her fortune?

First published as Hopelessly Compromised by Kensington/Zebra Books. Winner of the Beacon Award for Best Historical Romance.

What readers said about previous editions:

Five Stars! Regency Romance is Alive!
--B. Berry

Five Stars! Thoroughly Engaging Regency Romp
--Catherine Cavendish

Five Stars!
--Pandora

Five Stars! …so charming and lively…
--ldsfrost

Five Stars! Regency at Its Best!
--Judith Dedek

Here’s a snippet to pique your interest:

Kate smiled at Quinn. "I believe I've won your prize, my lord."

"So what shall you demand of me, sweet Kate?"

She tipped her head to one side and regarded him, still flirting with her eyes, her smile. He could tell she was nervous, yet expectant. He did not know if he should encourage her.

"I'm not quite sure yet." She touched the tip of her tongue to her upper lip. "What do you have to give me, my lord?"

His voice rasped in his throat. "Quinn. Please, call me Quinn."

"My lord Quinn," she said, with just a trace of mocking good humor in her tone.

"Kate," he said, taking her chin gently between his long, strong fingers. She quivered slightly but did not pull away as he stroked her cheek. Her response rippled through her body as he drew her into his arms.

Yes. The first kiss was as sweet as he had known it would be. For a few moments, he forgot why he had denied his desire, and hers, for so long.

As he touched his lips to hers, it was as though a spark flashed between them, igniting their emotions. Their mouths caressed and danced. When his tongue sought admission, she did not refuse him entry. He groaned as his embrace tightened, pulling her onto his lap. She reached up, touching his shoulders, tentatively at first, then with more confidence as their kiss deepened. Her arms wound around his neck as he held her close. He could feel her breasts, barely confined by the flimsy muslin, pressing against his chest. Her heartbeat was quick as a rabbit's, and knowing she was excited aroused him all the more.

When they finally parted he regarded her with amazement. "My darling Kate. Where did you learn to kiss like that?"

Want to score a copy? 

Buy links:




(and why Smashwords, you ask? You can purchase any format you please there, and we authors get a bigger cut of the profits. So...Go, Smashwords!)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

What's in a name? Lots! (#iamwriting #MFRWAuthor #NaNoWriMo)

I'm sure I'm not the first writer to blog about the significance of names, nor will I be the last. There's even a wiki about choosing character names! 

Authors carefully choose names. Why?

First, the right name must fit in with your story. Tolkien wouldn't have called one of his characters John Smith--John wouldn't fit in with Bilbo Baggins or Galadriel. 

Secondly, some names are so famous that popular references have attached. Don't name a character Adolf, Madonna, Elvis or Marilyn--that choice will jar a reader right out of the story, and that's the last thing that an author wants. We want to keep the reader immersed in the wonderful, engrossing world we've created.

http://a.co/4qStMAR
But an author can use that to her advantage. In Spy Game, my hero is named Richard Rexford--a conscious aping of Robert Redford. Richard is also a handsome, athletic blond, and I wanted readers to make the association.  

contains Ocean Dreams and
Viking in Tartan

http://a.co/ftMIDIO
Few readers picked it up, but I named a character in Ocean Dreams Sandi Ricks, after a character in the old Flipper TV show--Ocean Dreams is about a very unusual dolphin.

Also, I try to avoid too many names in a story that start with the same letter, which will confuse a reader, especially if there are a lot of characters introduced quickly. Avoid Martin and Maria, Barbara and Bobby, Jane and Jenny.

I avoid names that are unpronounceable. Readers don't only look at words on the page, but their minds are reading to them. When I as a reader encounter an odd name, I find myself falling out of the book and trying to figure out how the name is pronounced. So I avoid Gaelic names that are confusing. None of my characters will ever be named Airdsgainne or Slaibhin. In futuristics or sci-fi, one often encounters names with accents or apostrophes in odd paces. Avoid these. They distract and may even annoy a reader. 

http://a.co/5d9XZCD
Every name has an intrinsic meaning. Dickens was famous for his interesting names, which often reflected characters' personalities. The Artful Dodger is only too obvious. Esther Summerson (Bleak House) is one of Dickens' most lovely characters, lightening one of his longest and yes, most bleak books. Stryver in A Tale of Two Cities is, indeed, an ambitious striver.

I often take my cues from Dickens. In a book I wrote for Harlequin/Silhouette, The Ranger and the Rescue, the heroine calls herself Serenity Clare, a name she chose for herself after she left an abusive husband. She pursues serenity and clarity in her life.

The hero of Viking in Tartan, Erland Blodson, is a warrior and also a vampire. The name Erland means "leader." Blodson is also obvious.

http://a.co/hkRzRa9
In my memoir, Perilous Play, I had to rename a man I know in order to protect his privacy. I chose the name Trapper Hart.

