Book Three of the Butterfly Memoirs is Here, but I Have Moved!!!

Yes, once again I have moved to a new website with a new URL….and man am I loving it! But don’t worry, all the blog posts have come with me, so have the characters of The Butterfly Memoirs. Join is as we celebrate the release of Kaitlyn’s story, Lonely Heart. See you there!!!!

MJKaneMedia.com

MJ

#NewRelease- Exit Strategy- A Parody: The Ghetto Girl Romance Quadrilogy by L.V. Lewis

Maybe you’ve heard of it….that novel that parodies 50 Shades of Gray, but is about a lot more than ‘the life’, 50 Shades of Jungle Fever? If not, you need to catch up!

I’m happy to share the second release of my good friend, L.V. Lewis’s second novel in The Ghetto Girl Romance Quadrilogy, Exit Strategy! 

ExitStrategy_LVLEWIS_Ecover_final

 

Ex·it Strat·e·gy (noun) 1. A preplanned means of extricating oneself from a situation that is likely to become difficult or unpleasant. 2. The method by which a venture capitalist or business owner intends to get out of an investment that he or she has made in the past.

 

Will Keisha and Tristan exercise their elaborate EXIT STRATEGY and end their unorthodox arrangement?

Assailed by demons she thought she had conquered, Keisha Beale has uttered the words to end her tumultuous relationship with Tristan White. Separated, they grapple for a time with their personal demons. However, when their lives apart become unbearable, a credible threat brings them back together prematurely.

As they seek to discover who is responsible for the threats, several seemingly unrelated incidents throw them into a tailspin. Will Keisha’s youthful indiscretions or Tristan’s un-reconciled feelings for a former sub derail their tenuous arrangement?

In the meantime, trouble in Nathan and Jada’s paradise send dramatic ripples that hint of future difficulties in the idyllic pairing.

Nothing Ventured…

Tristan uses his vast wealth and connections to correct a gross miscarriage of justice, while Keisha makes herself utterly vulnerable to Tristan and fears he has chosen to exercise his own exit strategy.

…Nothing Gained!

Will this be the end of the indecent arrangement that became a fairy tale? Or will Keisha and Tristan reveal the trauma from their pasts so they may heal and completely embrace their relationship?

Sensual, suspenseful, and still infused with the riotous levity of Triple-G and Fairy Hoochie Mama, the Ghetto Girl Romance Quadrilogy departs from full parody with a distinctive take on love, loyalty, sacrifice, redemption, and acceptance.

Amazon     Barnes & Nobel     iTunes     Smashwords     Kobo     Sony eBook Store

 

Excerpt: Chapter Seven

“Tell me again why you can’t stay?” Tristan says as we stand in front of the elevator.

“Because it’s just not a good idea. And I don’t have anything to wear.”

“Actually, you do,” he says. “Mrs. Naven found some things in the laundry after you left. Problem solved.” He takes both my hands and backs up into the sitting room.

“Tristan, we still have some things to sort out. Tonight was great, but I still don’t think I’m cut out to be your submissive.”

“Just my submissive, Keisha?”

I drop my head. “No. Anyone’s.”

“You’re afraid you’ll have panic attacks again, aren’t you?”

I feel like I’m about to be swallowed up by the sincere blue eyes tracking and pinning mine so effectively I can’t look away. “Yes. And I’m no use to you if I can’t endure the scenes, particularly the occasional disciplinary consequences.”

“What if there was a way you could?” His finger traces a gentle path down my cheek.

“What do you mean?”

“Just what I said. If there was a way we could work around the panic attacks, would you come back? For good?”

“You mean until you perfect your exit strategy? That’s what you venture capitalists call it, don’t you?”

“Ah, someone’s been paying attention at our semiannual business meetings?”

“I have a rather exacting mentor who insists on being heard.”

“Asshole,” he says and pulls me close.

I place my hands on his chest in an effort to sustain some emotional equilibrium, but he doesn’t let me go. “I’m the one who’ll be ass-out when you lose confidence in your investment and decide it’s time to diversify your portfolio again.”

“I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon.” He draws me closer, palming my hips, and I get his point. Pun intended. “I can’t seem to get enough of you.”

I slip out of his arms and put some space between us. “Chemistry has never been an issue for us, Tristan. I know your lifestyle is important to you, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up.”

The truth is, I’m hopelessly in love with a man who hasn’t given me any indication that he will ever want a real relationship. Nothing has changed on that front. He still just wants just a Dominant/submissive relationship, which might enjoy a longevity his other arrangements haven’t had, but it will eventually end.

Can I really do this? I certainly don’t think I’ll become any less in love with him over time. Reentering a sexual relationship with Tristan now would be exceedingly counterproductive to the reasons I left in the first place, but I am hard-pressed to make myself walk away again.

Tristan moves so close behind me that I can feel the warmth of his skin, his breath wafting over my ear as he speaks. “We’ll take things slow—again.”

He runs a finger along my arm, and gooseflesh sprouts like ivy in its wake. I feel a pull toward him that can only be described as magnetic—my body eager to be reunited to his. Even though it could conceivably be more painful for me this time around, I’m not sure if leaving him again is within the realm of possibility. I can’t rationalize staying, but leaving becomes increasingly more difficult with each second I remain in his presence.