It wasn't a very good relationship.

http://a.co/7i0JVmo
I also look at the sounds of names. In Queen of Shadow, a futuristic, I created a name--Storne--for my hero, using a lot of strong-sounding consonants. 

If you're a writer, how do you choose names?

If you're a reader, what character names are particularly memorable for you?

Friday, September 1, 2017

Naughty Nights is here! (#naughtyliterati #boxsets #romance #EverComing #LJGarland)

Say hello to another fabulous, entertaining short story anthology from the Naughty Literati!

This autumn, we welcome Guest Authors Ever Coming and L.J. Garland, who have contributed wonderful stories.


Here's what my story is about:


The Cowboy, His Countess, and Her Companion


(England, 1870) The Honorable Amelia Haddon must marry, or lose the income that supports her and her "companion."  Averse to men, she is desperate until an American cowboy proves to be her unlikely rescuer. But will judgmental society drag this happy trio apart?

And here's a snippet from Chapter One--the setting is Almack's, of course :)

Leonore Wingate turned to her bosom-bow, Amelia Haddon, bending slightly so the smaller woman could hear over the music and chatter. “Can you see that chap? He’s new.”

Amelia blinked. “Really?”

“Yes, and he’s coming toward us.”

Leonore grinned. “What shall we tell this one?”  They had been inventing stories to explain their unusual closeness since they'd met at boarding school. Their most innocuous story was that she was Amelia’s hired companion, which was fairly close to the truth. They enjoyed telling others that they were engaged in the study of Sapphic poetry; in the main, their peers had no idea to what they were referring.

Amelia eyed the stranger. “Intuition tells me that this one might not be easily fobbed off. You do remember that Madame Esperanza told me that my intuitive powers are usually great.” 

Leonore withheld a sarcastic retort, but rolled her eyes.  

Amelia continued, “Perhaps we should encourage his suit.”

Shocked, Leonore lost her breath and therefore her voice for several seconds. Then she managed to say, “But—but—”

“You have not yet heard my news.”

“That letter you received from your father?”

“Yes. He threatens to cut me off should I fail to marry before my next birthday.”

“But you can’t marry! You can’t!” Heads turned at the vehemence of her tone, and she lowered her voice. “Why?”

“Of course I do not wish to marry, but what else can we do?”

Leonore pressed her lips together. “I’ll not leave you.”

Amelia touched Leonore’s hand briefly, so quickly that she was sure no one else saw. “Of course not. 
We shall maintain the fiction that you are my paid companion.”

“But what about at night? You can’t, Amelia! It would kill you!

Amelia drew a determined breath. “We all must do what we must. And I will have to bear his attentions, at least some nights.”

“You’ll lie quietly and think of crown and country? Ha! I’ll not allow it!”

“We don’t have a choice. I shall have to bear his attentions, at least on some nights. Many men keep mistresses for such...activities.”

Leonore paused, thinking. “Hm. You are right. Without your funds, we are left with only my tiny portion.” Her birth was impeccable but her fortune small, her parents having inconveniently wasted the Wingate estate before dying in a carriage accident.

She looked at Amelia. Amelia looked back. They sighed in unison.

“Good evening, ladies.” The stranger sketched a clumsy bow.

Leonore raised her brows as Amelia raised her fan. The stranger was so untutored in the social graces that he did not realize that he ought not address ladies to whom he had not yet been introduced. But...

“Your accent is not English,” Leonore said.

“No, I’m from Texas.” He smiled.

“In America?” Amelia sounded excited, and Leonore felt a spark of hope. Perhaps this foreigner would be different than other men. Perhaps he would not demand what Amelia couldn’t comfortably give.

“Yeah. From the good ol’ U.S. of A.”

Leonore winced at his speech. He seemed like a nice fellow, but...

Amelia said, “And what brings you to our shores?”

“I’ve inherited an estate that is in poor shape, and I’m here to claim it and find a wife to help me get it to where it should be,” the man explained in a rush.

Given the accent, Leonore understood perhaps half of what he said. She exchanged glances with Amelia, then said, “Umm, with all respect, sir, we have yet to be properly introduced.”

“Oh, sorry, miss. I’m Nate Fortune.”

“Of the Darlingside Fortunes?” Amelia asked, closing her fan.

If Leonore raised her brows more, she was certain they’d disappear into her hairline. She controlled herself. “You must be the new Earl Darlingside.”

“Yeah. And you?”

She and Amelia again exchanged glances. Despite the social solecism, Amelia responded. “I’m Amelia Haddon, and this is my...companion, Leonore Wingate.” She hooked her arm through Leonore’s elbow.

He eyed their linked arms and raised his brows. “Your...companion?”