I turn to face him. “Slow isn’t necessarily going to keep the attacks at bay.” Or guard my heart if he decides he’s done with me.

“We’ll figure out a way to do that together.” He takes me into his arms again. “These three weeks have been  . . . just please stay.”

I look into his eyes, and all I want to do at that moment is kiss him senseless. He may not have given me a declaration of love, but somehow I know this is as close as I’m going to get with a man like Tristan White. For now.

As an answer, I stand on my tiptoes, throw my arms around his neck, and kiss him with everything in me.

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Master w Whip (1)

L. V. Lewis doesn’t have the financial means of Tristan White, but she wouldn’t want readers to go away from this new release empty handed, so she’s giving all readers the chance to win some fabulous prizes.

This time there are too many to list, but you can read the list and “Like” or “Follow” the Authors participating in my Release Day to enter the attached rafflecopter giveaway!

The giveaway will run from now until November 28, so like and follow my friends, then tweet about the giveaway daily to increase your odds of winning!

The giveaway will run from October 29th – November 28th.

During the week of October 29th – November 5th, Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever will be on sale for $.99!

giveaway-time

 

 

DISCLAIMER:  If for some reason the book doesn’t load on all the platforms by the release date, this will be due to circumstances beyond my control. I apologize in advance for any snafus that might occur.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

L. V. Lewis has one foot in South Georgia and the other in North Florida. She’s been blessed with a husband who’s put up with her for a lot of years and has given birth to four children, two of whom she has raised to adulthood and one to near adulthood. She delights in her almost empty nest status so much that she writes the kinkiest novels she can conjure up.

L. V. Lewis’s Exhaustive List of Contact Info:

 Email: lv.lewis148@gmail.com

 GoodReadsTwitterFacebookThe Block, & Pinterest

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook    Pinterest     Instagram  Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

 

 

#FeatureFriday- The Blind Date by Delaney Diamond!

Today I welcome my good friend, Delaney Diamond, who is back with a new series and a contest!

Cover_The Blind Date_200X300

One night changes everything . . . again.

Years ago, when Ryan Stewart saw Shawna Ferguson, it was love at first sight. Unfortunately, he wasn’t a free man, and his deception caused him to lose her after a weekend that changed his life.

When Shawna’s sister and brother-in-law set her up on a blind date, she has no idea it’s with Ryan, with whom she’d spent a weekend she wishes she could forget. She reluctantly agrees to finish the date with him, but doing so leaves her vulnerable to his charms and the heat he ignited in her that very first night.

 Get it now for FREE until October 7, 2013: Amazon

 

Excerpt:

Yvonne Wallace looked at Shawna from across the table in the kitchen. They were having breakfast, and as usual, Little Miss Homemaker—as Shawna liked to teasingly call her sister—had set out a feast of homemade raisin bread, butter and homemade jam, scrambled eggs, and fruit cups.

Only two years separated the sisters, but their personalities were as different as black and white. While Shawna had dreamed of opening her own boutique, which she’d accomplished four years ago, Yvonne had dreamed of becoming a wife and mother. At twenty-four she’d married a doctor, and by their second anniversary, she’d quit her job to make that dream a reality. After six years of marriage, they had a four-year-old daughter and two-year-old son, and Yvonne was seven months pregnant with her second son. Taking care of her family and getting ready for the baby filled her days.

Yvonne was one of those people who, because she was happily married, wanted the same for everyone else. She’d found her Mr. Right and claimed he existed for every woman. Shawna knew better. Finding a good man—with whom one was compatible—seemed as unrealistic as finding a diamond mine on her property. Basically, it wasn’t gonna happen, and Shawna had resigned herself to the fact.

Her sister couldn’t seem to understand she was perfectly happy being single, and she kept trying to help Shawna find a man through “chance” meetings and “unexpected” visits when Shawna came to visit her.

When the conversation came up about her paltry dating options, Shawna had a solution. “I’ll hire an escort the next time I need to attend an event with a date.” She shrugged.

“Ew. You will not. No sister of mine is going to pay for a date.”

“There’s nothing nasty about it,” Shawna said. “Lots of women do it nowadays.”

“Desperate women.”

No. Women who don’t have the time or energy to sift through what’s out there. The companies match you up with someone who has similar interests, you go out, and then you’re done. Bam. No fuss, no muss.”

“Why do that when I have the perfect man for you?”

“I’m not looking for a man.”

Yvonne rolled her eyes. “Okay, whatever. I have the perfect escort for you. Is that better?”

“No offense, but you haven’t exactly done a good job setting me up with the right men in the past.” Shawna pretended to be in deep thought. “Let’s see, remember the guy from your church, Steve, who started singing hymns in the car on the ride back home and prayed for my soul as we stood at the front door?”

“He loves the Lord. What’s wrong with that?”

Shawna narrowed her eyes and continued. “David, who wouldn’t stop talking about his ex-wife the entire night. Our date ended with him crying on my shoulder about how much he missed her.”

“Look at the bright side. You got a free meal, and at least you didn’t waste any more time with him than necessary. One date in and you already knew he was wrong for you.”

“And I can’t forget Nolan. Sexy, suave, rich. What a surprise to see his face on the evening news as the person who’d robbed several banks in the area and left lines of poetry as his trademark. Just think, I can say I dated the Poetry Bandit.”

“Granted, I should have dug a little deeper when he said he worked in banking.”

Shawna sighed. “I know you mean well, but your choice in men leaves me a bit . . . how should I say this? Terrified.” Shawna slathered butter on the bread and bit into a crunchy slice.

“This guy could be right for you, though. I really think the two of you will hit it off.”

“How do you know him?”

“So you’re interested?”

“Answer the question.”

“He’s a friend of William’s.”

The fact that he was one of her brother-in-law’s friends meant he was probably better vetted than the men her sister had introduced her to in the past. Interest piqued, she said, “Tell me about him.”

“I thought you weren’t interested.”

“Would you tell me about him!”

Yvonne giggled, cocky in her triumph. “Like I said, William knows him better, but I’ve also met him, and he’s really nice. You’ll like him.”

“What does he look like?”

“He’s about six feet tall. Great personality, really nice guy.”

Shawna watched her sister closely. She seemed evasive, which made Shawna suspicious. “You mentioned nice twice, but not whether or not he’s attractive. Does he have an eye in the middle of his forehead or something?”

Yvonne waved her hand and snorted, as if to say, don’t be ridiculous. “Of course not.”

“Then what does he look like?”

“Don’t worry, he’s attractive. He’s not your usual type, that’s all. So please don’t do that thing you do.”

“What thing?” Shawna asked, already offended.

“You know that thing you do when you’re trying to cover up your surprise or when you don’t like something—you smile, but it’s this weird, creepy smile. Be open-minded.”

“I don’t do that. And why would I need to be open-minded? What’s wrong with him, Yvonne?” Concern started to set in.

“Nothing. But really, I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Trust your big sister on this one, okay?”

 ####

Get it now for FREE until October 7, 2013: Amazon

Not only is Delaney Diamond giving away a free copy of her book, she’s having a contest!

Prize: Winners choice of four (4) of the following items: (1) Delaney Diamond T-shirt in large or extra large (2) Delaney Diamond two-tone tote bag (3) $20 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (4) Delaney Diamond keychain (5) an autographed copy of Hot Latin Men Vol. I (6) an autographed copy of Hot Latin Men Vol. II (7) four bookmarks with Delaney Diamond book covers.

Eligibility: You must be a subscriber to Delaney’s blog. Prizes open to U.S. and international entrants.

How to enter: Correctly match each blog on her tour with its description. Visit the contest post on her website for the details.

Deadline to enter: October 13, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST

Winners will be notified by email and announced on the contest post on her website.

About the Author:

Delaney Diamond writes sweet and sensual romance novels and is the site manager of Romance Novels in Color, where diversity in romance in celebrated. When she’s not reading or writing she’s trying out new recipes or traveling to an interesting locale. Find free reads and the first chapter of all her books at www.delaneydiamond.com.

 

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Romance Novels in Color

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

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It’s a Book-A-Versary!!!! An Interview with the Characters of A Heart Not Easily Broken

I can’t believe it! September 20th marked the one year anniversary of the release of my debut novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken!  While it is a celebration of my journey into the world of being a published author, it’s also the ‘day’ Ebony and Brian meet for the first time, thus…it’s their Book-A-Versary!!!

I managed to find time during both of their hectic schedules and mine, to sit down for a chat and find out where they are now in life. (And this, my friends, is why authors are often in need of strait jackets…)

MJ: Ebony, Brian, it is so good to see you again! How is life treating you?

Ebony: Very well, thank you.

Brian: Good, busy, and a hell of a lot of fun. (He grins)

MJ: I am so glad to hear that! So, congratulations and Happy Book-A-Versary! I can’t believe how fast time has flown by.

Ebony: And a lot has happened.

MJ: Yes it has. (I eye the shiny ring on her wedding finger). So, without giving away too much about your story, what can you tell me about your relationship now?

Brian: (Picks up Ebony’s hand and squeezes) There’s been a lot of good in our relationship, despite the fact we had a rough time, but we made it through. The support of our family and friends has made it easier.

Ebony: I agree. I can’t believe I ever doubted for a minute what my family would have to say about us. But above all, I have to say I appreciate Brian in ways I can’t even explain. One thing I’ve learned is to never second guess my feelings. If something is bothering me or I’m unsure, I communicate it to him and we work it out. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not perfect, neither is our relationship. We’ve just learned how to make it better.

Brian: And it just keeps getting better. (He lifts her hand and kisses it; Ebony blushes.)

MJ: I won’t take up too much of your time because I know you guys keep busy schedules. I do have some questions from readers who have been asking for months if it would be possible to get an update from you. Are you up to it?

Ebony: Sure!

MJ: Cool! Ebony, we’ll start with you. Readers would like to know how your families are getting along. Brian, we know your family loved Ebony from the beginning, but your family, Ebony, well, your sister to say the least, wasn’t too thrilled.

Ebony: (She laughs)  Lashana has slowly come around. Her biggest fear was whether I was thinking with my head or just looking for a thrill in trying something new. But now that she’s meet him, I think he’s growing on her.