“Yes,” Leonore said with emphasis. “We are quite inseparable.”

Now the stranger—Darlingside?—raised his brows. “That’s good.”

Leonore stared at him.

“Well, it would be very hard to choose between you. You are both such lovely ladies.”

“Flatterer,” Amelia said flirtatiously. She rapped his knuckles with her fan.

“Ow!” Darlingside made a show of rubbing his hand, as though he’d actually been hurt.

Amelia giggled while Leonore smiled.

He smiled back. “So the only question is, which one of you will I marry?”

If you like what you read, find it here on Amazon
or any other etailer you prefer


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Say "Hey, good to see you again" to the new Queen of Shadows by Suz deMello (#scifiromance #iamwriting)


I've often mentioned one of the great joys of epublishing--an indie author can get her rights back to books published by a traditional publisher and repackage them as her own.  And so it is with Queen of Shadow, a book that appeared originally with Liquid Silver (I think) and then went through editions with Totally Bound and Ellora's Cave, where it was presented as Queen's Quest. 

When I decided to indie publish it, I contacted April Martinez, the cover artist who created the original cover--I loved it and felt it expressed the themes, characters and story very well. I was lucky enough that she still owned the original files, and recreated the cover beautifully:



But what's it about, you ask?

Here's the blurb:

Looking for the next GoT? Here you are.

A brave queen struggles to control divided kingdoms on a terraformed planet thirty thousand years in the future.

Janus is a planet which lacks both tilt and spin, and the Shadowlands are the pewter band of dusk dividing its violently hot Lightside from the Darkside, imprisoned by eternal night. Because of the peculiar conformation of the planet, birthrates are low and indiscriminate mating encouraged.

Audryn, Queen of Shadow, has reached that time in her life when she must choose a King to rule with her or fail to bear an heir, casting not only her realm but all of Janus into chaos.

Despite her duty, she is reluctant to share power, even a bit distrustful. Janus’ nobles vie for Audryn’s hand. Although she enjoys trysting with all her suitors, none seize her heart.


Then Storne, the warrior Prince of Darkness, arrives to claim her as his bride. Will his masterful ways allure or repel the willful Queen?

Here's the backstory:

I wrote Queen of Shadow while I lived in Thailand in 2006-07. I was coming out of a dark period of my life during which my father and eldest brother died, my dearest friend from childhood committed suicide, and my marriage fell apart. I also had endured writer’s block for several years.


Queen of Shadow brought me out of my personal darkness and into light. I hope her story does the same for everyone who reads it.

While I hadn't read GoT when I wrote QoS, there are many similar elements, but there are differences. I took an idea I'd gathered from my interest in history--a Royal Progress--and combined it with the "tour of a strange planet" storyline that Robert Silverberg had used in Lord Valentine's Castle, one of my fave books. 

I had also seen a sci-fi TV  movie in the 90s--can't remember the name--that had used the conceit of a planet that, like our moon, has a lightside and a dark side, always turned away from the sun. I wondered what kinds of societies would evolve under those conditions.

What reviewers said about the older editions:

“sexual elements that can set your eyebrows on fire…”

Mrs. Giggles

“thrilling…Spicy, erotic sex scenes so hot they singed the pages…exceptional erotic fantasy.”

Coffee Time Romance

excellent… The plot line unfolded perfectly leading us into…dangerous political intrigue…will keep you glued to the pages… Another winner!”
Sensual eCataromance

“an ingenious plot…the story blazes…4.5 hearts”
The Romance Studio

 “The Planet Janus all but leapt off the pages and into my imagination…
Suz deMello has done a wonderful job…
an extremely satisfying read." 
ParaNormalRomance.org 

“An extreme amount of very hot sexual activity…I enjoyed it immensely… 
Queen of Shadows fulfilled my every desire." 
Whipped Cream Erotic Romance Reviews

Here's where you can score your copy:

Amazon: http://a.co/73CMKQ5

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/743053

Enjoy!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

How Reading Can Make a Good Writer by Suz deMello (#iamreading #MFRWAuthor #writersblock)

In another installment of what to do when you're blocked, another option is to seek inspiration. Or, rather, do what you did when you were an author in training. 

I didn't know I was an author in training as a child and as a teen, when I read obsessively. I clearly remember the first book I really loved--I believe I was about three years old. I don't remember the title, but it was about a train, all the things the train carried, and the people on the train. 


I went from there to read just about everything I could lay my hands on. When I was a teen I was a little bit more organized. I had a science fiction phase in which I read sci-fi from A to Z, literally from Asimov to Zelazny. Then I read
every British murder-mystery I could, starting with Holmes of course, moving through Sayers and Christie. Then I started to read Regency Romance. Going to college interrupted my unplanned unconscious reading schedule. But I still read novels almost exclusively with the exception of British histories, mostly by Thomas Costain.