Brian: I have that effect on people. (Ebony slaps his arm playfully)

Ebony: My brother, of course, is cool because come to find out, they have a lot in common. And my parents…they surprised me. They get along great with his family and love Brian to death. It seems as if I was the one who had the problem.

MJ: We all learn and grow. It sounds like you have done well. Next question, have you finished school?

Ebony: YES!!!! And yes, I do have the job!

MJ: Congratulations! Now of course, we know that you, Yasmine, and Kaitlyn are very good friends and have seen each other through a lot. With the change in your lives, have you been able to keep up with your Girls Night Out plans?

Ebony: Oh that is a good question. Yes and no. Each of our lives has taken a different path and the ease of being single and free is gone. We still talk by way of the phone and of course we’re always on Facebook, but the reality is we’ve had to grow up. We mostly do lunches and meet at the nail shop for mani and pedicures. (She looks at her nails), though why I bother I have no idea. But regardless, we’re always just a phone call away.

MJ: Yes, life does have a way of changing things for us. And it’s good to know your friendship is still strong. Now, Brian, the next question is for you. Have you been back on tour?

Brian: Thankfully, no. One thing I’ve learned to do is prioritize what is important in my life. I thought being on the road would be it, but it’s not. I try to stick closer to home, though my hours are still long. At least I know I’ll be home at night.

MJ: Well, that pretty much answers the next question; do you get home at respectable times?

Brian: Most nights, Ebony is asleep on the sofa waiting for me to come in the door. I can’t blame her thought, after she’s worked a long day, I’d never ask her to wait up. I try to make up for it as much as possible by planning late night dates or bring her roses.

Ebony: (She laughs)  I never need to waste money on buying Glade Plugins, that’s for sure. I have homemade potpourri everywhere!

MJ: Aww…that’s so sweet. So it sounds as if the classes you guys took helped?

Brian: Most definitely.

Ebony: Yes they did. If we hadn’t taken that step, I’m not sure where we’d be.

MJ: Okay, last question, I’ve been holding on to this one. How long will it be before you start a family of your own?

Ebony: Oh wow…

Brian: (Clears his throat)  To be honest, we haven’t exactly talked about it…

Ebony: With so much time spent working, it’s hard to enough to spend time together, much less raise a child.

MJ: Do you want one?

Ebony and Brian: Yes.

MJ: Then you will find a way to make it work. Well, that’s all the time I have for now. I’ve got writing to do and I’m sure you guys would like to spend your Sunday doing other things than talking to me. Until next time, take care!

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Alright my friends, now comes the fun part! In honor of the celebration I am having a contest, the  winner will receive an eBook copy of the next novel in the series, Lonely Heart, on release day!!! Follow the link to follow the instructions. Good Luck! (Release date will be announced next month!)

Rafflecopter Giveaway!!!

If you haven’t read the Amazon Bestseller, A Heart Not Easily Broken, buy your copy today! It’s $3.99 and available for Kindle, Nook, iTunes, and on Smashwords. If Paperback is what you prefer, find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble! 

AHNEB FINAL COVER

Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction, Interracial Romance

Ebony is a smart, sexy, career-oriented black woman who wants nothing more than a summer fling with a man who challenges her mind and body. What she doesn’t expect is a blond-haired, blue-eyed bass player—who won’t take “no” for an answer—to accept the challenge.

When Ebony’s attempt at a brief fling turns into more, despite negative reactions from friends and family, she finds juggling love, family, and career are nothing compared to the ultimate betrayal she endures. Now her dreams spiral into lies and secrets that threaten her future and her best friend’s trust.

ONE CLICK for REVIEWS, FREE CHAPTER READS, ALL SALES LINKS!

For more information on The Butterfly Memoirs Series and a sample of the next book, Jadedvisit this link! 

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

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Looking for the Hottest IR Reads? Look No Further!

Romance Novels in Color

Interracial Romance is a genre that is still gaining recognition.  Readers often have a hard time finding a good book, and for IR authors, it’s just as difficult searching out readers and letting them know we’re here!

In steps Romance Novels in Color!

For Readers:

Why waste time searching through page upon page of books on Amazon or Barnes & Noble’s sites? The way the platforms are set up, you may miss a well-reviewed novel that has been buried beneath the latest new releases. And besides, who has time to sift through hundreds of reviews?

On the Romance Novels in Color site, you can instantly view the Top Rated IR Romance Novels, watch book trailers, find author giveaways, and read the latest reviews from readers!

For Authors:

We are always looking for a new place to share our work with lovers of the IR genre. Here, you have several advertising options. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want their novel to be featured or reviewed on a site like this?

Whether you’re a Reader or an Author, stop by and check it out! Sign up for the Reader and Author newsletters to stay in the loop. Don’t forget to follow the social networking links! They’re everywhere!

I’m happy to say both of my novels have been reviewed and featured on this site, and I’m happy to have earned these badges. Check out what readers have had to say!

top-rated-by-rnic

Review for A Heart Not Easily Broken (Book 1 of The Butterfly Memoirs)
Contemporary Romance, Interracial Romance, Women’s Fiction

 

 

reviewed-by-rnic

5- Star Review for Jaded (Book 2 of The Butterfly Memoirs)
Contemporary Romance, Interracial Romance, Women’s Fiction

And as always, Happy Reading!

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook    Pinterest     Instagram  Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

#WriterWednesday- Interview with L.V. Lewis!

Today I introduce you to my good friend, L.V. Lewis. No doubt many of you may have heard of her best selling parody, 50 Shades of Jungle Fever, now get to know the author!

Welcome, L.V.!

What inspired you to write?

My inspiration to write comes from a love I developed of the written word which began when I was in elementary school. I became a voracious reader at a very early age and would lose myself in the worlds built by authors I admired at the time. Since then, I’ve read thousands of books by various authors. When self-publishing became a possibility, I was buoyed by the success stories I kept hearing  about other authors. And once I read some indie books, I became convinced I could write something similar if not better in some cases.

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

My current genre is erotic romance, although I’m lumped right in there under erotica most of the time, so I just claim that, too, even though there is a distinct difference between the two. And it definitely chose me, because until E.L. James did her thing I had no desire to write erotica.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Because I have a full time job, my writing schedule is insane. I would love nothing better than to write full time, however, working sometimes sixty hours a week doesn’t lend itself to a good writing schedule. Basically, I steal time to write around all the other hats I wear as career woman, wife, mother, and mentor to teenage girls. I used to write better in the wee hours of the morning after the house was quiet, but as I get older, I can’t seem to pull the all-nighters anymore, so now I write in the evenings, usually after dinner and exercise is done.  Sometimes I go until bedtime and other times not. Then during the day, I sneak moments when I’m on break at work, if I hear a scene in my head.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I have to be in the male character’s head to write the best sex scenes. I really don’t know what that is, but I find myself thinking what the guy is thinking and building the scene first from his point of view.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

I’m unapologetically a pantser. I can’t write from a rigid outline to save my life. However, I do have a loose outline that I try to follow, but if often doesn’t turn out the way I’ve written it. Maybe this is one of the reasons I suffer from writer’s block so much.

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share an example?

Actually Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever is very loosely based on Fifty Shades of Grey, so not so much in that story is it based on any events I or anyone I know has experienced. However, I will say that Keisha’s mother, Clara Lee Beale, sounds like the actress Jenifer Lewis in my head. Also, myself and many college-educated African American women may have experienced life such as Keisha knows it. Unless we’re born with silver spoons in our mouths, the majority of women come from middle-class working families like Keisha’s, and have had some of the same experiences she’s seen in life. Many of my readers have written me to say how they either have known someone like Keisha or she resonates with them personally.

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?

My advice to new authors would be to study craft, study craft, study craft. Then hire the best damn editor you can afford, and have a professional graphic artist make you a kick-ass cover.  I read too many indie books that are riddled with grammatical errors, and that also break every cardinal rule of fiction writing. One in particular I just read was raved about by my friends, but then when I read it, I found it sorely lacking. The plot was quite convoluted and the story extremely melodramatic. The characters in many instances did things that were completely out of character. The point of view from which the story was told was far from clean and the characters did a lot of “head-hopping.” Often times I wasn’t sure whose thoughts or dialogue I was reading. A good book shouldn’t leave you confused or going “why is this happening?” This book needed a professional editor who could edit it for both content and structure. The story really had good bones, but was not executed well.

I follow my own advice and know that I’ve not yet “arrived.” So, I do craft exercises and study whenever I can because I don’t know everything about the craft of fiction writing yet. However, as I’ve often heard said, I know just enough to be dangerous, and the more I learn about craft makes me a book critic of the highest order. Because I am a published author,  when I read now, I’m always picking the book apart, because I either want to learn from a book that is done well, or want to remember what not to do when it isn’t done well.

MJ: Great advice, all the way around!

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

I am self-pubbed, proud, and wearing the tee shirt, flying my freak flag high, and all that jazz! I love having the creative control over my book as a self-publisher. I’m not saying I wouldn’t consider traditionally publishing if the opportunity presented itself. When that happens, I hope I’m in a place to negotiate a really stellar deal for myself, because I’m not sure there is a traditional publisher who can guarantee me a 70% royalty rate on my e-books.

What are your current projects?

I’m THIS close to finishing Exit Strategy and my cover reveal for it is right around the corner, then a few weeks after the cover reveal I’m hoping to have it debut. I’m also working on a kinky novella series with a group of writer friends that we hope to publish in time to hit around or before the Christmas holidays. I also have three other works-in-progress that I put on hold to finish Exit Strategy, that I hope to pick up again soon. I’d like to work on the 3rd book in the Ghetto Girl Quadrilogy in tandem with these works if at all possible, but that will depend on my work schedule and a lot of other variables. My other three works-in-progress are not erotic romance or erotica, they’re more contemporary romance and women’s lit.

50SoJF - The Block

Keisha Beale is a quarter of a million dollars away from realizing her dream of opening her own recording studio. A botched attempt at securing the funding required from venture capitalist Tristan White leaves her without many options… until Tristan White makes an indecent proposal. As Keisha navigates the treacherous environment of the billionaire’s secret kinky lifestyle, she discovers surprising things about herself and unleashes demons from her past she thought were long resolved.