I didn't realize what I was doing at the time, but the obsessive reading of pop fiction educated me in the basics of writing pop fiction. I unconsciously learned everything from the overarching notion of story down through plot characterization conflict and even proper sentence structure. 




I make the point in my book About Writing, as follows:



Writing a book starts long before you open your new journal, or begin a new document on your computer and type “Chapter One.” You need to have read a lot of books, and I don’t mean craft works like this manual. Read, but not just anything.

Aspiring writers are often told, “read in your genre.” But Faulkner said, “Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.”

I don’t completely agree with the above advice. Mine is: Read well-written books.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/628973
What books are they? Try using the internet to search for lists of the best books ever written in English, or whatever language in which you’re planning to write. Do not read translated books. While many are great, you want to read excellent books by those who have mastered all aspects of writing. Book translators possess extremely refined skills, and writing an original work from start to “the end” is not often among them.

Be selective. While reading works such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the original middle English may be interesting and educational, you want to read books that are written in the version of English we use, so as to accustom your ear and your mind to modern, grammatically correct language.

The purpose of extensive reading is not to entertain but to enlighten. Pay attention to what you’re reading. Read books that call to you more than once, to figure out why they’re compelling. Look at the big picture aspects first: character and conflict, plot and story. During the next reading you can analyze narrower mechanical concerns such as word choice and sentence structure. Ask yourself, “How does this writer use these tools to elicit a particular reaction from the reader?”

Third reading: start looking for subtleties such as symbolism, subtext, and theme. How does the writer express these? What images does the author employ? What words does she choose? How long or short are sentences, paragraphs, chapters? Why?

It’s not the purpose of this treatise to teach everything there is to know about every aspect of fiction writing. It’s not possible. But reading programs your brain in particular ways. I emphasize reading modern works, works that use the same sentence structure, grammar, and vocabulary common in contemporary fiction. Read to increase your knowledge of, and command over, your tools: words, sentences, paragraphs, scenes. Read great books over and over again. Learn an appreciation for the English language and good writing, even down to correct apostrophe placement and comma usage.

Reading well-written books will imprint strong storytelling, correct grammar, and good sentence structure upon your mind, and it’s a lot easier to learn by reading than by taking classes. A lifetime of good reading can create a good writer. You’ll become a more able author, especially if you’re writing as well as reading, such as keeping a journal or making notes. It doesn’t really matter what you’re writing at this phase. If you’re writing fiction, great. If not, that’s okay too.

All of this is to encourage becoming thoroughly fluent in the English language. If you aren’t, the sad truth is that you needn’t try to write anything more complex than a shopping list or a thank-you note. Readers know what good writing is and isn’t, and they can be as unforgiving about sloppiness as the plastic surgeon’s patient.


Law school interrupted my reading. I did not realize how much I missed it until
after I had graduated and I found that something in my life was missing. My eye fell upon a copy of Ursula Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea, one of my favorites, and I realized that I had not read a novel in 3 years. 


Because I'm blocked, I'm back to reading. I used to read books that I loved, and rewatch TV and movies that I adored, but now I don't do that very often. A book has to be amazing for me to reread it, and the same is true of films. I like new things. I like novelty, and I like to learn something new when I can.

And so I've returned to my roots, and am again reading fanatically. And enjoying every word.


Right now I'm reading all of Nora Roberts' The Obsession. What are you reading?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Want something #sexy and #free? The #NaughtyLiterati are on Instafreebie!

The Naughty Literati are now on Instafreebie! And we're starting off by giving away our Autumn 2015 anthology Naughty Reunions: Return to Romance -- for free!

Just go to our Naughty Reunions page on Instafreebie and sign up to subscribe to our newsletter, Naughty News. Instafreebie will send you your choice of an epub or mobi file.

Naughty Reunions has nine stories including BBW, Contemporary, F/F, M/M, New Adult, Paranormal, Regency, Shapeshifter, Speculative Fiction, and Stepbrother Romance from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati!

Silent Sky by Regina Kammer
Homeward Bound by Alexa Silver
Lady Esther’s Lesbian Lover by Berengaria Brown
Renovating the Relationship by Katherine Kingston
Part 2: The WyndMaster’s Homecoming by Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Back in Your Arms by Marianne Stephens
My Cups Runneth Over by Francesca Hawley
Ocean Dreams by Suz deMello
Hybrid Mates 5: Take Me Home by Nicole Austin

Subscribing to Naughty News keeps you up to date with new releases, giveaways, author spotlights, exclusive excerpts, and contests! And now you'll get a free copy of Naughty Reunions: Return to Romance!