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About the Author: 

L. V. Lewis is a married mother of four who lives in South Georgia, and works in the Florida Panhandle. A new author who decided that stories like Fifty Shades of Grey needed a little more diversity and comedy in them, she penned Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever as a parodied response to those wildly popular books from a woman of color.

A voracious readers since kidnergarten, L. V. loves nothing more than to curl up with a good book and a glass of wine. She and her husband are political junkies, a hobby that is time consuming, but free. Now that Lewis has young adults who think they don’t need their parents anymore, she has taken up the time-draining career of writing. However, she is happy to report that, for once, her extra-curricular activity costs far less than her husband’s. Her love for writing is only eclipsed by her love for her family.

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

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I Got My T-Shirt!!!!!

Remember my post last week about receiving the book review of A Heart Not Easily Broken by The Masquerade Crew? If not, read the post: I Got Reviewed by the Masquerade Crew and Survived!!! So imagine my surprise when I logged on to Twitter this morning and found this tweet:  

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And if that wasn’t enough to make me smile through sleepy eyes, this tweet followed:

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And what a great post it is! Check it out!

The Leap of Faith of Book Reviews

So, if your looking for a honest review (and I’m not saying that we never receive any from readers because believe me, I have, both good and bad!), be sure to check them out! Their review policy is listed on their site so read it carefully and know what your signing up for! Like I said in my previous blog, I’m glad I did and will happily do it again! 

Happy Reading! 

 

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog! 

MJ

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“I Write Erotic Love Scenes, Not Erotica!” – A Guide to Adding Heat to Your Book

How many times did I want to say that when my first book was published? I know, I know, it’s crazy, but the one thing I wanted my stories to be known for was not how great the love scenes were, but how great of a story was being told. Comments from reviewers have said it was hot, but not so much so that it would make you uncomfortable. Others have considered it tame, while others said they were blushing.

One thing I’ve learned since A Heart Not Easily Broken was published is this: sensuality and the degree of sex in a book is based on the reader.

Unless it’s in the genre of Erotica. The name says it all.

When I started writing, my goal was to avoid putting sex in my book, period. I mean hey, call me prude, but even though I enjoyed reading the elegant prose of a Nora Roberts love scene, I could in no way imagine myself writing it! I mean really, what if my husband picked it up and looked at me with a raised eyebrow, or what if my mom got a hold of it???? What would they think?

MH900440908Then I thought about it some more and realized, hey, I’ve got four kids and they didn’t get here by way of Immaculate Conception nor were they adopted. 🙂  Sex is a part of life and hey, I’m grown! So, I put on a pair of big girl panties, (or thong) and went where the characters want to go!!! To bed!

Now, if your shy or nervous about writing sex scenes, how do you achieve it without being cheesy, unrealistic, or stiff? (I swear no pun was intended in that line!)

Research.

Research can be done in various ways. (Okay, seriously, stop laughing!) Find books from your favorite authors. If there is sex in their stories, study the way it’s written. Is it technical? Do they get creative with words, allowing your imagination to run wild without calling out each position? Or do they write in a way that gets straight to the point? (Insert tab A into slot C = HURRAY!) What about the scene leaves you warm under the collar? Is it a scene you can’t help but read again, or does it bore you to the point of sleep? Make notes of what you would like to see in your books.

**Remember, it’s okay to take a peek into the bedroom without sitting down on the edge of the bed. Leading up to what’s going to happen and stopping, then picking up later is fine, too. Go with what you feel comfortable with! Never push yourself into writing more than you feel comfortable reading for the sake of trying to sell a book. A reader can tell a badly written scene, and like your lovers, the last thing you want a reader to do is laugh (unless of course there is something that happens that is meant to make the reader laugh). Once a lover of romance novels has invested time and grown emotionally connected to your characters and you introduce that ‘moment’ but don’t deliver in some satisfactory way, they may wonder why the characters are together in the first place and quickly lose interest in your novel. (I once had a reader say she liked Brian so much she couldn’t wait to ‘jump in bed’ with him, and once she had, she wasn’t disappointed!)**

Step outside your comfort zone.

If you’ve never read an erotic romance novel, pick one up and peruse the story. I’d never read an Erotic romance story until I read J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Two things I learned from that series:

1)      The men were hot, vulnerable no matter how tough they are, and when they made love, they experienced some deep emotions. Despite what you may think, sex wasn’t just sex.

2)      While the scenes were very well written, there were some terms I would never be comfortable using in describing certain acts or anatomy.

**From the creative prose of Nora Roberts to the front and center of J.R. Ward, two totally different styles, each dealing with the same subject matter. Where would I fit in? What did I want to write? And just how daring did I want to be???? Ask yourself these questions!**

Practice.

(Okay, so I gave up on avoiding puns when I started talking about research. 🙂 )

Once you’ve decided the lingo you want to use in your scene, you have to write it! Trust me, writing sex is not as easy as you’d like to think it is! It gets very technical. Just like writing description in a scene or what your character is experiencing on a day to day bases, it’s even more intense when dealing with the ‘moment’ that can either push your character forward in a new relationship, or throw a new obstacle in their path, depending on where the story is going. I once read a blog that said writing sex is like writing an action scene. In order for the reader to know what’s going on – who punched who, and what the punch felt like or where it landed – you have to map out the action, movement-by-movement. Okay, the couple isn’t fighting in the bedroom, but they are moving together in a sort of dance. It has to be described so the reader not only ‘sees’ it in their mind, they ‘feel’ it, as well. To achieve this, the five senses must be visited.

*Touch– the feel of their lover’s hands on their body, or the way their lover feels to them. Rough hands, soft hands, a slow caress, a grip of passion.

*Taste– the taste of wine recently consumed during a kiss.

*Sight– excitement from the exposure of naked flesh.

*Sound- music in the background, a gasp, satisfied sigh.

*Smell– candles, perfume, sweat; you see where I’m going, right?

**When in doubt of how a good scene should progress, watch a few movies. Notice how the kisses can start out slow as the camera pans down to what the actors bodies are doing? Where are the hands? How do their bodies touch? What is the response of the other party? Visualize your characters as if they are in a movie and write what you see. Sometimes its slow, sometimes it’s fueled by passion and rough. It’s all in where your characters head is at.**

M.J.’s Tips:

* Don’t be afraid to write what you feel. That’s what editing is for! If your scene comes across as pornographic the first time around, don’t worry! Get it on paper, then tame it down. Take out what you feel is too much for your genre or what you feel comfortable with writing. Get a friend to read it and have them tell you what they think. Listen to the feedback, then make the changes. Trust me, editing love scenes can be the hardest part of editing! It can take me a week to edit a love scene versus the time it takes to edit any other chapter!

* Avoid the technical terms found in your old high school biology book. Talk about a mood killer! Pick up that Thesaurus, get creative, and find something you think works best.

* Make sure it makes sense!!! In real life, you don’t start standing up, then end up on the bed without transitioning to that location. Remember to add movement! In a regular scene, your character isn’t chilling on the sofa, then the next minute he’s answering the door without there being a reason why he got up from the sofa to go to the door. The same applies to love scenes!

* Dialogue during the act itself can be good, but let’s be realistic; nobody wants to read a full conversation during the act. A command, a request, a moaned response, sure, but who wants to hear about the other characters day? Leave that for pillow talk!

* Character thoughts…Okay, I am not ashamed to admit, this is where my scenes start carrying the ‘erotica’ tag. My stories are written in 1st person which means you’re already deep inside their world. You know what makes them tick, why they act the way they do, and how they truly feel without being told about it in the traditional 3rd person point of view. So, when they are with the one they love or want, you’re going to know exactly how that kiss feels, how they react physically to their lovers touch, and so on and so forth. The only difference, I don’t start shouting out anatomy in a vulgar or textbook fashion.

* Never feel you have to have an unlimited amount of sex in your book! Make each scene count! I normally have three scenes in my stories, not counting encounters that are alluded to. For me, each encounter is an opportunity for the characters relationship to grow and add more to the story and not be a page filler.

So, how has my family responded since I published my books?

My husband says I write very well, and my mom…well, she read a Sunday Sample where the character mentions his…um…physical reaction to seeing the heroine for the first time. She called me and said, ‘What do you mean he was happy he was standing behind the counter?’ Since then, she has gotten copies of both of my books and I have told her once she reads them not to call. LOL!!! And I’m pretty sure she’s going to read this post and leave a comment. I love you, Mom!

Good luck with your writing, and remember, if you can’t feel comfortable writing it, don’t. Go with what you feel works best for you! And don’t worry, sometimes it is good to shut the door on the reader, just as long as you make it known the character is happy on the other side!

And of course, I can’t talk about writing a sex scene without sharing one of my own. Here’s a little sample of what goes on behind closed doors in A Heart Not Easily Broken:

Excerpt:

I slipped my fingers between us and quickly unfastened the buttons of his shirt. Of all days to decide to wear one of these. Why couldn’t he have on a pullover like always? A quick tug would have had his chest available to me in seconds. Now I had to work for it.

Buttons free, I forced the material over his shoulders and down to his wrists. He released me to help remove the shirt. In our haste, his wrists got tangled up. I bit my lip as I looked down at him. His eyes were the most intense shade of blue I’d ever seen. His mouth parted expectantly. His lips were swollen and pink from the way I’d sucked them. I wanted to own him. Every…last…inch.

A deep chuckle came from his throat. “What are you doing?” He tried to free his wrist.

“Don’t worry, I promise you’ll like it.” I smiled wickedly as I fisted the makeshift handcuffs, trapping his hands on the bed.

I nibbled, lapped, and sucked my way to his throat while Brian groaned.

He smelled so good, so male. Barbeque and beer mixed with his musky cologne that held a hint of sweetness. His scent had driven me crazy all night. I took my time to savor every detail of his bronzed flesh, tasting every inch I could reach. But it wasn’t enough. I lifted my head from his chest and teased him with my tongue, evading his mouth as he tried to capture mine.

He panted beneath me, his chest heaved in and out, but his eyes, those crystal blue orbs stayed on me. I was driving him crazy, and my time to be in control was running out. I was sure the moment his wrist were free, he would take me down and return the favor.

Perfect, because that was exactly what I wanted.

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Click here for more information about  my Bestselling novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken. 

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook    Pinterest     Instagram  Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

Book Reviews: The Good, the Bad, and the WTH???

Attractive Woman with Her Books

Book reviews. Every author wants them. Every author fears them. They can be the shining star used to promote your work, or the one thing holding readers back from deciding to one-click and add to their growing collection. Over the last week, both of my books have received reviews: a 3, a 4 and a 5 Star review, and each has seen the dreaded 1 and 2 Star reviews. Each reviewer has had something different to say and it made me think…

What good can a review do for the author? How can you read through the lines? And when do you ignore them?

The first rule to any book review is: everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Easier said than done sometimes, right?

The fact of the matter is, no matter how well your book is written, no matter how clean you edits are, or how many people sing your books praises, somebody out there is going to hate it.

What’s that old saying, “You can’t please everybody?” No truer words have been spoken.

Above all things you must remember readers have different taste, like different types of storytelling, or crave a certain type of drama, fantasy, or escape from reality. If your book doesn’t hit the mark for them, chances are they will not like it. A good example of this is the romance genre. There are many ‘heat’ levels out there. Everything from Hard core BDSM, to the tame ‘bedroom door shuts in your face’, and where I fall, somewhere in between…not erotica, but definitely erotic. (I recently had a reader tell me my scenes made her blush, lol, and they are in no way close to what makes me blush!)

The flip side to this is if your book is intentionally written to draw on a readers emotions – depending on their personality type – they may dislike your characters because they cannot or do not sympathize with your characters decisions. They get so upset they are personally offended or pissed off and no longer read the full story.  They base their opinions on the characters actions and what they feel should have happened, thus the bad review.

As an author, what can you take from this?

For starters, learn to read between the lines. Once the emotional sting is gone and the tears have dried, or you stop using the ‘f’ word, whichever comes first, try to decipher what the reader is trying to say. Did they dislike the character, the plot, or the writing? Was the character unrealistic or did the decisions they make just piss them off? As the author, only you know what motivates your characters and what emotions you want to draw from the reader. So the questions you must ask yourself are:

  • Did I do too much or too little?
  • Was enough back ground information given?
  • Was the scene or reason behind the decisions made explained clearly?
  • Were questions/goals asked, defined, and reached?
  • Were there enough unanswered questions to keep the reader interested without boring them?
  • How well thought out was the plot?
  • Are there gaps in the story that leave the plot line open?
  • Was a resolution found and satisfying?
  • What about the pacing? Too fast, too slow, or just plain boring? (you’ll know the answer to this if a majority of your reviews say the same thing)
  • What can I take from this review to make my next project better?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Some characters are meant to piss people off, but you want your main characters to pull the reader in, keep their attention and have them rooting for them to reach their goal. One of the most important things to remember, no matter what genre you write, pleasing the masses (lovers of your genre) is the key, not the people who don’t or won’t agree.  In other words, if you write Sci-Fi Erotica, don’t expect a Historical Romance lover to go crazy about your book. That’s not to say readers won’t cross over to different genres, but some are more comfortable with what they know.
  • If your book is getting an influx of negative reviews, pay attention to the market your promoting to. If book lovers of your genre continue to say the same thing, you may need to step back, re-evaluate your style of writing, learn more about storyline structure, and find honest beta readers or a writing group to help you find out what went wrong. Revamp, rewrite, try again!
  • Like TV shows and movies, there are various book genres that have a different style of pacing. Some readers want the satisfaction of a full ride that has them hanging on from the beginning to the end with no breaks. (Think roller coaster ride, 0-60 in 2 seconds). They want if fast, hard, and with a sudden stop. Other readers like the slow walk on the beach, long conversations, the romance, staring off at the sunset, and a satisfactory ending. And then there’s the in-between reader who likes the road trip. They want to leave the house doing the city speed limit, but when they hit the highway, they cruise with the traffic, enjoying the twists and turns and the fast pace. They like to visit the rest stop and stretch their legs before merging with the flow of traffic again. A well written story has the mixed pace of fast, slow, and cruise control to keep the ride interesting.

What does all of this mean?

As writers, we know what our comfort zone is when it comes to telling our stories. We know what our intentions are and what we want our character to see, think, and feel. We view our work as our babies and it’s often hard to put down the laptop and share it with the world. Will we ever be able to win over the masses? No, because there are too many genres which means readers what different things. If your book doesn’t deliver for them, chances are it’s not your story, but your style of writing or vice versa. Either way, don’t let a bad review get you down. See it as a learning tool. If you can find room for improvement, make it! If it’s more of a personal issue for the reviewer, ignore it and move on! In the end, YOU, the writer, know how much time, effort, and work you put in to make your ideas hit paper. Don’t let the negative stop you! As a good friend and fellow author says, ‘you have to put on your big girl panties and get over it!’ – Carmen DeSousa

The Start of a New Relationship

Today I visited my good friend, and coffee aficionado, Synitha Williams, and share a snippet of my novel, A Heart Not Easily Broken, which is on sale this month for .99 cents!

 

The Start of a New Relationship.